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MURDER and murder, with Yvonne Rainer in person!
Spielberg Theater at the Egyptian
Los Angeles, CA
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MURDER and murder, with Yvonne Rainer in person!
Sunday May 16, 2010, 7:30 pm  
Los Angeles Filmforum presents MURDER and murder
with Yvonne Rainer in person in discussion with Catherine Lord
Part 8 (of 8) of Bodies, Objects, Films: An Yvonne Rainer Retrospective
At the Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd. at Las Palmas, Los Angeles  

Over the course of our 2009-2010 seasons, Filmforum has been proud to present Los Angelesâs first full retrospective of the media works of Yvonne Rainer. One of the most significant artists in dance and film of the last fifty years, her innovations in both fields are deep and influential.  We conclude the series with Rainerâs last feature film, MURDER and murder.  Each appearance by Rainer will feature a Q&A led by a different moderator, to discuss with her varying aspects of her approaches to her art and life. Tonightâs Q&A will be led by Catherine Lord, artist, writer and professor at UC Irvine.    

MURDER and murder (1996, 16mm, Color, 113 mins)
Winner, Teddy Award, 1997 Berlin Film Festival
Doris and Mildred are in love. Mildred, in her mid 50s, is a tenured professor from upper class origins who has been a lesbian all her life. Doris, in her early 60s, comes from a more modest background, was a single mother, has never held a steady job, and finds herself in love with a woman for the first time.  Mildred shops at Barneys; Doris plunders catalogues and thrift shops. Their new co-habitation is further complicated by the fact that Doris is diagnosed with breast cancer and must undergo a mastectomy. MURDER and murder is an unflinching look at female aging, lesbian sexuality and breast cancer in an age and culture that glorifies youth and heterosexual romance. In her 7th feature film, director Yvonne Rainer delivers an emotionally courageous, intellectually challenging work which is at once soap opera, black comedy, love story and political meditation.

on MURDER and murder by Joan Braderman
Is it Godardâs Two or Three Things I Know About Her, Sirkâs Magnificent Obsession,
McLaughlinâs She Must Be Seeing Things, or Snowâs Wavelength? Posed, as ever, between the European New Wave, Hollywood melodrama and the New American
Cinema, MURDER and murder, Yvonne Rainerâs seventh feature film is a passionate wet dream of a lesbian love story, shot in gorgeous saturated reds, blues, whites and blacks which look like nothing more than early Hollywood TechnicolorâThe
Wizard of Oz on mescaline and high modernism. From the exhilarating opening shot of old Jenny and young Mildred playing frisbee on the beach at Coney Island, with a dolly from the distance (in which they could be kids) to close-up where they vie for head space on camera like everyone on TV, the movie sails through the rough and high seas of our lives. The script is so damned tight, it snaps with wit. The actors are, without exception, beautiful to watch and beautifully directed. This includes Rainer, who, appearing as herself in classic tux dyke drag, half the time with her remarkably seductive flat, mastectomized chest revealed unflinchingly to the camera, acts as a kind of dead serious court jester, mediating the ongoing dances and conversations about relationships, love, sex, coming out at 55, breast cancer, death, mothers and daughters, lesbians and the gossip and work-lives of contemporary female artists and intellectuals. If you are 1) alive, 2) a woman or person who likes them, has a mother, a daughter or a cat, and 3) a film lover, frustrated by the unbelievable level of boring swill Hollywood is serving up this year, see MURDER and murder before you even go to the couplesâ therapist, grocery store or the doctor. I havenât stopped giggling to myself since I did.  God Bless Yvonne Rainer for her unflagging courage, her refusal to disappear us âwomen of a certain age,â her hamminess and sheer brilliant filmmaking. Bravo.
-- Joan Braderman, Video Artist, Professor of Film, Video and Media Studies, Hampshire College

âCharmingly odd, sharply observed and witty, MURDER and murder is Rainer's semi-autobiographical work about Doris, an artist who comes out as a lesbian in her later years and starts a relationship with Mildred, a successful younger woman. The progress of the relationship is observed and commented upon by two apparitions, Doris' approving mother and a young Mildred, and several interventions by Rainer herself. The 'murder' of the title refers not to any cloak and dagger crime but to silent killers such as homophobia and most significantly breast cancer. Rainer meditates on the subject and uses her own post-mastectomy body to powerful effect. This is a thought-provoking and exciting piece of lesbian filmmaking. IR and NJ â 24th BFI London Lesban & Gay Film Festival, 2010, http://www.bfi.org.uk/llgff/node/246

MURDER and murder a film by yvonne rainer
Director of Photography STEPHEN KAZMIERSKI; Production Designer STEPHEN McCABE; Costume Designer LINDA GUI; Line Producer STEPHEN SCHMIDT
Written, Produced and Directed by YVONNE RAINER

