Tag Archives: press

Contractions / Brooklyn Rail / Dispatches from True/False

Celebrating international nonfiction in Columbia, Missouri.


By Edward Frumkin

“What is the responsibility for a film festival during the oppression of Palestinians in Israeli-controlled Gaza and the efforts of various liberation movements in countries like Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Senegal? Should film festivals even occur? There are ever-evolving questions that cause me to be skeptical about the politics and rationale to cover influential fests like IDFA, Sundance, and Berlinale when they play both sides in their statements: remaining damn near silent or criminalizing artists stating their solidarity with Palestine and not abiding by the inimical IHRA definition of anti-semitism (meaning any critiques of Zionism) respectfully. On February 23, the True/False Film Festival in liberal Columbia, Missouri, demanded an immediate ceasefire with a pro-Palestinian stance and recognized Palestinians’s multi-generational fight for their emancipation. The demand offered many first time and veteran attendees a haven to form a political alliance with the fest’s ideology and use their playfulness in creative nonfiction as social activism, as the six-thousand-plus signatory coalition—Film Workers for Palestine—held the banner “Ceasefire Now” at the fest’s annual March March.

True/False puts their money in their mouth with their words as they amplified Yousef Srouji’s Three Promises (2023) as the True/Life Fund recipient. His hour-long documentary is an extension of his eponymous 2022 short. The director’s mother, Suha, captures home videos of her family life, her spouse Ramzi, Yousef, and his sibling Dima in Palestine during the early 2000s. The Second Intifada emerges at this time to combat the Nakba dispossession of Palestinians, and Suha’s intimate cinematography grounds us with the family at their several homes as we hear bombs and gunshots miles away. Yousef spreads his family’s archival catalog in non-chronological order, as the trauma caused by the violence prevents him from thinking linearly. Yet, the narrative choice evokes the ever-lasting feeling of belonging among his Christian family as they celebrate Christmas and he lives out his childhood. Three Promises is a cathartic, healful endurance against the ongoing genocide in Palestine. With True/Life’s attentive lens in recognizing the vividness of Suha’s DV footage, they will send the proceeds to the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund and towards Yousef’s efforts in manufacturing a sustainable digital archive for home videos made in Palestine, thus preserving the country’s history, as the Israeli military has already destroyed many of Al Jazeera’s archives to date.

Deracination is a common theme that permeates this year’s six world premiere features (nearly all directorial debuts) at True/False, such as what it means to be an artist in gentrified NYC in Elizabeth Nichols’s lyrically punk Flying Lessons (2024), as well as filmmaker Rachel Elizabeth Seed finding her matriarchal lineage through her mothers’ images in her riveting A Photographic Memory (2024). The one that holds me dearly is Emily Mkrtichian’s There Was, There Was Not (2024). Named after an Armenian aphorism, it analyzes the makeup of the Republic of Artsakh through Judo champion Sose, minesweeper Sveta, politician Siranush, and women’s center owner Gayane. In 2018, the territory celebrated thirty years of peace following a war between Armenia and Azerbaijan, but the homelands were demolished in 2023. To honor the characters’ joy and resistance, Mkrtichian negotiates how much outsiders should know about violence in the little-known Artsakh through text. However, the context felt out of place as most of the text happens in the second half with little room for character growth. Though she could have condensed some of the history, Mkritichian’s intimate compositions on holding onto her protagonists during griefful moments redirect the structure of There Was, There Was Not. Therefore, the film is an observational heart pounder that explores the acts of preservation, mourning, and displacement.

Another True/False selection that mirrors its philosophy of finding new visual grammar with political sensibilities is João Pedro Bim’s Behind Closed Doors (2023). The all-archival doc follows a revelation of a 1968 previously-obscured audio recording of Brazil’s National Security Council enacting the Institutional Act. No. 5. The act suspended many civil rights, including habeas corpus, and was written after the 1964 Brazil coup d’état. His tethering of archival, nationalist images, and sounds (predominantly a record scratch) elicits outrage, revolt, and power to the people. His overlay of clips theorizes the normality of propaganda and shows how media mediates the spread of totalitarianism to the public. The strength of the people is what feared the council and unspooled regression to ensure hierarchical control in today’s Brazil. It is a Godardian essay on the banality of evil and a catastrophic shutdown of democracy. The film’s structure also speaks to the daring spirit of its next festival appearance in NYC’s First Look Film Festival (along with the aforementioned Flying Lessons) at the Museum of the Moving Image for conveying a contemporary message from past media sources.

