Tribute to Lynne Sachs Memorial work with Winnie the Pooh
by Jan-Philipp Kohlmann
The Oberhausen International Short Film Festival honors the feminist filmmaker and poet Lynne Sachs whose work questions the relationship between the body and the environment.
In 1998, the experimental filmmaker Barbara Hammer spends lonesome weeks in a dune shack in Cape Cod, a picturesque peninsula in southern Massachusetts. She keeps a diary and shoots playful 16mm footage of insects, grass and plastic bags in the wind – sometimes with a color filter, sometimes with the shower head running in front of the camera.
Twenty years later, when Hammer was sorting her estate, she left the material to her friend Lynne Sachs for the short film “A Month of Single Frames”. The film reflects the former filmmaker‘s attempts to inscribe her own presence with the camera onto the images of the landscape. As part of the Lynne Sachs retrospective at the 69th Oberhausen International Short Film Festival, this film now seems like a perfect introduction to her work: “A Month of Single Frames” is a homage to the influential colleague, who died in 2019 when the film was released, and at the same time sums up Sachs’s collaborative approach to filmmaking in a nutshell.
“Body of the Body, Body of the Mind”
“We’re not striving for perfection, and we will never replicate reality,” says Sachs about her own and Barbara Hammer’s cinematic ideas in an interview, shortly before she heads to the airport on her way to Germany for the festival. “Instead, we’re constantly looking for a way to present a subjectivity in relationship to reality.”
“A Month of Single Frames” won the Grand Prix of the City of Oberhausen in 2020, when the festival was one of the first to take place online due to the pandemic. This year, twelve intelligent and idiosyncratic short films by Sachs, created between 1986 and 2021, can be discovered in the Oberhausen program “Body of the Body, Body of the Mind”, curated by Cíntia Gil. The retrospective includes Sachs’s early feminist experimental films, several documentary essays from the series “I Am Not a War Photographer” and more recent works that deal with the problem of translation, among other things.
Found Footage Films and Fragmentary Essays
The latter include “The Task of the Translator” (2010), inspired by Walter Benjamin, as well as “Starfish Aorta Colossus” (2015), a film adaptation of a poem by the Filipino-American writer Paolo Javier. In addition, Sachs’s latest film “Swerve”, also a collaboration with Javier, is screened in the festival’s International Competition.
The Brooklyn-based director and poet, born in 1961 in Memphis, Tennessee, willingly references the influence of other artists on her work and relies on close collaborations. Rather than claiming individualist authorship, in our interview, Sachs mentions numerous people from her student years in San Francisco who influenced, trained, or worked with her, thus shaping her own aesthetics.
Her mentions include two especially formative figures in experimental filmmaking: the conceptual artist Bruce Conner, who introduced Sachs to working with found footage in an essayistic fashion; and the filmmaker and cultural studies scholar Trinh T. Minh-ha. With Minh-ha, Sachs shares the conviction of making one’s own position visible, most notably in documentary films set in different communities or cultural environments.
A specific technical aspect adapted from Minh-ha, Sachs explains, is to not use zoom lenses when shooting, making sure she has to approach the people in front of the camera and introduce herself. A film like “Which Way Is East: Notebooks from Vietnam” from 1994, for example, is therefore not an ethnographic travelogue, but a fragmentary sketch in which poetic impressions of everyday life, Vietnamese idioms and her own memories of US television reports on the Vietnam War stand side by side.
Another essay film, “The House of Science: a museum of false facts” can be regarded as the feminist core of the Oberhausen program. Sachs first presented the film in 1991, at her first trip to Oberhausen, and it’s only fitting that the retrospective’s title features a quote from it. A collage of patriarchal attributions about women’s bodies, “The House of Science” re-contextualizes educational films about menstruation, scenes from feature films, historical writings about the body features of sex workers and Sachs’s own diary entries about a consultation hour at a male doctor’s office.
Created under the impression of the theoretical writings on écriture féminine, this found footage masterpiece is much more than a document of early 1990s feminist zeitgeist. Sachs herself is convinced that contemporary feminist debates can tie in with “The House of Science”: “The film isn’t exclusively relevant for what we now call cis women, but it’s about inhabiting the feminine. I think it speaks about femininity in a more fluid sense.”
A Commemoration With Winnie the Pooh
For Sachs, personal documents – diary entries, home movies – are often the starting point for a cinematic search for clues. “The Last Happy Day” is the best and at the same time most curious example of this approach: when her younger brother, the fiction film director Ira Sachs (who presented “Passages” at this year’s Berlinale), appeared as Winnie the Pooh in a children’s play in the late 1970s, the Sachs siblings learned of the existence of a distant relative named Sándor Lénárd.
Sachs’s 2009 film chronicles the life of the Budapest-born Jewish doctor and writer, who escaped from Nazi persecution in Austria, worked for the US Army in Italy, and eventually completed a stunningly successful Latin translation of “Winnie the Pooh” in Brazil. With her own children and their friends as “Winnie the Pooh” performers in front of the camera, Sachs brings the unknown relative back into the family, adapting her collective approach not only to filmmaking, but also to a moving work of remembrance.
Lynne Sachs in Oberhausen
The 69th Oberhausen International Short Film Festival dedicates the three-part retrospective “Body of the Body, Body of the Mind” with a total of 12 films to the US director Lynne Sachs. The programs run on April 30th in the Gloria Cinema and on May 1st in the Lichtburg Cinema. In addition, her current short film ”Swerve” is presented in the International Competition of the festival. Twelve films by Lynne Sachs are available online on the platform of Doc Alliance (dafilms.com), the network of seven European documentary film festivals (1.50 to 2.50 euros per streaming).
An overview of the films of the New York pioneer of experimental documentary. Sachs’ films are inseparably linked to events of life, though they are resolutely non-biographical. Inspired by her poetry collection Year by Year Poems, the central “topos” of these programmes is the body (and the bodies „in-between“). The negotiation between the body of the body and the body of the mind leads from the Vietnam War to feminism to death.
Films in this Program
A Month of Single Frames Lynne Sachs USA, 2019
In 2018, Barbara began her own process of dying by revisiting her archive. She gave her Duneshack materials to Lynne. ‘The words on the screen came to me in a dream. I was really trying to figure out a way to talk to the experience of solitude that Barbara had had, how to be there with her somehow through the time that we would all share together watching her and the film.’
Noa, Noa Lynne Sachs USA, 2006
Over the course of three years, Sachs collaborated with her daughter Noa (from 5 to 8 years old), criss-crossing the wooded landscapes of Brooklyn with camera and costumes in hand. Noa’s grand finale is her own rendition of the bluegrass classic ‘Crawdad Song’.
Drift and Bough Lynne Sachs USA, 2014
A winter morning in a Central Park covered in snow. Graphic explosions of dark and light and an occasional skyscraper. The black lines of the trees against the whiteness become an emotional drawing. Stephen Vitielloʼs delicate yet soaring musical track seems to wind its way across the frozen ground, up the tree trunks to the sky.
