Friday, February 21, 2014

2/26/14 Jane Gillooly

Suitcase of Love and Shame

Tender, erotic, and pathetic, this reconstructed narrative examines the obsession to chronicle the details of an adulterous affair. Suitcase of Love and Shame is a mesmerizing collage woven from 60 hours of reel-to-reel audiotape discovered in a suitcase purchased on eBay. Recorded in the1960’s, a Mid-western woman and her lover become reliant on recording devises to document and
memorialize their affair. The film suggestively foregrounds the tape recorder as the confidant, witness, and participant that the couple come to depend on--always omnipresent, the recorder creates a welcomed ménage-à-trois.
The film uses this rare audio example to critically examine a time in the United States when it was
exceptional to listen to the contradictory words of those who secretly and exuberantly lived a lie while publicly constraining their passion. Mirroring the compulsion to confess ones indiscretions in today’s virtual world and illuminating the impact that new technology-portable recording devises, had on their lives.
Suitcase of Love and Shame aims at a cross-generational consciousness about exhibitionism, privacy and voyeurism. Focusing on the aural and experiential nature of the audio the imagery in the film is restrained-abstract, evocative and expectant, so that the audience will see with their ears. The listener/viewer is variously located within and outside of the events-complicit and voyeuristic. The “eavesdropping viewer” compelled despite feeling embarrassed and uncomfortable with the knowledge and access they have been given and the transgressions they imagine they see.

"I saw this at Orphans Midwest and rarely have been so affected by a work. In many ways I hated it, felt I should not be watching (or hearing!) it. I rarely wonder if a film is immoral, but i did wonder about this one. Let me be clear: I think the filmmaker is entirely honest and brave in its making. It never cheats or exploits. But it truly gets uncomfortably under one's skin. The line between public and private is truly breached here and it troubles me. But I am sure it troubles the filmmaker too. I also felt it was an anthropological document of unquestionable worth. I admire and perhaps dislike it. I truly don't know if I can say "see it" (again hear it or overhear it is more proper). I wanted to take a bath, or make a confession after it (to whom?) I think it has less to do with shame (shame is public) than guilt and pain." Thomas Gunning

JANE GILLOOLY is a non-fiction and narrative film/video maker whose work is inspired and informed by a century of non-fiction filmmaking, silent and vintage cinema, and activism. Gillooly consistently surprises as she crosses new boundaries and confronts new subjects with a distinctive vision. Her current work, Suitcase of Love and Shame, repurposes historical material for use in time-based media collage and is the culmination of an evolving filmography. Gillooly uniquely balances a commitment to emotional authenticity with a sensorial, textural style driven by striking images, sounds, and a musical approach to editing. Gillooly has an enormous capacity for capturing the complexities of real characters on film. As in her previous works, Today the Hawk Takes One Chick, (2008) and Leona’s Sister Gerri, (1995), Gillooly demonstrates a compassion for and instinctive understanding of the nuances of human emotion.

Projects include: Today The Hawk Takes One Chick (2008) an observational film shot in a rural Swaziland which premiered at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston and selected to screen at the Margaret Meade and Full Frame Documentary Film Festivals and toured internationally winning a Jury Prize at Kinoteatr.doc Festival in MOSCOW. The Not Dead Yet Club (2006) a Rockefeller-nominated experimental feature film script. Dragonflies, The Baby Cries (2000) which premiered at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, and official selection of; San Francisco International Film Festival, Contemporary Film Festival of Mexico City, with broadcasts on PBS and SUNDANCE Channels. Leona’s Sister Gerri (1995) was featured at the Museum of Modern Art New Directors, New Films, Robert Flaherty Seminar, PBS, and the SUNDANCE Channel and included in the Best of P.O.V. released 2007. She was also co-producer of Theme: Murder (1998), selected to screen at Full Frame Documentary Festival, and INPUT. A recent recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, Gillooly is a member of the graduate faculty in Film / Animation at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts.