Novelist and critic Lynne Tillman joins Yvonne Rainer in a far-reaching discussion of her work as a filmmaker.
When she completed her first feature in 1972, Yvonne Rainer, a founding member of the avant-garde Judson Dance Theater, was already established as a key choreographer of her generation; her contributions to filmmaking, surveyed in this comprehensive retrospective, would prove just as radical. Rainer’s cinema signaled new possibilities for film language, retooling narrative generally and melodrama specifically with a disjunctive audiovisual syntax, restless political intelligence, deft appropriation, and deadpan wit. Here questions of form raise, rather than diminish, the emotional stakes. “I remember that movie,” reads an intertitle from Lives of Performers, echoed across Rainer’s filmography: “It’s about all these small betrayals, isn’t it?” Complementing the lineup, as context and counterpoint, are works that feature Rainer as subject or actor, as well as those that influenced her and selections from her fellow travelers in the burgeoning feminist film movement of the 1970s.
The Film Society of Lincoln Center is devoted to supporting the art and elevating the craft of cinema. The only branch of the world-renowned arts complex Lincoln Center to shine a light on the everlasting yet evolving importance of the moving image, this nonprofit organization was founded in 1969 to celebrate American and international film. Via year-round programming and discussions; its annual New York Film Festival; and its publications, including Film Comment, the U.S.’s premier magazine about films and film culture, the Film Society endeavors to make the discussion and appreciation of cinema accessible to a broader audience, as well as to ensure that it will remain an essential art form for years to come.
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