Which Way is East: Notebooks from Vietnam Lynne Sachs USA, 1994
Lynne and her sister Dana travelled from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi. Their conversations with strangers and friends reveal to them the flip side of a shared history. Lynne and Dana’s travel diary revels in the sounds, proverbs, and images of daily life. Their film becomes a warm landscape that weaves together stories of people they met with their own childhood memories of the war on TV.
Lynne Sachs 2– [Another baby girl drops down]
Films in this Program
The House of Science: a museum of false facts Lynne Sachs USA, 1991
Combining home movies, personal remembrances, staged scenes and found footage into an intricate visual and aural collage, the film explores the representation of women and the construction of the feminine otherness. A girl’s sometimes difficult coming-of-age rituals are recast into a potent web for affirmation and growth.
Drawn and Quartered Lynne Sachs USA, 1986
Optically printed images of a man and a woman fragmented by a film frame that is divided into four distinct sections. An experiment in form/content relationships that are peculiar to the medium. A declaration of desire of and through cinema.
Maya at 24 Lynne Sachs USA, 2021
‘My daughterʼs name is Maya. Iʼve been told that the word maya means illusion in Hindu philosophy. I realized that her childhood was not something I could grasp but rather – like the wind – something I could feel tenderly brushing across my cheek.’ Lynne filmed Maya at ages 6, 16 and 24, running around her, in a circle – as if propelling herself in the same direction as time, forward.
A Biography Of Lilith Lynne Sachs USA, 1997
Off-beat narrative, collage and memoir, updating the creation myth by telling the story of the first woman. Lilith’s betrayal by Adam in Eden and subsequent vow of revenge is recast as a modern tale. Interweaving mystical texts from Jewish folklore with interviews, music and poetry, Sachs reclaims this cabalistic parable to frame her own role as a mother.
Lynne Sachs 3– [scars muscles curves of the spine]
Films in this Program
The Task of the Translator Lynne Sachs USA, 2010
Three studies of the human body compose an homage to Benjamin’s The Task of the Translator. Musings of a wartime doctor grappling with the task of a kind of cosmetic surgery for corpses. A group of classics scholars confronted with the task of translating an article on Iraqi burial rituals into Latin. A radio news report on human remains.
The X Y Chromosome Project Mark Street, Lynne Sachs USA, 2007
Sachs and her partner Mark Street use the split screen to cleave the primordial to the mediated. Their diptych structure transforms from a boxing match into a pas de deux. Newsreel footage brushes up against hand painted film, domestic spaces, and movie trailers. Together, Sachs and Street move from surface to depth and back again.
Starfish Aorta Colossus Lynne Sachs USA, 2015
Poetry watches film. Film reads poetry. Paolo Javier’s text is a catalyst for the digital sculpting of an 8 mm Kodachrome canvas. Syntactical ruptures and the celebration of nouns. Paolo Javier invited Lynne to create a film that would speak to one of his poems. She travels through 25 years of her 8 mm films.
The Last Happy Day Lynne Sachs USA, 2009
In 1938, Sandor Lenard, a Hungarian doctor, fled from the Nazis to Rome. Shortly thereafter, the U.S. Army hired him to reconstruct the bones of dead American soldiers. Eventually he moved to Brazil where he embarked on the translation of Winnie the Pooh into Latin. The film weaves together personal letters, abstracted war imagery, home movies, interviews, and a children’s performance.
BODY OF THE BODY, BODY OF THE MIND Lynne Sachs Artist Profile
69th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen Curator: Cíntia Gil
Program notes by Cíntia Gil:
The title of this retrospective quotes Lynne Sachs in her 1991 film “The House of Science: a museum of false facts”. It speaks of a zone of experimentation that crosses Sachs’ work and grounds filmmaking as a practice of dislocating words, gestures and modes of being into open ontologies. What can be a woman, a word, a color, a shade, a line, a rule or an object? The negotiation between the body of the body and the body of the mind is another way of saying that things exist both as affections and as processes of meaning, and that filmmaking is the art of not choosing sides in that equation. That is why Sachs’ work is inseparable from the events of life, while being resolutely non-biographical. It is a circular, dynamic practice of translation and reconnection of what appears to be separated.
There are many ways of approaching Lynne Sachs’ full body of work, and many different programmes would have been possible for this retrospective. Films resonate among each other. Like threads, themes link different times. Repetition and transformation are a constant obsession in the way images, places, people and ideas are revisited. While looking for an angle for this programme, I tried to look at some of the threads that seem to me the most constant, even if sometimes subterraneous, throughout the films. The three programmes are not systematically bound by themes or built around typologies. There are three different doors to the same arena where body (and the ‘in-between’ bodies) is the main ‘topos’: translation, collaboration, and inseparability of the affective and the political. Yet, none of these terms seems to truly speak of what’s at stake here.
Lynne Sachs knows about the disequilibrium that happens between words and concepts, and about the difference between the synchronicity of life and the linearity of discourse. She also knows that words can be both symptoms and demiurgic actors. That is maybe why she writes poems, and why this programme was inspired by her book, “Year By Year Poems”.
1975 [girls with fast lane dreams]
Teachers push us to the precipice –
trick us with conundrums we mistake for algorithms
catch us in a maelstrom of dizzying numbers.
Searching for the exit door
I discover quick methods for finding north –
solace in the gravitational pull of geography
and head for the first opening from a school
with too many ambitions
and girls with fast-lane dreams.
Talking about the making of “Which Way is East”, Lynne Sachs said: “the most interesting films are the ones that ask us to think about perception, that don’t just introduce new material.”. Both Lynne Sachs and her sister Dana, a writer, lived the Vietnam War through television – a middle-class childhood sometimes haunted by images of that war that seemed both far away and fundamental to their generation. When Dana moved to Vietnam in the early 1990s, Lynne visited for a month, and they made a film. The film begins with a sequence of movement shots, colors, fleeting forms, interrupted by a popular Vietnamese saying about a frog and the horizon. Three layers come together, predicting one of the strongest traits of Lynne’s work: the world seen through the rhythm of a moving body, and the dialogue between different modes of feeling and thinking. [Lynne’s childhood Vietnam War images were black and white, upside down; the Vietnam landscape in 1991 is crossed on a motorbike, and nature is motion and strangeness; “a frog sitting on the bottom of a well, thinks the whole sky is only as big as the lid of a pot”.]
A travelog in Vietnam became a dialogue of perceptive discoveries, glimpses of meaning and, most importantly, of the many ways of being just here and now, together, facing abysses that should not eat us alive. How to not be eaten alive by life’s infinite and sublime abysses?
Girls with fast-lane dreams is another way of referring to an impulse for joy.
