Elisabeth Subrin presents: SHULIE (1997) + MARIA SCHNEIDER, 1983 (2023)
American filmmaker and artist Elisabeth Subrin has spent three decades playfully subverting conventional forms of female biography on screen.
Dec 04, 2023, 8:00 PM
2220 Arts + Archives, 2220 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90057, USA
With Elisabeth Subrin in person, followed by a conversation with artist and filmmaker Cauleen Smith
American filmmaker and artist Elisabeth Subrin has spent three decades playfully and provocatively subverting conventional forms of female biography on screen. Thoroughly concerned with what she calls the “residues of the past”, Subrin uses meticulous re-enactments and archival research to evoke how the lived experience of her female subjects – among them Shulamith Firestone, Francesca Woodman and Maria Schneider – are mediated, represented and refracted, as questions of gender and historical memory intertwine between past and present.
We are thrilled to present a rare public screening of Subrin’s fascinating Shulie paired with her latest film, the César award-winning Maria Schneider 1983, followed by a conversation with Subrin and Cauleen Smith.
directed by Elisabeth Subrin
1997, 36m, U.S., DCP
“Slipping between past and present as well as fact and fiction, Shulie (1997) is a shot-by-shot remake of an obscure documentary about radical '60s feminist Shulamith Firestone. Author of the treatise The Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist Revolution, Firestone was a student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1967 when four male directors selected her as a subject for a film about the so-called Now Generation. Shot in the style of direct cinema, the original Shulie features Firestone discussing the limitations of motherhood, as well as racial and class issues in the workplace. The directors also filmed her enduring a humiliating critique by her art school professors. Thirty years later, filmmaker Elisabeth Subrin recreated the Shulie using actors in many of the original locations. The resulting film is a nostalgic and somewhat cynical reflection on the legacy of second-wave feminism. Subrin writes, 'In the compulsion to remake, to produce a fake document, to repeat a specific experience I never actually had, what I have offered up is the performance of a resonant, repetitive, emotional trauma that has yet to be healed.' " -The Jewish Museum
“Subrin’s concept is ingenious and her experiment results in a major advance in her field. Her ideas are beautiful, and the movie is a thing of wonder.” -Richard Brody, The New Yorker
"A cinematic doppelganger without precedent, Elisabeth Subrin’s Shulie uncannily and systemically bends time and cinematic code alike, projecting the viewer 30 years into the past to rediscover a woman out of time and a time out of joint — and in Subrin’s words, ‘to investigate the mythos and residue of the late '60s.’”
-Mark MacElhatten and Gavin Smith, New York Film Festival, 1997
Maria Schneider, 1983
directed by Elisabeth Subrin
2022, 24m, France, DCP
Three actresses (Manal Issa, Aïssa Maïga, and Isabel Sandoval) recreate a 1983 French TV interview with the legendary French actress Maria Schneider, which takes a turn when she’s asked about the traumatic filming of Last Tango in Paris with Bernardo Bertolucci and Marlon Brando a decade before. Taken together, they not only perform Schneider’s words and gestures, but inhabit them through their own identities—along with all those silenced, before and after.
Official Selection: Cannes Film Festival, Director’s Fortnight, 2022; New York Film Festival, 2022.
“Each channels Schneider in her own way, in her own race, in her own time, bringing this maligned actress into the present, conjuring her into power, throwing their bodies on the line to salvage hers.”
—B. Ruby Rich, Film Quarterly
“Subrin has made a provocative, unnerving document, difficult to forget.”
—Tony Pipolo, Artforum
Total runtime: approx. 60m.
Followed by a conversation with Elisabeth Subrin and Cauleen Smith.