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Now Available on DVD: Elsa, VIS A VIS, Foreign Film Series, Unbound, Suburban Trilogy by Abigail Child

Posted April 29th, 2015 in Announcements, New Acquisitions, New DVDs, News / Events

We are pleased to announce that the following works from filmmaker Abigail Child are now available to purchase on DVD:

Elsa merdelamerdelamer + VIS A VIS:

Elsa merdelamerdelamer (2013 | 4 minutes | B&W | SOUND)

Digital. Abigail Child’s short, ELSA merdelamerdelamer, is a smoky, punky and sexy chapter in the collectively made Feminist bio-drama, MamaDada about the Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, avant-garde performance artist, sculptress and poet.

The Baroness travelled from Germany to Tennessee, New York to Paris, was lovers with William Carlos Williams and perhaps gave the famous urinal to Duchamp, whom she describes as her “cast-iron lover.” This brief excursion is inspired by an event that was lost in development where Man Ray and Duchamp made a film of the Baroness shaving her public hair.

VIS A VIS (2013 | 25 minutes | B&W | SOUND)

Edited digitally. “. . .The electric disparity and informing of sound to image is characteristic of so much of [Child’s] work . . .strong, sensuous, unexpected, fulfilling, courageous.”
– Mark McEllhatten NYFF 2013.

Inspired by Vertov’s Lullaby from the 1930s, as well as by Warhol’s Screen Test portraits and Frampton’s Manual of Arms from the 1960s, vis à vis constructs black and white portraits into a set of Romances, a notebook of sexualities: s/m, lesbian, gay, straight, solo. The piece celebrates friends and divergent (d)alliances. Out of the past comes a vision of the future as a set of erotic possibilities.

VIS A VIS voted best film of 2014, Oona Mosna Windsor Media City Film Festival in La Furia Umana, Italy.

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Foreign Film Series:

To and No Fro (2005 | 4.5 minutes | B&W | SOUND)

In collaboration with Monica de la Torre and Bunuel’s Women Without Love. Status and culture crack the mirror of family secrets, dreams, hauntings and wish-fulfillment in shifting and multiplying frames.

Mirror World (2006 | 12 minutes | COLOR | SOUND)

In collaboration with Gary Sullivan and Mehboob Khan’s AAN. A reshaping of Khan’s classic Bollywood feature, locating its narrative tropes against mistranslated subtitles. . . becoming “multi-lingual” in the maneuver. Formal play and poetic montage wrench causality to create a sub-version of class conflict and desire.

(If I Can Sing A Song About ) LIGATURE (2009 | 5 minutes | B&W | SOUND)

In collaboration with Nada Gordon and E. J. Bellocq’s classic photos. Subversive sexuality and the poignancy of desire and vulnerability. The women are visions, desirous, vulnerable, illusory; the illusionary nature manifests in traversing boundaries, expectations and ultimately physical bodies.

SALOMÉ (2014 | 20 minutes | B&W | SOUND)

In collaboration with Adeena Karasick and Charles Bryant#s Salome (1923). Child has layered and processed the images, recomposed the multiple strains of music and selected words and phrases to create a “succulent nexus”: fluid and strange. Music by Frank London.

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Unbound: Scenes from the Life of Mary Shelley (2012-13 | 70 minutes | COLOR | SOUND)

Music by Zeena Parkinsa. In Rome for a year at the American Academy, Child created imaginary home movies of scenes from the life of Mary and Percy Shelley. She was attracted to these authors – their life of poetry, politics and sexual invention – and inspired by my previous fictionalizing of home movies in Covert Action and The Future is Behind You. She worked with non-actors, the seasons and the extraordinary architecture and landscapes of Italy where the Shelleys were in exile for six of their eight years together.

The result is a feature film UNBOUND: gorgeous, emotional, creatively combining new technologies with cinematic language. Digressive, looped, unpredictable, symphonic UNBOUND is a poignant and deep exploration of women and creativity, focused on the teenage author of Frankenstein. The history of the Shelleys has drama, degradation, and scandal set within radicalized politics, sexual and class rebellion and the lives of working artists. Child’s deconstruction embodies the poetic primacy of memory as well as the with of techne: layered, diverted, delayed, reframed and remade.

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The Suburban Trilogy:

Cake and Steak (2004 | 21 minutes | COLOR | SOUND)

Cake and Steak excavates ‘girl training’ in the legacy of home movies and post-war American suburban culture. Constructed as a series of achronological ‘chapters’ in which Edenic images of adolescent twirlers, basement parties, and ‘dress-up’ are challenged by a sound montage composed of horror movie music, old TV shows, laugh tracks, and machine noise of our modern Arcadias, Cake and Steak is conceived for single-screen loop projections.

The Future is Behind You (2004 | 20 minutes | B&W | SOUND)

A fictional story composed from an anonymous family archive of 1930’s Europe with two sisters who play, race, fight, kiss and grow up together under the shadow of oncoming history. There are at lease 3 levels of research: 1) the home movie in which a family poses for the camera, preternaturally happy; 2) the historical moment which remains as text trace, undermining the image and serving as covert motive; 3) the development of gender identities – the innocent freedom of the edler transformed into socially bruised ‘bride,’ the irrepressibility of the younger moving from tomboy to awkward, diffident adult. At once biography & fiction, history & psychology, The Future is Behind You excavates gestures to get at the heart of narrative; it seeks a bridge between private and public histories.

Surf and Turf  (2008-11 | 32 minutes | COLOR | SOUND)

Contemporary ambiguities on the Jersey shore: the look is secular, the lifestyle capitalist, the religion orthodox. 40,000 Syrian Jews have moved into a landscape previously occupied by Irish, Italian and the quite different sect of Askenazi Jews. The “unmelted pot” of America’s small towns is set within memory and contemporary oppositions. What does it mean to have class in America? What does it mean to be Jewish? I think of conflicts between Israel and Palestine, Serbia and Bosnia, India and Pakistan: neighboring families and races split apart by religion. Extreme poverty enforces the tribal, while extreme wealth maintains it. Surf and Turf provides no easy answers but raises issues that have too long stayed behind closed doors: what do we say when we think no one is listening?

For more information and to buy these titles, click here!