Girls looking at girls, girls playing with girls, Lynne Sachs and Barbara Hammer collaborating on an impossible film. How to work on beauty, without monumentalizing it? How to work on death without freezing the life within? A kid once told me: “you have to pass it through the inside, and let it out through your smart eye”. Is that translation? Isn’t “A Month of Single Frames” the translation of a place and a body, the conditions of light seen through embodied solitude?
There is some kind of radical positioning of Lynne Sachs’ gaze (gaze is a pace and a gesture, and that is its politics): allowing things to unfold as they are, knowing that it is the very act of filming them that constitutes their becoming. Noa becomes play with light. Maya becomes time and unsurmountable individuality. Central Park becomes a porous membrane for the circulation between a musical movement and the event of an emotional form.
1997 [Another baby girl drops down]
(for my daughter, Noa)
Again, nine full moons leave bare
the dust against the sky.
Air fills up with brightness.
Another baby girl drops down.
Dice on a betting table
or rich, ripe fruit atop worn grass.
The political comes forward when things are dislocated from their assigned places, becoming eloquent. When a field of possibilities is problematized by different temporalities, different meanings attach to the same words. New symptoms (not symbols) emerge from the same myths. To the territorialization of body, Lynne Sachs responds with the unspeakable layers of desire, underpinning the history of the body. To the typification of identity, cinema responds with the history of gesture.
Feminism in Lynne Sachs’ work comes from an obsession with ontological fluidity – women as possibilities, bringing with them the memory of what has not been captured by politics, the promise of kinder political places. Such invention requires the deconstruction of the gaze, the transformation of language through the power of a thinking (collective) body. Collective as in-between, in circulation, in transition with others: the Lilliths who may or not become mothers in “A Biography of Lillith”, the enfolding body in “Drawn and Quartered”, the collage that renders old measures useless in “The House of Science: a museum of false facts”.
Materiality is a key aspect in this cinema, it sustains the emergence of a filmic gesture. The presence of things in their most concrete form, be it a birth, a hand helping to translate an idea, a splash of light on a face, the astonishment of a baby in front of a camera. Things occupy a certain space, move in a certain way, and their sensuality is never sublimated or forced into metaphors. It is their material presence that saves them from their assigned roles and chains of meaning, revealing their vitality as a principle for a political imagination.
Translation comes, then, as a movement between transmitted memory, embodied experience, affective vocabulary and the never-accomplished labor of form. Nothing stays determined within a field of possibilities, but the field itself is in a constant motion, resignifying every aspect, reconnecting every moment in time, every glimpse of an image. The work done around Sandor Lenard, a distant cousin, seems key to consider her full body of work. “The Task of the Translator”, presents three movements, three ways of looking for the body. It starts with the reassemblage of bones of dead American soldiers during WWII by Sandor Lenard, in a sequence that will come back in “The Last Happy Days”. Here, translation is both an effort to make sense of the materiality of time and history, and a question about the translatability of such. Like in “Which Way is East”, how can history be translated through the gestures of the present, of the living? Is the way the past escapes linearity and expresses its vitality?
The second movement in “The Task” shows a group of scholars translating an article on Iraqi burial rituals into Latin. Tentative words and articulations around a table, hands helping meaning through gestures. Is Latin a dead language? Sandor Lenard, after moving to Brazil, translated Winnie the Pooh into Latin. What paradox lies in the gesture of translating a children’s story into a dead language? Translation is a game of materiality, of dislocating the world into another regime of forms and movements. Allowing language to pass through the materiality of the present time. In “The Last Happy Day”, children tell the story of Sandor Lenard while rehearsing Winnie the Pooh. Translatability through bodies and gestures, vitality: one does not simply look at the past, but rather invents a dialogue of embodied time. In “The Task of the Translator”, suddenly the camera leaves the scholars and focuses on the drops of rain on a foggy window, and on the gestures of a hand, before we start hearing radio news about human remains after an attack.
Translation keeps all things alive at the same time – even the matter of death.
Born in Portugal, Cíntia Gil studied at the Escola Superior de Teatro e Cinema (Lisbon Theatre and Film School) and holds a degree in Philosophy from the Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto (Faculty of Arts and Humanities at the University of Porto). From 2012 to 2019, Cíntia Gil served as co-director and then director of Doclisboa – International Film Festival. From 2019 to 2021 she has directed Sheffield DocFest in England. In 2022, Cíntia started the programme of screenings and study groups “Artistic Differences”, at UnionDocs (NY), as a co-curator together with Jenny Miller and Christopher Allen. She is part of the programming team of Cannes Directors Fortnight.
Gil has curated a variety of contemporary and historical film series, retrospectives and exhibitions, besides publishing articles in various publications. In addition, she has taught seminars, lectures and workshop in different institutions (Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica in Mexico, EICTV in Cuba, HGK Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design in Germany among others), and she is a project tutor for the Master on Creative Documentary at the Pompeu Fabra University . She has also served on juries in international film festivals, such as Berlinale, Cairo Film Festival, Mar del Plata, Jerusalem Film Festival, Torino Film Festival, London Film Festival, IDFA, Taipei IDF, FidMarseille, Seville European Film Festival, DokuFest, Ficunam, DocsNYC, Guadalajara, among many others. She has been a member of the executive Board of Apordoc – Associação pelo Documentário, the Portuguese documentary film association since 2015.
 Lynne Sachs, “Year by Year Poems”, Tender Buttons Press, NY, 2019
 “Observe and Subvert”, interview by Inney Prakash for Metrograph, December 2021
 In “The House of Science: a museum of false facts”.
A Reality Between Words and Images: Films by Lynne Sachs
Admission starts at $5
Date October 27, 2022, 7pm
172 Classon Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11205 USA
Please join us at e-flux Screening Room on Thursday, October 27 at 7pm for A Reality Between Words and Images,a program of selected filmsby Lynne Sachs, and a post-screening conversation with Sachs and her collaborators Kristine Leschper and Kim Wilberforce.
In this screening we invite you to watch and discuss select works by Sachs that defy genre through the use of hybrid forms and cross-disciplinary collaboration, incorporating the essay film, collage, performance, documentary, and poetry. Sachs’ self-reflexive films explore the intricate relationship between personal observations and broader historical experiences. With each project, she investigates the implicit connection between the body, the camera, and the materiality of film itself searching for a reality between words and images.
The screening is part of Revisiting Feminist Moving Image, a series at e-flux Screening Room aimed at revisiting the origins, contexts, developments, and impact of feminist video art and experimental cinema around the world from the 1960s through today.
The House of Science: A Museum of False Facts(1991, 30 minutes) Offering a new feminized film form, The House of Science explores both art and science’s representation of women, combining home movies, personal remembrances, staged scenes and found footage into an intricate visual and aural collage. A girl’s sometimes difficult coming of age rituals are recast into a potent web for affirmation and growth.
