This film program brings together two very prominent people within the American and Canadian alternative art and film communities. Eminent film critic, underground actress and performance artist Amy Taubin made a few forays into the world of filmmaking, and her most well known work is In the Bag, from 1981. In the words of film scholar and theorist Noël Carroll: «Roughly twenty minutes long, the film records a search through a tattered, patchwork-quilt shoulder bag for something – we know not what. Like Michael Snow's Wavelength, a film many misremember as a single tracking shot, In the Bag is also easily misremembered and wrongly described as a stationary long take à la Warhol which relentlessly records Taubin's relentless rummaging. However, in fact, the film is intensively edited – full of what we come to understand as flash forwards, and cross-cuts between the primary search, set on a brown table, and an almost identical search, set on and amid the blue sheets of a bed. Taubin – her ‹cold/preoccupied› shoulder to the camera, her face generally occluded from us by her long brown hair – is the only person in the film; her manner is concentrated, suggesting a total obliviousness to onlookers. This plus her silence and the methodical character of her search gives In the Bag a meditative air which, in turn, places the film on a continuum with Taubin's solitary performance pieces – all solo meditations on the nature of the self.»
Alongside In the Bag will be shown Reason over Passion (1969), the feature length magnum opus of Canadian painter and filmmaker Joyce Wieland. A tour de force of invention and passion, Reason over Passion can be seen as an amalgamated and richly stratified meditation on the vast Canadian landscape, patriotism, nationalism, ecology, often rendered with wry humor and political satire strongly present in many of Wieland's films. Structurally and formally rigorous, and with a multifarious use of sound and textual language, Reason over Passion is one of the key works of North American experimental filmmaking of the late 1960's.
- In the Bag (1981), 21 min, 16mm.
- Reason over Passion (1969), 83 min, 16mm.
Thanks to Lightcone and Arsenal.
This event is supported by Kulturrådet.