USA, 1978, 24 minutes
Colour, Sound, Super-8
Vivienne Dick's arrival in 70s New York, landed her in the middle of the punk era. Fresh from Ireland and having no experience of making films, she signed up for a course and took up residence on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, right in the middle of a punk revolution. This first film uses eight rolls of Kodak sound Super-8 film to profile each woman in real time and without any editing. Each is captured on film in a screentest to which the camera is co-conspirator rather than voyeur, reacting as opposed to recording. The 'subjects' include Pat Place and Adele Bertei, former band members of the Contortions, as well as Lydia Lunch, singer, guitarist, film-star and punk doyenne who would also appear in later films. The women talk, read letters, play pinball, while the camera zooms in and out using oblique framing. Made in the second wave of New York avant-garde film, after the intense scrutiny of film by structuralist filmmakers, Dick's films use the 'every-dayness' of Super-8 with choppy hand-held shots and a home-movie style ethic, to explore the self-image and social politics of a diverse group of women in 1970s New York.
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