Which Way Is East: Notebooks from Vietnam(1994, 33 minutes) When two American sisters travel north from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi, conversations with Vietnamese strangers and friends reveal to them the flip side of a shared history. “The film has a combination of qualities: compassion, acute observational skills, an understanding of history’s scope, and a critical ability to discern what’s missing from the textbooks and TV news.” (SF Bay Guardian)
Window Work(2000, 9 minutes) A woman drinks tea, washes a window, reads the paper—simple tasks that somehow suggest a kind of quiet mystery within and beyond the image. “A picture window that looks over a magically realistic garden ablaze in sunlight fills the entire frame. In front, a woman reclines while secret boxes filled with desires and memories, move around her as if coming directly out of the screen.” (Tate Modern)
The Task of the Translator (2010, 10 minutes) Sachs pays homage to Walter Benjamin’s “The Task of the Translator” (1923) through three studies of the human body. First, she listens to the musings of a wartime doctor grappling with the task of a kind-of cosmetic surgery for corpses. Second, she witnesses a group of Classics scholars confronted with the haunting yet whimsical task of translating a newspaper article on Iraqi burial rituals into Latin. And finally, she turns to a radio news report on human remains.
Carolee, Barbara & Gunvor(2018, 8 minutes) 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 eighteenth-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.
Figure and I(2021, 2 minutes) Singer-songwriter Kristine Leschper asked Lynne to create a film in response to her song “Figure and I.” Lynne immediately recognized that Kristine’s deeply rhythmic music called for some kind of somatic imagery. She needed to move with her body and her camera. Lynne then invited her friend Kim to be in the film and to interpret the song through her vibrant wardrobe and her precise, ecstatic clapping.
Accessibility –Two flights of stairs lead up to the building’s front entrance at 172 Classon Avenue. –For elevator access, please RSVP to email@example.com. The building has a freight elevator which leads into the e-flux office space. Entrance to the elevator is nearest to 180 Classon Ave (a garage door). We have a ramp for the steps within the space. –e-flux has an ADA-compliant bathroom. There are no steps between the event space and this bathroom.
IU Cinema September 24, 2022 1213 E. 7th Street, Bloomington, IN 47405 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM Free, but ticketed
Lynne Sachs explores the possibilities of a new creation
myth in A Biography of Lilith through a mixture of collage, mythology,
cabalistic parable, folklore, interviews, and memoir to provide a narrative of
the first woman and, perhaps, the first feminist. Situated on the margins of
both documentary and experimental narrative, the film spans Lilith’s betrayal
by Adam in Eden to her revenge story in the present-day, as a mother who gives
up her baby for adoption and works as a bar dancer. Featuring music by Pamela Z
and Charming Hostess. [35 mins; documentary; English]
The House of Science: A Museum of False Facts inspects and interrupts
representations of women in the house, the museum, and in science, bridging
between public, private, and idealized spaces to generate a new, dual image of
women, of “a ‘me’ that is two—the body of the body and the body of the mind.”
Through a lively assemblage of home movies, personal reminiscences, staged
scenes, found footage, and voice, Sachs’ feminized film form reclaims the body
divided among these spaces: “We look at ourselves from within, collect our own
data, create our own science, begin to define.” [30 mins; documentary; English]
Preamble kicks off June with screenings of the Lynne Sachs Retrospective
Preamble kicks off June with the presentation of the Lynne Sachs Retrospective as a preview of the American filmmaker’s visit to the Costa Rica International Film Festival to be held June 9-18.
To kick off the billboard on Thursday, June 2, starting at 7:00 pm, an exhibition of Film About a Father Who (United States, 2020) .
From 1984 to 2019, Lynne Sachs filmed her father, a lively and innovative businessman. This documentary is the filmmaker’s attempt to understand the networks that connect a girl with her father and a woman with her brothers. The show is for ages 12 and up.
On Friday June 3 starting at 7:00 pm screening of short films. A selection of short films by Lynne Sachs that shows her aesthetic and thematic searches and the experimentation that characterizes a good part of her creations.
The program includes the works: DRAWN AND QUARTERED, STILL LIFE WITH WOMAN AND FOUR OBJECTS, FOLLOWING THE OBJECT TO ITS LOGICAL BEGINNING, THE HOUSE OF SCIENCE: A MUSEUM OF FALSE FACTS, PHOTOGRAPH OF WIND, SAME STREAM TWICE, 2012, CUADRO BY CUADRO , CAROLEE, BARBARA AND GUNVOR, A MONTH OF SINGLE FRAMES, E•PIS•TO•LAR•Y: LETTER TO JEAN VIGO and MAYA AT 24.
For Saturday, June 4, at 7:00 pm presentation of the documentary Tip of my Tongue . To celebrate her 50th birthday, filmmaker Lynne Sachs brings together other people, men and women, who have lived the exact same years but hail from places like Iran, Cuba, Australia, or the Lower East Side of Manhattan, but not Memphis, Tennessee, where Sachs grew up.
The documentary takes place with all these people discussing the most remarkable, strange and revealing moments of their lives, in a brazen and self-reflective examination of the way events outside our own domestic universe impact who we are.
Costa Rica Festival Internacional de Cine que se realizará del 9 al 18 de junio.
Para dar inicio a la cartelera el jueves 2 de junio a partir de las 7:00 p.m exhibición de Film About a Father Who (Estados Unidos, 2020).
Desde 1984 hasta 2019, Lynne Sachs filmó a su padre, un animado e innovador hombre de negocios. Este documental es el intento de la cineasta por entender las redes que conectan a una niña con su padre y a una mujer con sus hermanos. La función es para mayores de 12 años.
El viernes 3 de junio a partir de las 7:00 p.m. proyección de cortometrajes. Una selección de cortos de Lynne Sachs que muestra sus búsquedas estéticas, temáticas y la experimentación que caracteriza buena parte de sus creaciones.
La programación incluye las obras: DRAWN AND QUARTERED, STILL LIFE WITH WOMAN AND FOUR OBJECTS, FOLLOWING THE OBJECT TO ITS LOGICAL BEGINNING, THE HOUSE OF SCIENCE: A MUSEUM OF FALSE FACTS, PHOTOGRAPH OF WIND, SAME STREAM TWICE, 2012, CUADRO POR CUADRO, CAROLEE, BARBARA AND GUNVOR, A MONTH OF SINGLE FRAMES, E•PIS•TO•LAR•Y: LETTER TO JEAN VIGO y MAYA AT 24.
Para el sábado 4 de junio en función de 7:00 p.m. presentación del documental Tip of my Tongue . Para celebrar su cumpleaños 50, la cineasta Lynne Sachs reúne a otras personas, hombres y mujeres, que han vivido exactamente los mismos años pero que provienen de lugares como Irán, Cuba, Australia o el Lower East Side de Manhattan, pero no de Memphis, Tennessee, lugar donde creció Sachs.
El documental transcurre con todas estas personas discutiendo sobre los momentos más destacados, extraños y reveladores de sus vidas, en un examen descarado y autorreflexivo de la forma en que los eventos fuera de nuestro propio universo doméstico impactan quiénes somos.
