``

Film Series / Events

Search All Film Series (1999-present)
Browse All Film Series

February 19 - February 20

Three Films by Amie Siegel

The films of artist Amie Siegel (b. 1974) deftly transform heady philosophical musings - about history, psychoanalysis, voyeurism, modernist design, cinematic narrative - into elegantly playful and provocative mosaics of carefully loaded images and pointed associations. Empathy and DDR/DDR established Siegel as an important film essayist able to dethorn the prickly subjects she explores, from the power structure of classical psychoanalysis to the contested history of the former East Germany. The restrained self-reflexivity and deadpan humor that unite Siegel’s films lend them a rich meta-cinematic dimension that actively questions the limits of traditional nonfiction cinema. Ultimately, the “ciné-constellation” structures favored by Siegel invite the viewer to engage more intuitive forms of audio-visual thinking. A graduate of Bard and the Art Institute of Chicago, Siegel is a professor in Harvard’s Department of Visual and Environmental Studies.

Special thanks to the Academy Foundation.


Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Special Event Tickets $12
Friday February 19 at 7pm

Empathy

Directed by Amie Siegel, Appearing in Person
US 2004, 35mm, color, 92 min.

A spirited, witty essay on the psychoanalytic project, Empathy centers around a series of extended interviews conducted by Siegel with a group of older male psychoanalysts and designed to deconstruct the power structure of the analyst and analysant relationship. Making a memorable detour into the psychoanalytic dimensions of the modernist architecture and design that has become part of the fabric of the everyday in the U.S., Siegel’s film eventually folds in upon itself, asking if the relationship between camera and subject is not itself fraught with deep psycho-sexual biases.

The Sleepers

Directed by Amie Siegel, Appearing in Person
US 1999, 16mm, color, 45 min.

The fascination with architecture and the urban experience that
informs the structure and style of Siegel’s films finds its apotheosis in her alternately lyrically arresting and disquieting study of scopophilia and the cinematic imagination. Shot entirely at night in Siegel’s native Chicago, The Sleepers captures fleeting and obscure moments in the lives of strangers, glimpsed at a distance through the windows of neighboring apartment buildings. While watching the mysterious activity of the anonymous urbanites, a free-association Rear Window is released in the mind of the viewer who has been trained by the cinema to search for intrigue at the furthest edges of the frame.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Amie Siegel in Person
In Conversatin with Helen Molesworth, Houghton Curator of Contemporary Art, Harvard Art Musuem
Special Event Tickets $12

Saturday February 20 at 7pm

DDR/DDR

Directed by Amie Siegel, Appearing in Person
US 2008, HD, color, 135 min. German and English with English subtitles

Siegel’s ambitious recent film is a search for a lost country, the Deutsche Demokratische Republik (DDR), that reveals the lingering ghosts of the past to be still very much in the minds of both the older and younger generations living in the now unified nation. A series of revealing - and also deliberately theatricalized - interviews with former DDR citizens are skillfully set against Siegel’s exploration of the Stasi - the East German secret police - headquarters and, most incredibly, the secret police archive of surveillance and training films. Once again questioning the fundamental human and cultural need to observe others, DDR/DDR expands upon Siegel’s intertwined interests in psychoanalysis and architecture, drawing a valuable yet wonderfully open-ended history lesson from the calculated designs of the past. Siegel’s most stylish and formally sophisticated film, DDR/DDR evokes Godard and Akerman in its meditatively lyrical camera movement and use of voiceover commentary.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

Harvard Film Archive • Carpenter Center • 24 Quincy Street • Cambridge MA 02138 • 617-495-4700