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November 7, 2002

VES Faculty Screening
An Evening with Elisabeth Subrin

Elisabeth Subrin is Visiting Lecturer on Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard. Born in Boston, she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in filmmaking from the Massachusetts College of Art and an M.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Subrin explores the hazy boundaries between fiction and nonfiction, and between history and subjectivity, though transgression of the formal and conceptual boundaries of documentary and personal narrative practice. Her work has won numerous awards, including the 2001 International Award for Film/Video, Basel, Switzerland, for The Fancy; and the 1998 Los Angeles Film Critics Award (Independent/ Experimental) and the 1999 New England Film and Video Festival award (Best Experimental) for Shulie.

Free Admission
November 7 (Thursday) 7 pm

The Fancy

Directed by Elisabeth Subrin
US 2000, video, color, 36 min.

The fancy explores the life of the late teenage photographer Francesca Woodman. In this speculative, experimental video essay, Subrin radically reorganizes information drawn from the published catalogues of Woodman’s work—both the photographs themselves and the critical writing about them—to raise questions about the parameters and ethics of biography, the boundaries between history and fantasy, and problems of female representation.


Directed by Elisabeth Subrin
US 1997, 16mm, color, 37 min.

Subrin’s interest in biography and cross-historical currents led to this shot-by-shot remake of a lost student film from 1967. Recontextualizing the documentary portrait of a young art student, Shulamith Firestone, who later became a leader in the women’s liberation movement, Subrin explores the residual impact of the 1960s, the boundaries between fiction and nonfiction form, and female subjectivity.

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