The American filmmaker and poet Lynne Sachs will be the dedicatee of the tenth edition of the Costa Rica International Film Festival (CRFIC10), which will take place from June 9 to 18.
Sachs will visit the country during the festival, as he will be honored in the Retrospective section with a sample of 14 films of his authorship , characterized by a poetic, intimate, experimental and reflective tone with very personal themes.
The Sachs retrospective is made up of the films Epistolary: Letter to Jean Vigo (2021), Maya at 24 (2021); Film About a Father Who (2020) , Carolee, Barbara & Gunvor (2018), Tip of my Tongue (2017), Same Stream Twice (2012), With the Wind in Her Hair (2010), Frame by Frame (2009), Photograph of The Wind (2001), The House of Silence: A Museum of False Facts (1991), Drawn and Quartered (1987), Following the Object to It’s Logical Beginning (1987), and Still Life with Woman and Four Objects (1986).
According to the artistic director of the festival, Fernando Chaves Espinach , “We are interested in Lynne Sachs’s visit because with her films, made with few resources, she tells us about a very particular form of expression that seems relevant to our context. We are proud to present different ways of making cinema and, above all, to share it in a workshop with filmmakers and visual artists who can learn from his methodology and his approaches to cinematographic art”.
In addition to the presentation of his works, the festival has scheduled that Sachs give a face-to-face tutorial to a group of people linked to Costa Rican cinematography.
The main venue for the 10CRFIC will be the Cine Magaly and it will have three more screening rooms in the capital of San José and five outside the Greater Metropolitan Area: San Ramón, San Carlos, Jacó, Grecia, Limón and Paso Canoas.
Costa Rica Festival Internacional de Cine rinde homenaje a la cineasta Lynne Sachs
La cineasta y poeta estadounidense Lynne Sachs será la dedicada de la décima edición del Costa Rica Festival Internacional de Cine (CRFIC10), que se llevará a cabo del 9 al 18 de junio.
Sachs visitará el país durante el festival, pues se le rendirá homenaje en la sección Retrospectiva con una muestra de 14 películas de su autoría, caracterizadas por un tono poético, intimista, experimental y reflexivo con temáticas muy personales.
La retrospectiva a Sachs está constituida por los filmes Epistolary: Letter to Jean Vigo (2021), Maya at 24 (2021); Film About a Father Who (2020), Carolee, Barbara & Gunvor (2018), Tip of my Tongue (2017), Same Stream Twice (2012), Con el viento en el pelo (2010), Cuadro por cuadro (2009), Photograph of The Wind (2001), The House of Silence: A Museum of False Facts (1991), Drawn and Quartered (1987), Following the Object to It’s Logical Beginning (1987) y Still Life with Woman and Four Objects (1986).
De acuerdo con el director artístico del festival, Fernando Chaves Espinach,“Nos interesa la visita de Lynne Sachs porque con su cine, hecho con pocos recursos, nos habla de una forma de expresión muy particular que nos parece relevante para nuestro contexto. Nos enorgullece presentar distintas maneras de hacer cine y, sobre todo, compartirlo en un taller con cineastas y artistas visuales que pueden aprender de su metodología y sus acercamientos al arte cinematográfico”.
Además de la presentación de sus obras, el festival ha programado que Sachs imparta una tutoría presencial a un grupo de personas vinculadas con la cinematografía costarricense.
La sede principal del 10CRFIC será el Cine Magaly y contará con tres salas de proyección más en la capital de San José y cinco fuera de la Gran Área Metropolitana: San Ramón, San Carlos, Jacó, Grecia, Limón y Paso Canoas.
Available on DAFilms: https://americas.dafilms.com/director/7984-lynne-sachs Drawn and Quartered The House of Science: a museum of false facts Which Way Is East: Notebooks from Vietnam States of UnBelonging Same Stream Twice Your Day is My Night And Then We Marched Carolee, Barbara & Gunvor The Washing Society A Month of Single Frames Film About a Father Who
Available on Fandor:https://www.fandor.com/category-movie/297/lynne-sachs/ Still Life With Woman and Four Objects Following the Object to Its Logical Beginning The Washing Society The House of Science: a museum of false facts Investigation of a Flame Noa, Noa The Small Ones Which Way Is East: Notebooks from Vietnam Atalanta: 32 Years Later States of UnBelonging A Biography of Lilith The Task of the Translator Sound of a Shadow The Last Happy Day Georgic for a Forgotten Planet Wind in Our Hair Drawn and Quartered Your Day is My Night Widow Work Tornado Same Stream Twice
Available on Ovid:https://www.ovid.tv/lynne-sachs A Biography of Lillith Investigation of a Flame The Last Happy Day Sermons and Sacred Pictures Starfish Aorta Colossus States of Unbelonging Which Way Is East: Notebooks from Vietnam Your Day is My Night Tip of My Tongue And Then We Marched A Year of Notes and Numbers
director: Lynne Sachs original title: The House of Science: A Museum of False Facts year: 1991 running time: 30 min.
synopsis This defiant feminist mosaic subversively recontextualizes archived materials dating back to the 1950s. Footage taken from a medical laboratory, an educational film on menstruation, and an amateur fantasy film about a mermaid gain whole new meanings. The repurposed shots represent the female body as a kind of freak show of bodily processes, sexuality, and maladaptation. Opposing the distorted imagery of women rooted in our patriarchal world is American poet Gertrude Stein, who seeks to bridge the gap between the “body of the body” and the “body of the mind” and achieve the integrity denied to women by Western society.
“I deconstruct a purely cinematic reality that to me seems disturbing, humorous, and just plain visually provocative. The composition of a single frame displaces the seedbed where I can cultivate my paintings and collages.”
biography Lynne Sachs (1961) is an American experimental filmmaker and poet. She studied film and history in San Francisco and at Sorbonne. Her work blurs the lines between live-action film, documentary, collage, and performance. Sachs tends to explore feminist and socially critical themes. Ji.hlava IDFF 2021 will also present her film Maya at 24.
In The House of Science: A Museum of False Facts (1991), Lynne Sachs exposes the edifice of scientific “facts” with which the male-dominated disciplines of science and medicine have constructed an image of what a woman is.
Opposing the distorted imagery of women rooted in our patriarchal world is American poet Gertrude Stein, who seeks to bridge the gap between the “body of the body” and the “body of the mind” and achieve the integrity denied to women by Western society. We bring here the script of this experimental film, that is screened online till 14th November at Ji.hlava IDFF online.
VOICE OVER: I met him while I was on the table, you know they you put on the table, put you in the stirrups and he walks in. At first, it’s a kind of an awkward introduction. Second, maybe he didn’t mean it, but I don’t think he had any inclination to be warm or kind or talking. It was a real quick examination. I was still on the table. I was pregnant. He said “Any questions?” His hand was on a doorknob. And I, of course, said “No.” I had a zillion questions. And I can’t tell you how tall he was. I was lying down. But he always struck me as short, cold and with glasses, and he may not look like that at all.