Shorts at True/False are never to be underestimated for their ingenious experimentations. They are provocations instead of proof of concepts for potential feature-length adaptations. The Pope of Trash, John Waters, will likely perceive Evan Gareth Hoffman as a disciple of garbage cinema with his archival short Nortel (2024). Hoffman shared with the crowd that he agglomerates the “trashiest options” available (silly promotional materials, reality TV clips, “shoplifting TikToks,” skincare social media enthusiasts, reverb voiceover, etc.) to examine the eponymous corporation and its CEO Frank Dunn’s rise and decimation after they constructed literal flying cars in the 1960s. Hoffman undercuts them with a hilarious soundtrack (consisting of songs like Black Eyed Peas’s “I Gotta Feeling” and Taylor Swift’s “You’re On Your Own, Kid”) juxtaposing with Dunn’s doom. In what one might consider a narrative Rick and Morty “Interdimensional Cable” episode, Hoffman goes outside the box with the concept of sponsored content by finding the incongruity and the goad in publicity campaigns. Commercials aren’t just documents in Hoffman’s palms but also a radicalization and a search for truth in the digitalized age.

Filmic poet Lynne Sachs cranks in a new short with Contractions (2024), surprisingly her first work at the twenty-one-year-old fest after her heavy output of films like the poetic short Swerve (2022) and personal feature Film About a Father Who (2020). Shot on the first anniversary of the reversal of Roe v. Wade on June 24, 2023, in Sachs’s hometown, Memphis, a driver named Jane and gynecologist Dr. Kimberly Looney narrate the intense experiences of getting people abortions in states with legal facilities (Illinois, for example). We see opaque pairs of pregnant people and their escorts (all actors) line up and slowly enter the building. The cast’s gestures enact trauma, nerves, and capriciousness in doing something once legally acceptable that is now the opposite. They carry a history where their reproduction rights are currently in paralysis.

Motifs of open and closed spaces once liberating for pregnant people are refined into barriers that prevent them from fulfilling their wishes. Due to the fact they made the film in Tennessee, a place where they could get arrested, Sachs and her producers, Emily Berisso and Laura Goodman, said in their Q&A that they enlisted security to protect them from prosecution, which elevates Sach’s heedful balance of spreading enough sobbing information and protecting her sources simultaneously. Unbeknownst to the rest of the team, Berisso assembled thirteen additional volunteer marshals and a medic in this labor of love. Recalling the ending of BlacKKKlansman (2018), snippets of the blue sky become black and white as we head into the upside down.”

Women on the Verge Exhibition of Artists Affiliated with the29.art / Lynne Sachs

March 6 – March 23, 2024


Opening Reception: Wednesday, March 6, 2024 6pm – 8pm
Note: The Westbeth Gallery will open at 6pm on that day.

Westbeth Gallery
55 Bethune Street, NY, NY
Gallery hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 1-6 pm and by appointment

Westbeth Gallery is pleased to present Women on the Verge, a group exhibition of artists affiliated with the29.art, a digital platform seeking to create opportunities for self-identified women working in the arts. It is a group of more than twenty-nine well-established, mid-career, and emerging artists, diverse in practice, medium, age, ethnicity, and background.

