Experimental Response Cinema presents The Camera: Je, La Camera: I
Experimental Response Cinema and the Austin Film Society will present The Camera: Je, La Camera: I (1977) by Babette Mangolte. What is photography? Who is its subject? These are the issues that experimental filmmaker and photographer Mangolte probes in this elegant and meditative film.
Mangolte has been a key figure at the heart of contemporary interdisciplinary art since the early 1970s. As DP, she shot six films with experimental filmmaker Chantal Akerman and worked with numerous avant-garde or independent filmmakers like Yvonne Rainer, Jean Pierre Gorin, Marcel Hanoun, Richard Foreman, Sally Potter, and Michael Snow.
Her work at the intersection of performance art and documentary has been just as significant: she has directed, shot or otherwise contributed to film and video productions with Marina Abramović, Trisha Brown, Steve Paxton, Robert Rauschenberg, and others.
The Camera: Je, La Camera: I alternates between French and English, signaling the emotional relationship that the filmmaker/protagonist has with both languages. The film gives its spectators a direct experience of the tension as well as the wanderings and timing of a photographic session. The power inherent in the taking of a picture is turned on its head at the end of the film in a short epilogue, when the performer on the screen becomes a photographic critic, scrutinizing the images made and passing judgment.
Witty and philosophical, The Camera: Je, La Camera: I features a brief cameo of Chantal Akerman as well as cameos of other performers and collaborators of Mangolte’s. It is a snapshot of New York’s creative universe in the 1970s that reflects back on its own creation.
Don’t miss the screening of Akerman’s News From Home on Friday, September 16 with Babette Mangolte, the film’s cinematographer, live in person.