DER Documentary

Screening Room with Yvonne Rainer

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From the Screening Room series
by Robert Gardner
color, 74 min, 1977/2005

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This DVD is also available as part of the Screening Room series Experimental Collection.

Relentless exploration of the nature of performance, the construction of meaning, and the relations of the sexes has guided Yvonne Rainer's long career, first in avant–garde choreography and dance and then in filmmaking. Her honors include Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellowships along with numerous exhibitions of her work, including recent retrospectives at the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco and at the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York.

In March 1977, Yvonne Rainer appeared on Screening Room with film scholar and author Deac Rossell, to screen and discuss excerpts from her film Kristina Talking Pictures (5:04/8:51/8:54/2:10/8:33/5:36).

Her other films include Lives of Performers (1972), Film About a Woman Who... (1974), The Man Who Envied Women (1985), Privilege (1991), and Murder and Murder (1996).

"Yvonne Rainer is a pivotal figure in the history of 20th-century American art. Credited with inventing the term “post-modern dance,” she was among its leading thinker–practitioners from the early 1960's until 1975 when she stopped performing. Since the mid–1970s, at a crucial point in the development of feminist filmmaking, she has been one of its leading innovators, opening up feminist film to alternative possibilities, and forging a new film language at the juncture of aesthetics and politics." — Claire MacDonald, Performance Research, 2001

About the Screening Room series

In the early 1970s a group of idealistic artists, lawyers, doctors and teachers saw an opportunity to change commercial television in Boston and the surrounding area. It would require years of litigation up to and including the Supreme Court, but the case was won and the Channel 5 license was given to WCVB-TV. Screening Room was one of several programs offered in an effort to provide alternative television viewing. The idea behind Screening Room was to give independent filmmakers an opportunity to discuss their work and show it to a large urban audience. Nearly 100 ninety-minute programs were produced and aired between 1973 and 1980.

Screening Room was developed and hosted by filmmaker Robert Gardner, who at the time, was Director of Harvard's Visual Arts Center and Chairman of its Visual and Environmental Studies Department. His own films include Dead Birds (1964), and Forest of Bliss (1986).

Other films from the Screening Room series
Bruce Baillie
Les Blank
Robert Breer
James Broughton
Emile de Antonio
Ed Emshwiller
Hollis Frampton
Robert Fulton
George Griffin
Hillary Harris
John & Faith Hubley
Peter Hutton
Derek Lamb
Standish Lawder & Stanley Cavell
Ricky Leacock
Caroline Leaf & Mary Beams
Jan Lenica
Alan Lomax
Jonas Mekas
Suzan Pitt
Richard P. Rogers
Jean Rouch
Michael Snow
John Whitney Sr.

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Supported By Massachusetts Cultural Council National Endowment for the Humanities National Endowment for the Arts