Yvonne Rainer's Film About A Woman Who


Location: Theatre Vanguard
9014 Melrose Avenue , Los Angeles, California 90069

Day: Various


Film About A Woman Who... is a multi-layered composite of images, text, music, and speech that deal with oppositions of emotional life set off against the appearances of everyday behavior. The story (of a passage across an unspecified length and order of time) is sustained by the intermittent narration of two off-screen voices (a man's and a woman's never clearly identified with the on-screen characters) that read, in the present tense, discreet paragraphs about the experiences of someone referred to only as 'she.' On screen two men and two women- in varying combinations and in a variety of indoor and outdoor locations - 'play out' the valences of their interdependencies in word and gesture, gaze and stillness in- to use Louise Brooks phrase- 'unhinged fragments of reality' further fragmented by distortions in speed, time, placement of optics, and bodily orientations. Correspondence between image and narration at any given moment runs a gamut between metaphoric cohesion and calculated incongruity. Subtitles and intertitles function as both counterpoint and connective tissue between sequences. The subjective, obsessive eye of the camera combined with the dry impersonal tone of the narration creates a constant flux of tension, absurdity, intense drama and pathos. This, Ms. Rainer's second feature-length film, reveals a growing virtuosity in the use of parataxic techniques to control and mold a content that in other contexts has been so overbearing. [Source: Theatre Vanguard Program Notes, 1975]