TITLE: The House of Science: a museum of false facts
RECORDING OF MALE DOCTOR GIVING A LABOR LESSON IN DELIVERY ROOM: Doctor: That’s the spirit I like, very nice indeed. I like that spirit when you take charge of yourself. Woman: Yes. Doctor: You won’t have anyone messing you about. That’s how it should be. Woman: Have you seen what the head looks like? Doctor: It’s covered with hair. Woman: What color? Nurse: Black. Woman: Dark hair. It will come out now showing, then go back. Popping in and out like that until it gets far enough out to stay out. Woman: Yes. Doctor: Then that’s what we call the crowning. Twenty minutes after that you’ll probably have your baby. Woman: You know it seems extraordinary that frail women must do all this pushing. Doctor: I often think that. Doctor: Yes, it’s a boy. Woman: Is he all right? Doctor: Oh yes. Woman: Listen!
LYNNE’S ONSCREEN DIARY & V.O: The doctor’s office is full blond Victorian women patting their stomachs, smiling, Monalisa-esque, knowing. They welcome 18 year old me to their coterie of framed ladies-in-waiting. Waiting for the “pop,” the baby. And meanwhile, they sell pharmaceuticals. They pose in their nicely framed images hung ever so carefully around the waiting room of Doctor L. I am waiting too, for sex, and much, much later the “pop.” But now, it’s sex, with a someone I don’t know, as of yet. It’s an abstract meeting but I want to be prepared. I’m here for one thing, Doctor L., the armor. It’s too bad though, I don’t say “sex.” I say “college.” “Give me a diaphragm, Doctor G., so I can go to college.” He gives me the shield but doesn’t tell me how to use it. I leave his office, fully equipped, protected, completely incapable of placing that plastic, or is it rubber, sheath over my cervix. Where is my cervix?
The House of Science: A Museum of False Facts
LYNNE’S VOICE: But, uh, I don’t know if you want to talk about this, so if you don’t want to talk about this, but it interests me. It’s not something you have to …Do you think that, at the time, I mean that a lot of women, for many women, that dealing with that, whether it’s abuse or exploitation or whatever from ….?
VOICE OVER POEM BY GERTRUDE STEIN READ BY THREE WOMEN: That’s wonderful …woops … okay girls … lifting belly is so strong, lifting belly is so strong, lifting belly together, lifting belly oh yes, remember what I say, do you? (Laugh) That’s a mother’s line. Okay let’s start all over and we’ll get it this time. It will give me a feeling of completion. Lifting belly is so strong, I want to tell her something, wax candles, we have brought a great many wax candles, some are decorated. They have not been lighted. I do not mention roses. Exactly. Actually. Questions and butter. I find the butter very good. Lifting belly is so kind. Lifting belly fattily. Doesn’t that astonish you? You did want me. Say it again. Strawberry. Lifting kindly belly. Sing to me I say. Some are wives not heroes. Lifting belly merrily. Sing to me I say. Lifting belly. A reflection. Lifting belly joins more prizes. Fit to be. I have fit on a hat. Have you. What did you say to excuse me? Difficult paper and scattered. Lifting belly is so kind.
LYNNE’S DIARY ON SCREEN: My memory of being a girl included a “me” that is two. I am two bodies – the body of the body and the body of the mind. The body of the body was flaccid and forgotten. This was the body that was wet with dirty liquids, holes that wouldn’t close, full of smells and curdled milk. Of course there was the skeleton. This was assumed and only reconsidered upon my very rare attempts at jumping farther than far enough, clearing the ditch, lifting the heave-ho. But the body of the body was not the bones. This body wrapped and encircled the bones, a protective cover of flesh, just on the other side of the wall I call skin.
ANTHROPOLOGICAL TEXT READ OUTLOUD BY LITTLE GIRL WHO MAKES MISTAKES (SUBTITLED): Let us take the next example, that of a born thief. Louis C. Magnan writes of her, aged nine, was the daughter of a mad father, always in …. a condition of sexual excitement. She was of weak intelligence. Her instincts had always been bad, her conduct turbulent, and her mind incapable of concentration. At three, she was a thief and laid hands on her mother’s money. At five, she was arrested and conveyed to the police office. She shrieked, tore off her socks and threw her dolls into the gutter and lifted her shirts in the street. But on looking at her photograph, one perceives that although only nine years old, she offers the exact type of the born criminal. Her jaws and cheekbones are emmense, the frontal sinews strong, the nose flat. She looks like a grown woman – nay, a man.
GIRLS WHISPERING: Remember … remember … the next day … tomorrow… the next day … tomorrow … remember … tomorrow … remember … tomorrow … remember … this movie and there were these women … with elephant snouts … and really long …. I know I saw that movie too … they jumped off the screen …the next day … remember.
LYNNE’S DIARY ON SCREEN: The body of the body moves in cycles and with every repetition there is a sensation of pain. The reminder, emanating from the core, the indefinable marrow that can never be touched, is a cleansing, scarring, tactile, silent exclamation. The arrival of the body of the body forces the body of the mind to take notice, begrudgingly so. With legs crossed, the blood is caught just before it crosses the border into the public domain.
WOMAN’S VOICE: But I always thought black widow spiders spit, cause I really loved black widows, and I would always go out and stand by them and I ran to get my father to show him, and he said that I couldn’t go near it, and I said that I wouldn’t ever touch it. You know, I was just going to watch it. And he said “No, cause it will spit at you!” And I believed that unquestioningly, until, I was, and I told everyone “Oh yeah, black widows spit….” I don’t think black widows spit. It doesn’t even sound logical. I don’t even think they have any apparatus to spit.
VOICE FROM ARCHIVAL DOCUMENTARY SCIENCE FILM: Body hair appears, most noticeably under the arms and in the pubic region. Menstrual or monthly periods usually happen every four weeks, however they’re likely to be quite irregular for the first two or three yeas while a girls is still maturing. And later a cycle of perhaps five weeks or three weeks is perfectly normal. It takes time to get used to the changes of adolescence which at first may seem so strange. However, for many girls menstruation brings no problems and little discomfort, only the extra time needed for cleanliness.
LYNNE’S DIARY AND V.O.: Filled with infectious, infected liquids, we hold in the blood, the water, the sneeze, the wax, the hair, the puss, the breath. All that is ours to let go, to release onto this earth, is held in, contained. I am the cauldron of dangerous substances.
WOMAN’S V.O.: Well, as a young child I always had a lot of coughing and stuff and my mother would never allow me to spit what came out of my chest. Because she said that “Girls don’t spit. They swallow it. You know you don’t do that because it’s vulgar.”
MAN’S VOICE FROM OLD DOCUMENTARY: Science began when man began to observe and make note of his observations.
GIRL WHISPERING: … the next day … tomorrow …the next day tomorrow I know I saw that movie too … the next day … tomorrow.
