Sally Potter by Catherine Fowler

By Catherine Fowler

This survey of Sally Potter’s paintings files and explores her cinematic improvement from the feminist remodeling of Puccini’s opera La Bohème in Thriller to the provocative contemplation of romantic relationships after 9-11 in Yes. Catherine Fowler lines a transparent trajectory of constructing subject matters and preoccupations and indicates how Potter makes use of tune, dance, functionality, and poetry to extend our event of cinema past the audiovisual. on the center of Potter’s paintings we discover a priority with the ways that narrative has circumscribed the activities of ladies and their skill to behave, converse, glance, hope, and imagine for themselves. Her first movies, Thriller and The Gold Diggers, principally deconstruct came across tales, clichés, and photographs, whereas her later motion pictures create new and unique narratives that position woman acts, voices, seems, wants and options at their heart. Fowler’s research is supplemented through a close filmography, bibliography, and an interview with the director.

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The female performer has been visible; positioned always in relation to the male construction of femininity and in relation to male desire. Women performance artists, who use their bodies as the instrument of their work, constantly hover on the knife edge of the possibility of joining this spectacle of woman” (Potter, “On Shows” 6). The highly performed actions and hesitant camera we find in Jerk signal the ways in which Potter would continue to place her actors in front of her camera. Ten years later, Thriller opens with Colette frontally placed and looking directly at the camera.

Women performance artists, who use their bodies as the instrument of their work, constantly hover on the knife edge of the possibility of joining this spectacle of woman” (Potter, “On Shows” 6). The highly performed actions and hesitant camera we find in Jerk signal the ways in which Potter would continue to place her actors in front of her camera. Ten years later, Thriller opens with Colette frontally placed and looking directly at the camera. This challenging gaze is followed by an examination of the recurring ways in which women have been looked at and judged, either for their appearance (Musetta), their economic status (Mimi), or their actions (Marion in Psycho).

In the fourth film, more happens. Dunford has described the film thus: “A girl walking across a piece of waste ground, an airplane flies over, a train goes past, and she walks away. It wasn’t narrative but it was still a manipulation of events” (Dunford 87). The film opens with the Paramount logo, as if it were a blockbuster production, followed by a tilt down from the sky to a block of flats in the distance. A yard in the foreground reveals a woman walking towards us; the woman is Sally. She wears a long dark coat and has flowing red hair.

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