The exhibition is curated by Kathy Brew and features films, art, poetry, and performances by the following artists:

Kathy Brew
Yoshiko Chuma
Martha Edelheit
Michelle Handelman
Julia Heyward
jennifer jazz
Pamela Lawton
Stefani Mar
Aline Mare
Lucia Maria Minervini
Helen Oji
Janet Panetta
Jeanne Quinn
Melinda Ring
Felice Rosser
Lynne Sachs
Susan Salinger
MM Serra
Shelly Silver
Pamela Sneed
Lila Zemborain

Brooklyn Poets Book Launch: Rachel Edelman with Lynne Sachs and Diane Exavier


Saturday, February 17, 2024
7:00 PM  9:00 PM
Brooklyn Poets, 144 Montague StreetBrooklyn, NY, 11201

Join us for the launch of poet Rachel Edelman’s new collection of poems, Dear Memphis, on Saturday, February 17, at 144 Montague St and via Zoom! Doors will open for a wine reception for in-person guests at 6 PM and readings will begin at 7 PM. Lynne Sachs and Diane Exavier will open for Edelman. Book signing to follow.

Note that by attending this event, you agree to abide by our code of conduct and COVID-19 policy below. Effective January 8, 2024, all event attendees except readers at a safe distance on stage are required to wear masks due to the current rise in cases in NYC. Our full policy can be found at the end of the event description. Brooklyn Poets reserves the right to dismiss from our programs any participant found to be in violation of these policies. Thank you for respecting our community.

About Dear Memphis

“What do I know of exile?” asks the speaker in Dear Memphis, standing inside the colliding geographies and intimate economies of the American South. Offering a direct address to the city where the poet grew up, this collection explores the displacement and belonging of a Jewish family in Memphis, Tennessee, alongside their histories of community and environment. The simultaneous richness and spareness of Edelman’s poems sing with their attention to the particular body and what it cannot carry, what it cannot put down. Through letters, visual art, city documents, and dialogue, Dear Memphis excavates ancestry, inheritance and the ecological possibility of imagining a future.

About the Author

Rachel Edelman is a Jewish poet raised in Memphis, Tennessee, who writes into diasporic living. Dear Memphis, published by River River Books, is their debut collection of poems. Her poems have appeared in Narrative, the Seventh Wave, the Threepenny Review, West Branch and many other journals. They have received material support from City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, the Academy of American Poets, Mineral School, Crosstown Arts, and Tin House, and finalist commendations from the Adrienne Rich Award, the Pink Poetry Prize, and the National Poetry Series. Edelman earned a BA in English and geology from Amherst College and an MFA in poetry from the University of Washington. She teaches language arts in the Seattle Public Schools, where embodiment and care root her personal, poetic and pedagogical practice. 

About the Opening Acts

Lynne Sachs is a filmmaker and poet who grew up in Memphis and lives in Brooklyn, New York. Over the last four decades, she has created cinematic works that defy genre through the use of hybrid forms and cross-disciplinary collaboration, incorporating elements of documentary, performance, and collage. Her films and poems explore the intricate relationship between personal observations and broader historical experiences, often from a personal, self-reflexive point of view. With each film, Sachs investigates the implicit connection between the body, the camera and the materiality of film itself. Her early works on celluloid offer a feminist approach to the creation of images and writing— a commitment which has grounded her vision ever since. Early in her career, Lynne returned to her hometown to make Sermons and Sacred Pictures (1989), a documentary on the life and work of Reverend L.O. Taylor, an African American minister and filmmaker from Memphis. Lynne’s films have screened at the Museum of Modern Art, the New York Film Festival, and Sundance. Retrospectives of her work have been presented at the Museum of the Moving Image, Sheffield Doc/Fest, Buenos Aires International Festival, Festival International de Havana, and China Women’s Film Festival.

Diane Exavier is a writer, theatermaker and educator working at the intersection of performance and poetry. She is author of the poetry collection The Math of Saint Felix and the chapbook Teaches of Peaches. Diane concerns herself with what she recognizes as the 4 L’s: love, loss, legacy and land. Her work has been presented with the New Group, BRIC Arts, Bowery Poetry Club, Dixon Place and more. She has been commissioned for new play development by the Sloan Foundation, the New Group, and Lucille Lortel Theatre. Most recently, Diane coedited the 2023 new critical edition of Jean Toomer’s Cane. A 2021 Jerome Foundation finalist, Diane lives and works in Brooklyn.


still from Tiff Rekem’s Declarations of Love


Watch a conversation with the filmmakers below.