GIRLS’ VOICES FROM OLD MOVIE: For someone who has so many outside activities. She’s smart, that’s why. Sure she’s smart, but she’s also human. Besides, this thing is all over school now! Is that true? Have the rest of you heard about this?
THREE WOMEN ON SCREEN SPEAKING: Woman #1: Prostitutes have longer hands and larger calves but their feet are small. Woman #2: While criminals have the darker hair and eyes, it is the prostitutes whose fare and red hair now surpasses the normal. Woman #3: Female thieves, above all prostitutes, are inferior to moral women in cranial capacity and circumference.
GIRLS WHISPERING: I saw this movie called “The Secret Garden.”
WOMAN’S V.O.: My dad was always disappointed because my mother never gave him a son. We rode his butt when we found out men are the ones that give a child gender. Cause he had really harassed my mom for years because she didn’t have a son. So we had to tell him that it was his fault. Cause he really, really wanted a boy. I was the closest thing that he had to a son for years.
MALE V.O. FROM OLD MOVIE THAT TEACHES DRAWING LESSONS: … is to support the framework and to give a framework to the body and to give it contour … There’s no difficulty in looking at a subject such as this to see that it’s symmetrical.
SAME THREE WOMEN ON SCREEN SPEAKING: Woman #1: Prostitutes have longer hair and larger breasts, but their thighs are smaller. Woman #2: But I have dark hair and dark eyes and I like my hair red. Woman #3: No way, they’re rough, they’re tough, they’re hard to bluff.
WOMAN V.O.: Like I can remember when I learned about martyrs. I was going to be Joan of Arc or I was going to be different saints and then I was going to be the Virgin Mary. Then I remember when I read about Nancy Drew. Then I was going to be her. So I had more recollection from the inside out. Visually, from the outside in, I remember putting on make-up like my mother, but would always cover my whole face with lipstick.
MALE VOICE FROM SCIENCE RECORDING ON BABIES: No one has yet come up with a complete and precise interpretation of each type of cry. There are catalogued some twenty different non-normal cries and fifteen to twenty different normal need cries. In a moment, you will hear four different normal need cries. The cries illustrated are hunger, pain, fatigue and fretfulness.
LYNNE’S DIARY AND V.O.: I remember my first introduction to the bridle, the bra. I was a horse irritated by such constraints. My bosoms were a keen, smooth extension of my growing, extending torso – all one piece. The cusp between my breast and my rib was a hiding place for my lanky, unwieldy arm. I was triangle, feeling a wholeness somewhere between my elbows and the nape of my neck — until the bridle came and created divisions, areas of artificial mystique, a separation between the functional arm and the sexual breast. Territory.
WOMAN’S V.O.: We have Rubens’ women. They are, I assume they are purchased for this purpose, like chubby, flesh women swinging on swings or lounging around, always kind of grotesque looking and there – just to be taken, just right there for the taking. And I assume that is why they were purchased, though we pretend that they were just purchased for art. Or there’s another, the Venuses, there’s a period of time when they were shaving all the pubic hair from the Venuses. There’s something I think about power in removing that hair and also a few perversions in the male culture that made that so popular. I think they become less powerful images for the male. And I think a lot of times, the more the visual images can be disarmed the better the male artist feels.
LYNNE’S DIARY V.O.: A speculum before me. I hold the mirror just inches away and learn to look – sometimes shyly, occasionally detached, and now, more often than not, bravely. I touch myself with knowledge. I trace a path across my chest, searching for surprises I’d rather not find, knots in the fabric.
MAN ON A HORSE IN OLD MOVIE: Look!
GIRLS WHISPERING: There was a secret garden and she had been in it, and she found it and she dug a hole everywhere she could find it and she found the key and she found the door and the next day she told another boy ….
LYNNE’S DIARY V.O AND TEXT ON SCREEN: Undressed, we read our bodies like a history. Scars, muscles, curves of the spine. We look at ourselves from within, collect our own data, create our own science, begin to define. Built from the inside out, this new laboratory pushes against the walls of the old structure. An incendiary effect, yes, but not arson.
GIRLS V.O.: Girl #1: Doctor, doctor, I can’t talk very well, I lost my voice. Girl #2: Okay, let me take a strep test. Girl #1: Okay, what do I do? Girl #2: Just open your mouth, and I’m going to put this down your throat. Okay, now we’ve got to put it in the chemicals. You have strep! Girl #1: I do? Mom, I have strep. What’s strep? Girl #2: It means you have a very soar throat. Girl #1: I do? Oh, thank you. What do I have to do for it? Girl #2: Well, just take the aspirin and wait a few weeks. Girl #1: Okay, bye! Girl #2: Bye!
We are really excited to work with aemi’s Artist in Focus Lynne Sachs to deliver a workshop as part of CIFF 2021. This in-person workshop in Cork will focus on the interplay between poetry and cinema. Based in New York, Lynne Sachs is an award winning filmmaker whose work bridges personal experience and political concerns through her singular approach to filmmaking. Lynne uses both analogue and digital mediums, weaving together text, collage, painting, politics and layered sound design.
‘Day Residue: A Film-Making Workshop on the Every Day’ is open to both emerging and established artists interested in film and writing. The workshop is an excellent opportunity for film artists to deeply consider creative approaches to writing and film, both in relation to their own practices and within wider contexts.
Day Residue: A Film-Making Workshop on the Every Day
Lynne Sachs: According to Sigmund Freud’s theory of dreams, our day residue is composed of the memory traces left by the events of our waking state. In this workshop, we explore the ways in which fragments of our daily lives can become material in writing for a personal film. While many people in the film industry rely upon a chronological process that begins with the development phase and ends with post-production, our Day Residue workshop will build on an entirely different creative paradigm that encourages artists to embraces the nuances, surprises and challenges of their daily lives as a foundation for a diaristic practice.
The day will be structured by two sessions: in addition to introducing her practice and collectively watching Lynne’s programme of short films curated by aemi for CIFF (see film info below), Lynne will also lead a session on writing and film / writing for film, and the possible interplays between the two – extending to the role of poetry.
In-person screening programme within the workshop:
Lynne Sachs, Carolee, Barbara & Gunvor, 2018, USA, 8 min From 2015 to 2017, Lynne visited with Carolee Schneemann, Barbara Hammer and Gunvor Nelson, three artists who embraced the moving image throughout their lives.
Lynne Sachs, Still Life With Women And Four Objects, 1986, USA, 4 minA portrait that falls somewhere between a painting and a poem, a look at a woman’s daily routines and thoughts via an exploration of her as a ‘character’.
Lynne Sachs, Drawn and Quartered, 1986, USA, 4 minOptically printed images of a man and a woman fragmented by a film frame that is divided into four distinct sections.
Lynne Sachs, The House of Science: A Museum of False Facts, 1991, USA, 29 min A girl’s difficult coming-of-age rituals are recast into a potent web for affirmation and growth.
