Yvonne Rainer Retrospective at CINEMATEK

The Man Who Envied Women (Yvonne Rainer, 1985)

From 27 April to 27 May, the platform for film and audiovisual arts, Courtisane, is presenting a retrospective of the works of Yvonne Rainer at CINEMATEK. They will be screening the seven feature films Yvonne Rainer made between 1972 and 1996 in a new 4K restoration.

Born in 1934, Yvonne Rainer helped define the contours of avant-garde dance in New York in the 1960s. Trained by Merce Cunningham, she helped found the Judson Dance Theater. Departing from the aesthetics of classical and modern dance in favour of a gestural approach to everyday life and alienation, as summed up in Rainers No Manifesto, her pieces were to have a major influence on the development of postmodern dance.

In the early 1970s, Yvonne Rainer abandoned dance and performance to devote herself to film. Her growing interest in feminist ideas and her involvement in the anti-Vietnam War protest movements turned her towards film, which offered her greater opportunities to deal with social and political issues, which she achieved through intelligent, well-considered editing and by breaking down the narrative structures of mainstream cinema in different ways. Rainer has made seven films, which she describes as “autobiographical fictions, untrue confessions, undermined narratives, mined documentaries, unscholarly dissertations, dialogic entertainments,” in which she examines power and class relations, gender relations, “female” subjects, sexuality, violence, (global) politics, and how they interact with each other.

More information here.

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