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THE MAN WHO ENVIED WOMEN with Yvonne Rainer in person!
Spielberg Theater at the Egyptian
Los Angeles, CA
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THE MAN WHO ENVIED WOMEN with Yvonne Rainer in person!
Sunday December 6, 2009, 7:30 pm

Los Angeles Filmforum presents
THE MAN WHO ENVIED WOMEN with Yvonne Rainer in person, moderated by Berenice Reynaud
Part 3 (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 is proud to present a full retrospective of the media works of Yvonne Rainer.  One of the most significant artists in dance and film of the last fifty years, One of the most significant artists in dance and film of the last fifty years, this is the first full retrospective of her films in Los Angeles.  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.  We'll start with her earliest and latest works, all connected to various performances.  Tonight's Q&A will be led by Berenice Reynaud, film scholar, professor of film at Cal Arts, and long-time friend of Rainer.    

THE MAN WHO ENVIED WOMEN (1985, 125 minutes, 16mm, color)

Around a familiar theme--the breakup of a marriage--Rainer constructs an honest, graceful and wickedly funny account of a self-satisfied womanizer, Jack Deller, the man "who almost knows too much about women."

Selected Credits:
Director: Yvonne Rainer
Director of Photography: Mark Daniels
Video: Jackie Ochs
Editors: Yvonne Rainer, Christine LeGoff
Super-8 Editor: Marjorie Keller
Sculpture Field: Donald Judd
Cast: William Raymond, Larry Loonin, Trisha Brown, Jackie Raynal, Thyrza Goodeve, Iris Owens

Yvonne Rainer's engagement with feminist film theory in her 1985 film The Man Who Envied Women illuminates several possibilities and limitations within that body of work.  Rainer takes the critical work of Laura Mulvey and Ann Kaplan to its logical conclusion: if the male gaze is an integral structure of cinematic desire, so integral that it is inscribed by everything from camera position to narrative structure, what happens when the usual object of that gaze, the heroine, is denied a visual presence within the film?  By creating a two-hour film in which the female protagonist is not imaged, Rainer's film sets up the possibility of a different kind of relation between filmic protagonist and filmic spectator. Peggy Phelan, in Unmarked: The Politics of Performance (Routledge, 1993)

See also Berenice Reynaud on The Man Who Envied Women in "Impossible Projections" in The Films of Yvonne Rainer, by Yvonne Rainer et. al. (Indiana University Press, 1989, pp. 24-35)


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, "The most influential American avant-garde filmmaker of the past dozen years, with an impact as evident in London or Berlin as in New York."

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 D'Automne 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 Critics Association), THE MAN WHO ENVIED WOMEN (1985), PRIVILEGE (1990, winner of the Filmmakers 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).

Rainer's 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 1997 to coincide with the release of MURDER and murder complete 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 Rainer's memoir, Feelings Are Facts: A Life.
She most recently presented new dance works at REDCAT in June 2009.
Source: http://www.zeitgeistfilms.com/director.php?director_id=8

Berenice Reynaud teaches film history, theory and criticism at the California Institute of the Arts. She is the Co-curator of the film/video program at the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT) in Los Angeles, and a correspondent for the San Sebastian International Film Festival (Spain) and the Viennale (Vienna, Austria). She has curated a number of film/video series for the UCLA Film & Television Archive (Los Angeles), the Museum of Modern Art (New York) and the Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume (Paris). She contributed one article to The Films of Yvonne Rainer (University of Indiana Press, 1989).  She is currently writing her third book on Chinese cinema.

Two extended articles on Yvonne Rainer on Senses of Cinema:
"Yvonne Rainer" by Erin Brannigan

"From Objecthood to Subject Matter:
Yvonne Rainer's Transition from Dance to Film" by Jonathan Walley

Another biography of Rainer:

Five more screenings in the Yvonne Rainer Retrospective upcoming in 2010:
Lives of Performers and Trio A (with Rainer present)
Kristina Talking Pictures
Journeys from Berlin/1971 (with Rainer in conversation with Simon Leong)
Privilege (with Rainer in person)
MURDER and murder

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.


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



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