  On Yvonne Rainer: When Yvonne Rainer made her first feature-length film in 1972, she had already influenced the world of dance and choreography for nearly a decade. From the beginning of her film career she inspired audiences to think about what they saw, interweaving the real and fictional, the personal and political, the concrete and abstract in imaginative, unpredictable ways. Her bold feminist sensibility and often controversial subject matter, leavened with a quirky humor, has made her, as the Village Voice dubbed her in 1986, âThe most influential American avant-garde filmmaker of the past dozen years, with an impact as evident in London or Berlin as in New York.â  Rainer was born in San Francisco in 1934. She trained as a modern dancer in New York from 1957 and began to choreograph her own work in 1960. She was one of the founders of the Judson Dance Theater in 1962, the beginning of a movement that proved to be a vital force in modern dance in the following decades. Between 1962 and 1975 she presented her choreography throughout the United States and Europe, notably on Broadway in 1969, in Scandinavia, London, Germany, and Italy between 1964 and 1972, and at the Festival DâAutomne in Paris in 1972.

In 1968 she began to integrate short films into her live performances, and by 1975 she had made a complete transition to filmmaking.  In 1972 she completed a first feature-length film, LIVES OF PERFORMERS. In all she has completed seven features: FILM ABOUT A WOMAN WHO... (1974), KRISTINA TALKING PICTURES (1976), JOURNEYS FROM BERLIN/1971 (1980, co-produced by the British Film Institute and winner of the Special Achievement Award from the Los Angeles Film Criticsâ Association), THE MAN WHO ENVIED WOMEN (1985), PRIVILEGE (1990, winner of the Filmmakersâ Trophy at the Sundance Film Festival, Park City. Utah, 1991, and the Geyer Werke Prize at the International Documentary Film Festival in Munich, 1991), and MURDER and murder (1996).

Rainerâs films have been shown extensively in the U.S. and throughout the world, in alternative film exhibition showcases and revival houses (such as the Bleecker St Cinema, Roxy-S.F.; NuArt-L.A; Film Forum-NYC, et al), in museums and in universities. Her films have also been screened at festivals in Los Angeles (Filmex), London, Montreux, Toronto, Edinburgh, Mannheim, Berlin, Locarno, Rotterdam, Creteil, Deauville, Toulon, Montreal, Hamburg, Salsa Majori, Figueira da Foz, Munich, Vienna, Athens (Ohio), Sundance, Hong Kong, Yamagata, and Sydney.    A half-hour video tape entitled YVONNE RAINER: STORY OF A FILMMAKER WHO... was aired on Film and Video Review, WNET-TV in 1980. THE MAN WHO ENVIED WOMEN was aired on Independent Focus, WNET-TV in, 1989, and PRIVILEGE on the same program in 1992 and during the summer of 1994.  

In the Spring of 1997âto coincide with the release of MURDER and murderâcomplete retrospectives of the films of Yvonne Rainer were mounted at the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco and at the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York City. In 2006 MIT Press published Yvonne Rainerâs memoir, Feelings Are Facts: A Life. She most recently presented new dance works at REDCAT in June 2009. Source:  HYPERLINK "http://www.zeitgeistfilms.com/director.php?director_id=8" http://www.zeitgeistfilms.com/director.php?director_id=8

Catherine Lord is an artist and writer who lives in Los Angeles and teaches at UC Irvine.  She is the author of The Summer of Her Baldness:  A Cancer Improvisation.

Yvonne Rainer with Robert Gardner on Screening Room, excerpt: http://www.der.org/films/screening-room-yvonne-rainer.html  

Interview with Yvonne Rainer: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1248/is_n7_v85/ai_19628876/  

Two extended articles on Yvonne Rainer on Senses of Cinema: âYvonne Rainerâ by Erin Brannigan http://archive.sensesofcinema.com/contents/directors/03/rainer.html  
âFrom Objecthood to Subject Matter: Yvonne Rainer's Transition from Dance to Filmâ by Jonathan Walley http://archive.sensesofcinema.com/contents/01/18/rainer.html  

This screening series is supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles.  Additional support generously provided by the American Cinematheque.

Admission for Filmforum screenings: $10 general, $6 students/seniors, free for Filmforum members
Advance ticket purchase available through Brown Paper Tickets at

For the screenings at the Egyptian Theater:
Parking is now easiest at the Hollywood & Highland complex. Bring your ticket for validation. Parking is $2 for 4 hours with validation. Enter that complex on Highland or Hollywood. The theater is 1.5 blocks east.


Spielberg Theater at the Egyptian
6712 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
United States



Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: No
Wheelchair Accessible: No


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