Screening Dates
  • November 2, 2023 8:20
Free Admission

Rainer breaks down subject and form, putting them back together to create something new—not pure fiction, pure documentary, or pure dance, but a combination of many different disparate pieces.”

Dana Reinoos, BOMB Magazine

Presented in conjunction with Carole Itter: Choreography of the Everyday,” the debut feature of legendary choreographer Yvonne Rainer observes a love triangle between three dancers from various points of view. The film adopts and cleverly juxtaposes several stylistic devices—fiction vs. nonfiction, dialogue vs. intertitles, diegetic vs. non-diegetic sound, rehearsal vs. performance—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.” The final sequence recapitulates the Louise Brooks vehicle Pandora’s Box (1929) in a series of stark tableaux vivants. This genre-defying work, now a classic of experimental film, features cinematography by the great Babette Mangolte, collaborator of Chantal Akerman. 

Lives of Performers has been restored in 4K by the Museum of Modern Art and the Celeste Bartos Fund for Film Preservation.

Pulling the viewer in and pushing them out with equal force, Lives of Performers is a beguiling example of anti-illusionism, coolly revealing the mechanics of melodrama while illustrating the power and potential of its appeal to sentiment.”

Film at Lincoln Center