In these four distinct experimental documentaries, each artist takes us on a journey of introspection, embracing an inventive cinematic language that sparks us into thinking about the fragility of our place on this earth. In each film, we are given a new context by which to grapple with the delicacy of the mind, the body and the image.

In “The Whelming Sea”, Sean Hanley shares a side of New York City that most of us have never seen. With tenderness and insight, he unveils the wild adventure of the horseshoe crab as it lands on the beaches of New York City, one of the largest metropolises in the United States. With our climate as overwhelmed as it is, this could be a very distressing migration story, but somehow these animals survive.

Tiff Rekem’s “Declarations of Love” witnesses the filmmaker’s father struggling in his own sardonic way to survive modern life. Hardly daunted by the encroaching fires broiling within view of his comfortable desert home, he mows the lawn, feeds his turtle and deals with the intricacies of a befuddled customer service caller. He can’t be too lonely; his daughter is there, behind the camera, giving him all
the permissions he needs to simply be himself.

Artist rebecca shapass brings us into a dystopic cosmos that is both familiar and other-worldly in her film “no more room in hell”. Inhabited by zombies rather than people or animals, this liminal nocturnal space never truly witnesses the light of day. Inside a decaying industrial cityscape, we are thrown into the spirit of a late 1960s George Romero horror film through the trajectory of a driverless car. Together, these disparate milieus propel us into thinking about our propensity to go as fast as we can toward oblivion.

In Erica Sheu’s cine-poem “Grandmother’s Scissors” we find an intimate silent conversation built around the exchange of images and lines of poetic text shared by a grand-daughter filmmaker with her seamstress grandmother. Ingeniously constructed like a filmic tapestry, Sheu’s celebration of her elder gives voice to a woman who knows that strength come to us all by way of a “strong heart” and a bold,
confident vision.

The Whelming Sea by Sean Hanley (29 mins, color, sound, 2020)

Declarations of Love by Tiff Rekem (29 min. color, sound, 2022)

no more room in hell by rebecca shapass (23 min., color, sound, 2023)

Grandma’s Scissors by Erica Sheu (6 min, Super 8, color & b/w, silent, 2021

Watch the four films here: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/lynnesachscurated

Read more via PDF here.

no more room in hell by rebecca shapass

Lynne Sachs’ Citizen Second Class awarded NYSCA Support for Artists grant / Light Work – Urban Video Project

Lynne Sachs Awarded a New York State Council on the Arts Support for Artists Grant.

Brooklyn, NY – Lynne Sachs received a Support for Artists grant
from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) to support her creative
work. Sponsored by Urban Video Project, this award will fund Citizen Second Class.
Through New York State’s continued investment in arts and culture, NYSCA has
awarded over $80 million since Spring 2023 to over 1,500 artists and organizations
across the state.

Governor Kathy Hochul said, “Research confirms what we’ve always known here in
New York: arts and culture are a powerhouse, with a staggering return on investment
for our economy and our communities. Nonprofit arts and culture organizations and their
audiences generated $151.7 billion in economic activity nationwide in 2022 and New
York’s unparalleled arts and culture sector is leading the way to benefit our residents,
our students and our visitors every day. I commend these grantees on their
achievements and look forward to their contributions in the coming year.”
NYSCA Chair Katherine Nicholls added, “Thanks to the unwavering support of
Governor Hochul and our Legislature, NYSCA is so proud to support the work of
organizations and artists from all across New York. Spanning the entire breadth of the
arts and culture sector – from world-renowned performers to after-school programs,
from long established museums to community arts collectives – these organizations and
artists together are a powerful driver of health, tourism, economy and education for our
residents and visitors. On behalf of Council and staff, congratulations to Lynne Sachs and thank you for your perseverance, your creativity and your tireless service to
New York State.”

