Lives of Performers

USA 1972. Dir: Yvonne Rainer. 90 min. 16mm

The first feature by legendary choreographer Yvonne Rainer, soon to become a prominent independent filmmaker, observes a love triangle between three dancers from various points of view. This genre-defying but now classic experimental film was shot by Babette Mangolte (whose work is featured in September's DIM Cinema program) and uses various stylistic devices — rehearsal vs performance, fiction vs nonfiction, dialogue vs intertitles, objective vs subjective descriptions, diegetic vs non-diegetic sound — to document, in the director’s words, “the spectacle of a group of people intensely involved in a kind of work, in the task of performing.” Watch for the final sequence, which recapitulates the Louise Brooks vehicle Pandora’s Box (1929) in a series of tableaux vivants.