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film image of a boulder which moved within the box, occasionally filling the entire space. The precision and nuance of "real'' gesture with which this sequence was done was as sensually pleasureable as a virtuosic "theatrical'' performance. The real work was in the realm of recontextualization by literal activity, unaccented and unaffected: not by fictions of character and narrative but by objective tasks. In this, Whitman made his comments on products (things) and activity (work). When brought into the mode of art (play), people, activities, and products slip loose from the determinism of productivity and accomplishment . There is a dialectic between the image of a thing and that thing; both are needed to convince us of the "thingness" of the thing. We are seduced by our unconscious acquiescence to the process of work to believe in the seriousness of the play in Whitman's work. Assumptions about the value of things and work is shown to be no more than an agreement. What is subversive about this piece is that if the agreement can be dissolved in the process of art, why not in life? Charles Frederick Amy Taubin, In The Bag. Collective for Living Cinema (November ). Amy Taubin's In The Bag is a metaphorical rendering of rage and an examination of the origins of metaphor. As the film's sole performer, Taubin dumps, sorts, and searches through the contents of a large handbag ; then cuts, rips and shreds the various purses, appointment calendars, postcards, and books into confetti. This "narrative" takes place in two locations: on a large table and a bed covered with a blue quilt. In both locations the shots are framed so that Taubin fills the lower-left corner of the image . Occasionally, a hand will enter the frame to perform such actions as tearing, cutting, or re-arranging. The soundtrack is a tape made at an international airport. As a narrative the film becomes tedious in its limited visual range. It is a relief to see some very fast editing between the two locations; perhaps the camera movement equivalent of the internal state of someone vainly searching for something, not finding it, and then turning the materials of the search into something other than what they originally were. However, two things happen to the viewer while watching such limited action: first frustration sets in; one doesn't know why this woman is hysterically looking for something, or what she is looking for. The viewers' natural response is one of suspense and a desire to have an answer. Secondly, the objects themselves take on the attributes of character; they inform the viewer about the woman who carries this handbag, about what makes up her personal and work life. This second kind of suspense is produced not by the action of searching but by our own minds bringing to the film what we already know about such objects and what they signify. In this way the metaphor of In The Bag becomes involved with feminism in a neo-Freudian universe. Such objects as H.D.'s Tribute to Freud, a postcard of Vermeer's The Lacemaker, a diaphragm, and several datebooks make ironical comment on the film's action. Taubin metaphorically cuts her bag of feminine role models into confetti and is presumably freed to become her own role model, since now the objects are still the same but also different; a confrontation with-and a transformation of-the other has taken place. In that time has passed and something happens, the film is a narrative though its excitement is dependent upon an audience who can read the signs. At the beginning of the film Taubin slyly says "Give me twenty-two minutes and I'll give you the world." In a way she does; the soundtrack taken from airport announcements posits the external world, and the action of the film shows the internal world. But repetition often serves to detach a certain sound from its original environment . So the airport sound serves three functions. It posits the world-out-there as something over which the filmmaker has little control and sets up the first type of supense mentioned above: the obvious appearence of a woman...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1537-9477
Print ISSN
1520-281X
Pages
p. 47
Launched on MUSE
2018-01-03
Open Access
No
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