About the New York State Council on the Arts
The mission of the New York State Council on the Arts is to foster and advance the full
breadth of New York State’s arts, culture, and creativity for all. To support the ongoing
recovery of the arts across New York State, the Council on the Arts will award $127
million in FY 2024. The Council on the Arts further advances New York’s creative
culture by convening leaders in the field and providing organizational and professional
development opportunities and informational resources. Created by Governor Nelson
Rockefeller in 1960 and continued with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the
New York State Legislature, the Council is an agency that is part of the Executive

Lynne’s Project: Citizen Second Class

Almost 200 years ago,  a group of Central New York women gathered together to voice their opposition to the fact that women in the United States had no legal identity separate from their husbands, were unable to sign contracts, vote, own property, obtain access to education, or gain custody of their children after divorce.  Ever since those pivotal conversations were held at the first women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York in 1848, women have been slowly but surely claiming their place in society in terms of their ability to make their own decisions about their own lives.  This sense of progress came to an abrupt ending on June 24, 2022, when the U.S. Supreme Court made a landmark decision which held that the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion.  Throughout the country, women were told that they no longer had control of their own bodies.

I come to the topic of abortion fully aware of its volatile place in our country’s story. Tensions between the role of the state and bodily freedom go back to the very earliest days of our nation’s history.  Just as the 1619 Project  reignited the conversation around race and the pivotal place of slavery in this country’s narrative in 2020, newly charged debates around the legality of abortion force us to recognize the precarious relationship that women in this country have to their own bodies.

With the support of Light Work through their Urban Video Project, I will create “Citizen Second Class”, a 15-minute film and two associated live performances which will bring people with uteruses and their allies together in an area of New York State that has long been known as a hotbed for feminist outrage and action.  In collaboration with a range of organizations from Syracuse and neighboring towns, I will work with approximately 20 experienced and emerging artists as well as other interested participants.  I will produce, photograph and record movements, gestures and spoken word poetry that emerge from our discussions around this disturbing and far-reaching shift in American society.  Each of us will come to this moment as a witness to a problematic moment in our collective history.

My creative process for “Citizen Second Class” will include connecting with organizations such as the Syracuse Community Choir and Sankofa Reproductive Health and Healing Center as well as student, art, religious, and activist groups in the area.  In addition, as part of my research, I plan to reach out to Syracuse-based artists and performers, including poet and chant performance artist Amarachi Attamah, as well as Syracuse performance and conceptual artist Sayward Schoonmaker, whose recent piece “Majority Opinion (Presented from the Majority Perspective)” uses the Supreme Court’s Majority Opinion from the Dobbs case as source material for a verbatim documentary performance.

On June 24, 2023, the one-year anniversary of the Dobbs decision, I returned to my own hometown of Memphis, Tennessee to produce one section of a collaborative film project about abortion clinics across the country closing their doors in the wake of the overturning of Roe v Wade. In “Citizen Second Class”, I will further develop the aesthetic experimentation I began in this collaborative project. I am including five images from this project in my proposal. In Syracuse, I will photograph all of the participants either from behind, out-of-focus or in silhouette, which will allow them to express their responses to the issues we are exploring in a more physical, less traditionally “dramatic” form. There will be no faces in this film. In this way, our participants – whether they are new to this kind of improvisational work or veterans from the stage or screen –  will work quasi-anonymously, as  performers articulating a collective yet diverse point-of-view.

During my residency in Syracuse, I will also draw from my experience as a poet and a filmmaker with years of experience working with groups in both of these art forms, most recently at the Flowchart Foundation and the Poetry Society of America (both in New York State). I will ask my performers/ participants to write short texts that we will then shape into song. By working with local choral groups, we will bring these words into the film as a whole, emphasizing the sensation of “a loud whisper” which will allow listeners to hear distinctive articulations as well as a collective, musical breath.  In this context, I would very much like to bring in internationally recognized singers Pamela Z and Josephine Foster (either in person or through video conference) to help us expand our relationship to the musical potential of voice and text. I believe that the vocal nature of this work will result in an aural experience that will be extremely moving for spectators (passers-by or attentive viewers) watching the film outside the Everson Museum.

