Vivienne Dick’s arrival in 70s New York, landed her in the middle of the punk era. Fresh from Ireland and having no experience of making films, she signed up for a course and took up residence on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, right in the middle of a punk revolution. This first film uses eight rolls of Kodak sound Super-8 film to profile each woman in real time and without any editing. Each is captured on film in a screentest to which the camera is co-conspirator rather than voyeur, reacting as opposed to recording. The ‘subjects’ include Pat Place and Adele Bertei, former band members of the Contortions, as well as Lydia Lunch, singer, guitarist, film-star and punk doyenne who would also appear in later films. The women talk, read letters, play pinball, while the camera zooms in and out using oblique framing. Made in the second wave of New York avant-garde film, after the intense scrutiny of film by structuralist filmmakers, Dick’s films use the ‘every-dayness’ of Super-8 with choppy hand-held shots and a home-movie style ethic, to explore the self-image and social politics of a diverse group of women in 1970s New York. —http://www.fromthearchives.com
Vivienne Dick is an Irish experimental and documentary filmmaker.
She was born in Dublin but moved to the United States in the 1970s. In the U.S., Dick became active in No Wave film culture and produced a series of Super8 short films. Many of her films were staged around well-known New York City sites such as Coney Island, the Statue of Liberty, and the World Trade Center. The films featured punk performers such as Lydia Lunch, Pat Place (of the band Bush Tetras) and Adele Bertei (of The Contortions). Film critic and author J. Hoberman has called Dick the “quintessential No Wave filmmaker”.
In 1982 Dick moved to Ireland, and then to London where she continued making films.
Dick’s work formed part of two major retrospectives of American avant garde film: No Wave Cinema 1978-87 (1996) at the Whitney Museum, New York and Big as Life: An American History of Super8 Film (1999) at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Dick currently teaches filmmaking at Galway-Mayo Institute… read more