Lynne Sachs and Anne Lesley Selcer, Girl is Presence, 2020, USA, 5 min Against the uncertain and anxious pandemic atmosphere, inside domestic space, a ‘girl’ arranges and rearranges a collection of small and mysterious things.
Lynne Sachs and Moira Sweeney, Longings, 2021, USA/ Ireland, 90 seconds A collaboration exploring the resonances and ruptures between image and language.
Lynne Sachs, Drift and Bough, 2014, USA, 6 minLynne Sachs spends a winter morning in Central Park shooting film in the snow. Holding her Super 8mm camera, she takes note of graphic explosions of dark and light and an occasional skyscraper.
Lynne Sachs, Starfish Aorta Colossus, 2014, USA, 4 min Poetry watches film. Film reads poetry. Paolo Javier’s text is a catalyst for digital sculpting of an 8mm Kodachrome canvas.
Lynne Sachs, Maya at 24, 2021, USA, 4 minLynne Sachs films her daughter Maya at 6, 16 and 24.
Lynne Sachs with and for Barbara Hammer, A Month of Single Frames, 2019, USA, 14 min In 1998, filmmaker Barbara Hammer had an artist residency in a shack without running water or electricity. She shot film and kept a journal. In 2018 Hammer, facing her own imminent death, gave her material to Lynne and invited her to make a film.
This is a free workshop, however as numbers are limited, prior booking is essential.
Please email Emer at firstname.lastname@example.org in advance to secure a place.
Lynne Sachs (Memphis, Tennessee, 1961) is a filmmaker and poet living in Brooklyn, New York. Her work explores the intricate relationship between personal observations and broader historical experiences by weaving together text, collage, painting, politics and layered sound design. Strongly committed to a feminist dialogue between cinematic theory and practice, she searches for a rigorous play between image and sound, pushing the visual and aural textures in her work with every new project. Her moving image work ranges from short experimental films, to essay films to hybrid live performances. Lynne has made 37 films, including features and shorts, which have screened, won awards or been included in retrospectives at New York Film Festival, Museum of Modern Art, Sundance, Oberhausen, Viennale, Sheffield Doc/Fest, BAFICI, RIDM Montréal, Vancouver Film Festival, Doclisboa, Havana IFF, and China Women’s Film Festival. In 2014, she received the Guggenheim Fellowship in the Creative Arts.
I will be heading to Cork International Film Festival in Ireland to present “Film About a Father Who” with 10 short films as part of their AEMI artist focus on my work. Honored to share four collaborative film poems: “Longings” made with filmmaker Moira Sweeney (who will be there with us!); “A Month of Single Frames” made with Barbara Hammer; “Girl is Presence” made with Anne Lesley Selcer; and, “Starfish Aorta Colossus” made with Paolo Javier.
Making work since the 1980s Lynne Sachs’ films have incorporated a cross-pollination of forms that extend to the essay film, documentary, collage, performance, and poetry. Deeply reflexive, Sachs’ films to date have outlined a rich interplay between the personal and the socio-political. aemi is delighted to present this overview of selected short works by Lynne Sachs at Cork International Film Festival, many of which are screening in Ireland for the first time.
In addition to this shorts programme Lynne will also be in attendance at the festival for the Irish premiere of her celebrated feature Film About a Father Who.
CAROLEE, BARBARA & GUNVOR Lynne Sachs From 2015 to 2017, Lynne visited with Carolee Schneemann, Barbara Hammer and Gunvor Nelson, three artists who embraced the moving image throughout their lives.
STILL LIFE WITH WOMEN AND FOUR OBJECTS Lynne Sachs A portrait that falls somewhere between a painting and a poem, a look at a woman’s daily routines and thoughts via an exploration of her as a ‘character’.
DRAWN AND QUARTERED Lynne Sachs Optically printed images of a man and a woman fragmented by a film frame that is divided into four distinct sections.
THE HOUSE OF SCIENCE: A MUSEUM OF FALSE FACTS Lynne Sachs A girl’s difficult coming-of-age rituals are recast into a potent web for affirmation and growth.
GIRL IS PRESENCE Lynne Sachs and Anne Lesley Selcer Against the uncertain and anxious pandemic atmosphere, inside domestic space, a ‘girl’ arranges and rearranges a collection of small and mysterious things.
LONGINGS Lynne Sachs and Moira Sweeney A collaboration exploring the resonances and ruptures between image and language.
DRIFT AND BOUGH Lynne Sachs Lynne Sachs spends a winter morning in Central Park shooting film in the snow. Holding her Super 8mm camera, she takes note of graphic explosions of dark and light and an occasional skyscraper.
STARFISH AORTA COLOSSUS Lynne Sachs Poetry watches film. Film reads poetry. Paolo Javier’s text is a catalyst for digital sculpting of an 8mm Kodachrome canvas.
MAYA AT 24 Lynne Sachs Lynne Sachs films her daughter Maya at 6, 16 and 24.
A MONTH OF SINGLE FRAMES Lynne Sachs with and for Barbara Hammer In 1998, filmmaker Barbara Hammer had an artist residency in a shack without running water or electricity. She shot film and kept a journal. In 2018 Hammer, facing her own imminent death, gave her material to Lynne and invited her to make a film.
The Irish premiere of Lynne Sachs’ celebrated feature Film About a Father Who screens here alongside the world premiere of Myrid Carten’s short film Sorrow had a baby. Both artists will be in attendance for a discussion of their work following the screening.
Both Film About a Father Who and Sorrow had a baby deal, in very different ways, with familial legacy incorporating personal archives and pushing against the traditional boundaries of documentary practice. Myrid Carten’s film Sorrow had a baby is also the first film produced through aemi’s annual film commissioning programme, supported by Arts Council of Ireland.
Myrid Carten, Sorrow had a baby,2021, Ireland, 16 minutesaemi Film Commission 2021
‘I absorbed the women in my life as I would chloroform on a cloth laid against my face.’ – Vivan Gornick
Sorrow had a baby explores the mother-daughter relationship through multiple lenses: memory, beauty, inheritance. Who writes the stories in a family? Who can change them?
Lynne Sachs, Film About a Father Who, 2020, USA, 74 minutesOver a period of 35 years between 1984 and 2019, filmmaker Lynne Sachs shot 8 and 16mm film, videotape and digital images of her father, Ira Sachs Sr., a bon vivant and pioneering businessman from Park City, Utah. Film About a Father Who is her attempt to understand the web that connects a child to her parent and a sister to her siblings. With a nod to the Cubist renderings of a face, Sachs’ cinematic exploration of her father offers simultaneous, sometimes contradictory, views of one seemingly unknowable man who is publicly the uninhibited center of the frame yet privately ensconced in secrets. In the process, Sachs allows herself and her audience inside to see beyond the surface of the skin, the projected reality. As the startling facts mount, Sachs as a daughter discovers more about her father than she had ever hoped to reveal.