Dana Plays Volume I

Sale Format(s): DVD

This DVD compilation contains:

Don't Means Do (1984), 16mm, 8:55 min

"Part dramatic narrative, part improvisation, Don#t Means Do, explores the personalities of two
young girls, and someone they meet while out walking. It is a simple and genuine encounter, in
the light of a gentle afternoon between the moods of child and adult." - David Heintz

Cash Award, San Francisco Art Institute Film Festival

Humboldt State University, Women#s Film Festival
Ann Arbor Film Festival
San Francisco Cinematheque
No Nothing Cinema

Across the Border (1982), 16mm, 7:35 min

"The film is a collage of found footage, and documentary images, radio Spanish/English tracks and commentary by Philippe Bourgois, a Stanford Anthropologist trapped in an offensive by U.S -backed Salvadoran Military forces. The film's position against US intervention in the third world is stated in graphic visuals that employ techniques of optical printing and animation." -- David Heintz

"In Across the Border, filmmaker Dana Plays expresses her lifelong commitment to the culture of Latin America. More specifically, her film offers the viewer an unusual insight into the complex relationship between the people of El Salvador and the United States government. Completed in 1982, during a period in which many American artists were trying to convey their anger with their own country's politics. Across the Border transcends the conventions of social documentary as we have come to know it through public television. Instead, Plays manipulates visual elements that compose the image through coloring and fragmentation. She uses this process of deconstruction to lead to a greater understanding of those "man-made" constructs that are responsible for the oppression she has witnessed. But Plays' message is hardly dogmatic. The subtlety of her collage-like style suggests a very open message, giving the viewer the opportunity to enter the work as a thinking human being rather than a receptacle of one person's point of view. Dana Plays' personal involvement with the people of El Salvador follows in the tradition of a cross cultural awareness expressed by other women filmmakers such as Maya Deren (Haiti), Margaret Meed (Bali, New Guinea) and Chick Strand (Mexico)." -- Lynne Sachs

First Prize Experimental Santa Fe Winter Film Expo
Bronze Award, Houston International Film Festival,
First Prize Experimental Universiade International Film Festival
Cash Award, Ann Arbor Film Festival
Cash Award, San Francisco Art Institute Film Festival

Whitney Museum of American Art
Edinburgh International Film Festival
San Francisco Cinematheque
Women in the Director's Chair Festival
Baltimore International Film Festival
Anti-WW III Festival
SF Bay Area Showcase, SF International Film Festival,
Pushing the Margins, Women in Experimental Film, Salt Lake City Utah Women of the Americas Film Video East Meets West
A.T.A., Other Cinema
Women's Film Festival
Festival of International and Progressive Film and Video, U.C Theatre, Berkeley, California
Pacific Film Archive
KQED Frontal Exposure
WTTW Chicago

Via Rio (1986), 16mm, DVD, 8:02 min

"Via Rio is an ode to our human desire for relationship. The film tumbles through a series of
relationships woven around one woman's narration of her parents' marriage. This woman
(played by Lilian Mafra) is a fresh and fecund personality who relates the story of her mother's
infidelities while sitting naked and pregnant in a garden. Interspersed around this narrative are
a number of other scenes which feeds the complex nature of human interaction. Interaction that
is sometimes comic, sometimes lonely, but as the very pregnant Mafra indicates - inevitably part
of life." - Frances DeVuono

Ann Arbor Festival Cash Award and Tour
San Francisco Cinematheque. New Films
Koukosai Theater
Humboldt State Film Festival
Women's Film Festival
No Nothing Cinema
Pagoda Palace

Kongostraat (1987), 16mm, 11:40 min

"A diaristic view of parts of Paris, Belgium and Amsterdam. The Turkish family on their stoop, the
woman on the train with her two pit bulls and an admirer, interiors, exteriors, the views from the
train and the canals of the flat lands. Laid over are sound recorded at the same locations,
providing correlating fragments of conversations, that Plays says are on 'sidewalk life in Belgium
and narratives of a beating heart, of a fish whose eggs are poisonous to both the rich and poor.'
Here the recording properties of the camera and the microphone are the thing; people
alternatively appear to react to and ignore the camera. There are objects, events and locations -
it is left to the viewer's intuition to secure the story." - Stuart Cutlitz, Film Tape World

San Francisco Cinematheque

Shards (1986), 16mm

Fragments of scenes from disparate rituals, a Sundance ceremony at Crow Nation, collecting reed grasses, a man shaving, grilling, contrasting western and non-western culture, personal themes emerge suggested by glass breaking and leaves blowing. The film parallels fragmentation and fragility through explorations that question ideas of wholeness and reconstruction in the film form.

"Lightly processed field recordings fuse disparate strips of saturated 16mm film into an observational diary. The...scenes draw unexpected corollaries, limning film's possibilities as a momentary medium not bound to a monolithic narrative." - Jackson Scarlett

SF Art Institute Film Festival

Ann Arbor Film Festival Tour 1990
San Francisco Cinematheque
San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery
Peralta Television, Exploratoriam
Millennium Personal Cinema Series

Sibling Arrival (1986), 16mm, b&w, sound, 3:25 min

A coarse but intimate documentary of birth. The eight-year-old sibling is heard but not seen as
she watches and reacts to her brother being born.

No Nothing Cinema
S.F. State University

Silverfish (1980), 16mm, color, sound, 4:25 min

"Dana Plays leverages inversion techniques and optically printed compositing to recast footage of children playing into an ominous siren song of impending doom. A characteristically prominent
soundtrack of reversed chatter and focused tableaus of metal keys and chains creates an
incantatory air and pushes SILVERFISH into psychedelic territory." - Jackson Scarlett

Director's Choice, Sinking Creek Film Celebration
Cash Award, Ann Arbor Film Festival Tour

No Nothing Cinema
Mills College
San Francisco Art Institute
San Francisco State University

Grain Graphics (1978), 16mm, DVD, 5:00 min

"Another entirely structural film is Grain Graphics, which begins with two frames of a film strip, on above the other, occupying the middle of the screen, flanked by two vertical filmstrips with smaller frames. In grainy negative, a small number of figures interact in various ways in each of the frames. Gradually, as if the camera were drawing away, this pattern grows smaller and its units increase correspondingly in number, until at the end there appear to be hundreds of rectangles, all with figures busy in motion." -- Edgar Daniels, Filmmakers' Monthly

First Prize San Francisco Art Institute Film Festival
First Prize Poetry Film Festival
Cash Award, Sinking Creek Film Celebration

Cinematheque, Madison, Wisconsin
Out of the Past: Film Restoration Today UCLA Loyd Bridges Theater, Los Angeles, California
Nashville International Film and Video Festival
University Film Association National Conference, Austin Texas
NYU Experimental Film Workshop
Eye Gallery
Mills College
Philadelphia College of Art

Arrow Creek (1978), 16mm, color, sound, 6 min

Filmed on the Crow Indian reservation at Crow Agency, Montana, ARROW CREEK poetically
interweaves elements that creates metaphors on cultural themes through sound/image
juxtaposition (such as bull riding and the sound of a mass).

Honorable Mention, San Francisco Art Institute Film Festival

Capp Street Project
Souvenir Highway
Ann Arbor Film Festival
American Indian Film Festival
San Francisco Cinematheque
New York University

Sale Prices

  Individual Institution
DVD $50.00 $250.00

Purchase this Film