My own interdisciplinary engagement with film and live performance includes two distinct projects created in New York City. In “Your Day is My Night” (2011 -2013), I blended autobiographical monologues, intimate conversations, and staged performances to explore the lives of Chinese immigrants sharing a “shift-bed” apartment in the heart of Chinatown. Working with seven performers over two years, we presented our piece in theaters and community centers in Manhattan and Brooklyn.  In “Every Fold Matters” (a live performance with film presented from 2015 -2018) and later “The Washing Society” (a 45 min. film, 2018), I explored the charged, intimate space of the neighborhood laundromat by bringing together the people who work there with professional actors. Both of these projects are included as work samples in this proposal.

The final version of “Citizen Second Class” will be a film and two live performances. I will direct both the film and the live component of this project. The film itself will be exhibited over three to four months during the 2024-25 program year as part of the Urban Video Project’s on-going architectural projection program.  The two performances will also occur outside the museum in conjunction with the film screening.

A few weeks ago, I shot outside a former abortion clinic in Tennessee, one of the states in the US where abortion is no longer legal for ANY reason. I’ve been making films for three decades.  I do not exaggerate when I say that this was probably the riskiest, most vulnerable film shoot I have ever directed.  We had sixteen participants : 12 young women of child-bearing age, one older woman and two men.    Everyone knew that it was potentially dangerous to make a film about abortion outside a building where these services had once been available but now are not.  I did not tell my participants where we would be shooting until two days before our production date. We had several volunteer marshals to help with security, waiting in their cars or behind windows in nearby buildings in case anything happened. As precarious as we all felt at the time, standing in the scorching summer heat in medical gowns performing before a large camera, we were all excited, nervous and absolutely committed.  While the stakes are not as precarious in New York, the issues resonate just as much. In Syracuse at the Everson Museum, I will work on these same issues, recognizing the long activist history of the region but also finding new ways to address the disturbing expansion of state control on women and their bodies.

Lynne Sachs included in Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive / Online Archive of California


Collection Guide

Collection Title: Sachs (Lynne) Collection
Collection Number: PFA.MSS.017  
Get Items:  Contact UC Berkeley::Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Collection Overview

Description: The collection represents the work of experimental documentary filmmaker Lynne Sachs, who has worked primarily in the San Francisco Bay Area and New York City since the 1980s. Included are articles and film screening notes about Sachs and her films; essays and other writings by Sachs; correspondence with other filmmakers including Barbara Hammer and Sylvia Schedelbauer; as well as still images and artist’s statements from each of the videos included in the original donation.

Background: Lynne Sachs is a New York-based filmmaker whose work combines experimental and documentary film traditions with a strongly feminist perspective. She has produced over 40 films as well as many performances and installation works, and publishes essays and poetry as extensions of her visual arts practice. Her films have screened at prestigious institutions and festivals worldwide and won numerous awards, including the 2020 Grand Prize at the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen for a film made together with fellow experimental filmmaker Barbara Hammer. Sachs began making films in San Francisco while attending San Francisco State University and the San Francisco Art Institute, drawing inspiration from and collaborating with many filmmakers including Bruce Conner, George Kuchar, Gunvor Nelson, Carolee Schneemann, and Trinh T. Min-ha. Sachs has also taught filmmaking at New York University, Hunter College, and the University of California, Berkeley, among other institutions.

Extent: 2.5 cartons Generally printouts and photocopies of flyers, essays, correspondence, and press clippings.

Availability: The collection is open for research in person in the BAMPFA Film Library and Study Center. Remote access to digital files in the collection is not currently possible, pending arrangements with the donor. Please contact the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive Film Library and Study Center for details.

Screen Slate Best Movies of 2023: First Viewings & Discoveries and Individual Ballots – Andrea Torres / Carolee, Barbara & Gunvor

Each year Screen Slate invites our dozens of contributors—along with filmmakers, critics, performers, programmers, cinema workers, community organizers, and other friends—to submit their lists of favorite “First Viewings and Discoveries.”

