Brave New World: The Films of Barbara Hammer

Brave New World: The Films of Barbara Hammer

Brave New World: The Films of Barbara Hammer

Brave New World: The Films of Barbara Hammer

Brave New World: The Films of Barbara Hammer

Brave New World: The Films of Barbara Hammer

Brave New World: The Films of Barbara Hammer

Brave New World: The Films of Barbara Hammer

TIFF Cinematheque - Free Screen

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Pioneering experimental filmmaker and lesbian activist Barbara Hammer joins us in person for this special three-night survey of her remarkably prolific forty-five year career.

Films in Brave New World: The Films of Barbara Hammer

    • Resisting Paradise w/ Pools
    • Barbara Hammer ponders the relationship between art and political resistance in this essay film made at the time of the war in Kosovo.

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    • Tender Fictions w/ Still Point
    • Barbara Hammer draws from her personal archive of self-documentation and found footage to trace the successive constructions of her identity as feminist, lesbian, and filmmaker, and to draw links between her life and the political movements of the time.

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    • Dyketactics
    • This programme of short films focuses on a period when Barbara Hammer, residing in the Bay Area and newly out, began to explore her new identities as both lesbian and filmmaker.

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    • Nitrate Kisses w/ Schizy
    • Barbara Hammer's first feature-length film is a taboo-busting provocation, a politically charged polemic and a rapturous visual ode to the sensual pleasures of love and intimacy.

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    • Resisting Death
    • "Freedom is riding my horse on a trail exploring the unknown or seeing with the eyes that rebirth from cancer has given me, as the world becomes new again." —Barbara Hammer

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    • Generations
    • This programme highlights Barbara Hammer's influence on a younger generation of queer filmmakers, as well as paying tribute to one of her own primary influences, the legendary Maya Deren.

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In recent years, the pioneering experimental filmmaker and lesbian activist Barbara Hammer (b. 1939) has been feted with retrospectives at London's Tate Modern, New York's Museum of Modern Art and Paris' Jeu de Paume, amongst others. This is a fitting and overdue tribute to an artist who has explored such a wide range of styles and subjects over her prolific forty-five-year career. From her very first Super 8 psychodramatic self-portraits, to her mid-eighties experiments with the abstract possibilities of the optical printer, to her later documentaries that attempt to trace a queer artistic lineage through the political and artistic turmoil of the early twentieth century, Hammer has displayed a stylistic polyvalence which, combined with her generosity as an artist, teacher and community activist, has influenced generations of students, filmmakers and artists.

Born at the tail end of the Depression to parents heading west to Los Angeles in search of a better life, Hammer is the quintessential twentieth-century American pioneer. Her life and films reflect both a peripatetic sense of place (Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, and journeys to the Ukraine, South Africa, France, Korea and Japan) and a corresponding sense of inner discovery. Persistently revealing her own personal history (most recently, and entertainingly, recounted in her autobiography Hammer! Making Movies Out of Sex and Life) in her films, with her oeuvre Hammer has created a unique artistic record of, among other things, her coming out as a lesbian during feminism's second wave, her battles against the politics of exclusion in the 1980s, and her victory over ovarian cancer in the last decade. Displaying Hammer's willingness to break boundaries in both her life and work, these films move beyond the diaristic to the utopic, toward new ways of being, seeing and thinking — a true brave new world.

Barbara Hammer will be presenting her new performance, Witness, on April 5 as part of the Images Festival. More information at www.imagesfestival.com.