Some of the many special guests this year include Isabelle Huppert, Wim Wenders, Illeana Douglas, Paul Schrader, Isabel Sandoval, John Wilson, Mets director John DeMarsico, Elsie Fisher, Michael Almereyda, Lila Avilés, Radu Jude, and several filmmakers whose work appears in our top 20, such as Frederick Wiseman (Menus-Plaisirs – Les Troisgros), Ira Sachs (Passages), Claire Simon (Our Body), Daniel Goldhaber (How to Blow Up a Pipeline), and Samy Burch (screenwriter, May December).
Responses appear below in the format they were submitted, along with individual “Best of 2023” ballots if submitted.

For the aggregated Best of 2023 list tabulated from these responses, visit here, and see also Amy Taubin’s Top Ten, pulled from the December issue of Artforum.
Our annual end-of-year poll is guest edited by Nicolas Rapold. Art: Steak Mtn. Editorial assistance: Lauren Lee.

Much gratitude to our community for the responses, and look forward to seeing you at the movies in 2024!



  • Mädchen in Uniform (Leontine Sagan, 1931)
  • With Beauty and Sorrow (Masahiro Shinoda, 1965)
  • Vampyres (José Ramón Larraz, 1974)
  • Caged Heat (Jonathan Demme, 1974)
  • A Question of Love (Jerry Thorpe, 1978)
  • A Woman Like Eve (Nouchka van Brakel, 1979)
  • Simone Barbes or Virtue (Marie-Claude Treilhou, 1980)
  • The Mark of Lilith (Bruna Fionda, Polly Gladwin, Zach Mack-Nataf, 1986)
  • The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love (Maria Maggenti, 1995)
  • MURDER and murder (Yvonne Rainer, 1996)
  • Carolee, Barbara & Gunvor (Lynne Sachs, 2018)

A selection of these films and more will screen at Film Forum in February 2024 as part of the two-week series, Sapph-O-Rama!, a celebration of the lesbian film canon and a survey of sapphic cinema through the last century. Programmed by Emily Greenberg and myself.

Filmform / Carolee, Barbara & Gunvor added to Swedish Film Archive


Lynne’s first film to be included in the Swedish Collection, Filmform. This film includes Gunvor Nelson who is one of the greatest Swedish experimental filmmakers.

“Gunvor Nelson is one of the most highly acclaimed filmmakers in classic American avant-garde film.
She grew up in Kristinehamn. (born 1931). Her mother was a teacher and her father was the owner and editor-in-chief of the local newspaper, Kristinehamns-Posten. On leaving school she studied at the University College of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm, but moved to the US and California in 1953 to study art and art history.

Nelson met her husband-to-be Robert Nelson when she was studying at the California School of Fine Arts (from 1961 onwards, the San Francisco Art Institute). Robert Nelson is one of the great humorists of the American avant-garde. The Nelsons were a vital part of the new film culture that evolved in the San Francisco area and they played a key role in one of America’s oldest and most respected film cooperatives, the Canyon Cinema.

Gunvor Nelson made her first two films together with Dorothy Wiley, wife of the artist William T. Wiley, who in turn made films with Robert Nelson. Gunvor Nelson and Dorothy Wiley’s debut Schmeerguntz (1966) is a humorous and grotesque feminist classic in which the everyday reality of a young mother is contrasted with the ideal of the American woman.

An uncompromising filmmaker, Nelson has a unique voice in experimental cinema. She regards her own works as “personal films”, a recurring element of which is the connection with her own life and experiences. The early films are based around the experiences of a younger woman, culminating in My Name Is Oona (1969), an expressive portrait of her daughter, and Moons Pool (1973), an existentially expressive underwater journey which centres on her own body.

With Trollstenen (‘The Magic Stone’, 1976), which centres on Nelson’s family and upbringing, she began a series of films about Kristinehamn and her family. Typically for Nelson, elements which are local and private fuse together with the general and universal. Nelson’s family and generational study Red Shift (1984), and her painfully sensitive portrayal of her dying mother in Time Being (1991) are regarded as the high points of her family and hometown productions.

Around this time (1983-1990) Nelson also made a total of five different collage films at Filmverkstan in Stockholm, works which give free rein to her own associations and her experimentation with animated images. These films are often regarded both as Nelson’s most demanding and most creative works.
Nelson moved back to Kristinehamn and Sweden in December 1992, a homecoming already hinted at in her rhythmically edited collage film Frame Line (1983). Having returned to Sweden she quickly moved on to digital video and was rediscovered in Swedish art circles, resulting in a number of awards and retrospectives both at home and abroad.

Gunvor Nelson has also influenced several generations of filmmakers in her role as a teacher, primarily at the San Francisco Art Institute (1970-1992).” -Filmform

Filmform (est. 1950) is dedicated to preservation, promotion and worldwide distribution of experimental film and video art. Constantly expanding, the distribution catalogue spans from 1924 to the present, including works by Sweden’s most prominent artists and filmmakers, available to rent for public screenings and exhibitions as well as for educational purposes.

Carolee, Barbara & Gunvor

From 2015 to 2017, Lynne Sachs visited with Carolee Schneemann, Barbara Hammer and Gunvor Nelson, three multi-faceted artists who have embraced the moving image throughout their lives. From Carolee’s 18th Century house in the woods of Upstate New York to Barbara’s West Village studio to Gunvor’s childhood village in Sweden, Lynne shoots film with each woman in the place where she finds grounding and spark.

“Oberhausen meets Paderborn” / The 14th Short Film Night

NOA, NOA and A MONTH OF SINGLE FRAMES screen at The 14th Short Film Night, Paderborn University


The city of Paderborn is ready to celebrate the highlights of international short film art when “Oberhausen meets Paderborn” opens its doors for an unforgettable short film night. The event will take place on Wednesday, 18 October at 8pm at Pollux by Cineplex (Westernstraße 34, 33098 Paderborn). Tickets are available online from Cineplex or directly at the box office.

The Short Film Night offers the opportunity to discover emerging talents and renowned filmmakers from all over the world. The programme includes new works by filmmakers such as Lynne Sachs from the USA and artists from Colombia as well as German and Austrian productions. The diverse selection reflects the global range of cinematic art and invites the audience to explore new perspectives and stories.

A special highlight of the event is the presentation of short films carefully selected by students of Paderborn University. Within a seminar, the students were able to experience the “69th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen” and have then put together a programme. These films are the result of passionate work and creative inspiration, covering a wide range of genres and narrative styles.

The 14th “Oberhausen meets Paderborn” Short Film Night is not only an opportunity to enjoy art and culture, but also a platform for filmmakers and the audience to exchange ideas and network. Film enthusiasts in particular will have the opportunity to see short films that are otherwise rarely seen on the internet or even on the big screen.

About “Oberhausen meets Paderborn

“Oberhausen meets Paderborn” is an annual short film night that presents the best short films from around the world. The event provides a platform for emerging filmmakers and established artists to present their work to a wide audience and celebrate the magic of short film.

Cinema & Kurbelkiste / Investigation of a Flame

Investigation of A Flame in cooperation with Theater Münster
Film discussion with filmmaker Lynne Sachs
Sun October 15, 2023 • 6:00 p.m.


Heaven, Hell, Happy Ending #2

In May 1968, the Catonsville Nine, a group of Catholic priests and laypeople who wanted to stop the Vietnam War, burned draft records. They used homemade napalm. They had previously stolen the files from a district military replacement office in broad daylight. For some it was a crime, for others it was civil disobedience. For the composer Leonard Bernstein, this action, which caused a lot of attention in the public and also in the Catholic Church, was an important impulse for his musical theater piece Mass. He was friends with Father Daniel Berrigan, who was sentenced to prison for this action.

The feminist filmmaker Lynne Sachs made a film about this action in 2001 and allowed the activists, but also employees of the authority, jurors and the public prosecutor to have their say: How do they see the action in retrospect?

She comes to Münster for the premiere of the film (with German subtitles) and speaks to Professor Dr. Oliver Tolmein after the screening about the film and the meaning and consequences of civil disobedience.

This is the second event in “Heaven, Hell, Happy Ending”, the new series that accompanies musical theater productions.

Lynne Sachs If Tomorrow were Peace from Lynne Sachs on Vimeo.

Photos from Münster