Saturday, December 31, 2016

End of Year (Finally)

Pfft. What to say about 2016? So many traumatic events and deaths. But for me also some exciting creative projects. At the start of the year I promised to let my imagination wander where my corporeal being could not. And that proved to be the case. Currently recuperating, I am quietly optimistic 2017 SIMPLY MUST be much better.

In the meantime, I have been churning through the many online streaming services and can recommend overlooked films such as Blue Jay, This Is Where I Leave You, and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (No, really!).

Here's hoping out of the s*&t of 2016 will grow beautiful mushrooms.

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Disappearing Women

Over the last few years news reports have provided us with reminders of the dangers of being an investigative journalist, as the cases of Anna Politkovskaya, Marie Colvin and Veronica Guerin attest--all women who were neutralised when their reporting proved too dangerous to the powers-that-be. Many, many other women's names are less well known than these high-profile examples, as the list at the end of the short film, Blue Pen, shows. It went too quickly for me to write them down, but the litany of women with mostly Asian names who died doing their duty shows how deadly a profession journalism can be for women.

An experimental short highlighting the less well known journalist Dorothy Lawrence who "disappeared" after World War I, Blue Pen uses a split screen and voiceover to quote Lawrence, as well as sceptical male figures who were not so keen on her going to the front. Where she went and what she did is not really explained. Nor is her "disappearance", except we know that she ended up in an asylum in her later years. It's a curious piece, part educational film, part installation in waiting. I imagine the staginess is down to it being adapted from a theatrical piece. I found it oddly detached from its subject, although an actress portrays her onscreen at times. I wonder if a documentary on the subject might have had more emotional power. But, if those names at the end become better known, it will be a good thing.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016


I was very excited earlier in the year to learn of the Punk.London commemoration of the birth of punk. I haven't been to many of the exhibits, but have found them of varying quality. Still, there's time to revise that opinion. And of course there's the whole question as to whether punk should be commercialised in this way.

So far, I've been to the rather skimpy British Library exhibit which appears to really want to be a celebration of Sex Pistols and The Clash, while grudgingly acknowledging there were other bands. Viv Albertine's guerrilla intervention is much appreciated.

Albertine also turned up a couple of weeks ago on Mary Anne Hobbs's show, offering her views on failure, which I found quite interesting. It's not something one often hears acknowledged, much less celebrated and I didn't recall that as a theme in her memoirs, but apparently it was. Something of a punk philosopher is Viv Albertine. 

I was pleasantly surprised to discover my own borough is getting in on the act, with Punk Waltham Forest featuring exhibits and talks coming up this month, including a visit by Gina Birch to the local library. The revelation that Birch and Helen McCookerybook are making a film about women in punk was the highpoint of the BL exhibit. Can't wait for that to see the light of day.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Finding Dory

Yesterday evening I found myself in the extremely plush Picturehouse Central with my friend L. watching the Disney Pixar release Finding Dory. I had never seen the film that spawned this sequel. Nor have I ever to my knowledge seen a Pixar film. They seemed aimed at kids and I wasn't too interested. But, Finding Dory had good reviews and I was in the mood for some undemanding laughs. And it starred Ellen De Generes as the central character, a blue tang fish, thus ticking a Bechdel-Wallace test box. So.... in I went.

It wasn't too hard to pick up on the plot, though I needed the steer the film provides that it picks up one year after Finding Nemo, with Nemo's dad Marlin proving to be Dory's guide/father figure. Dory's most interesting characteristic, aside from her very disturbing bulging eyes, is her short term memory loss, which provides the film's chief complication. How can she search for her missing parents when she can't remember more than a few seconds back? It is unusual for mainstream films to foreground any kind of disability and this one handles it pretty well. The parents, seen in flashback, try to reassure Dory and also take steps to make it easier to find them, which proves useful. Despite their worried expressions and glances, they clearly want her to make the most of herself. And Marlin losing his temper with her is also easy to understand, though he tries to make amends.

Dory, for me, was a somewhat difficult character. Her age is uncertain. She is meant to be somewhat grown up and is voiced by an adult, but her behaviour is extremely childlike, as she constantly wanders, asking strangers for help and dreaming wistfully of finding the parents she forgot. I guess this makes her easier for kids to relate to, but I found her helplessness grated on me over time. Of course, the mouse house wants its characers to be cute and ingratiating, but it did get to be a bit much, especially as the "finding home" storyline was laid on with increasing unsubtlety.

Thank heavens for Hank the septopus, who turns up in a marine lab to help extricate Dory from captivity. As voiced by Ed O'Neill, he is gruff and gnarled, and desperate to reach the marine centre in Cleveland for his retirement. The character is used to very clever effect, as he is able to camouflage himself in the most unlikely situations and the scene in which he and Dory take over a shipment of fish, with him at the wheel is one of the funniest things I've seen in ages.

 The sealife breakout is quite radical in its own way, as the characters resist the centre's entreaty (as voiced by Sigourney Weaver!) of "Rescue, Rehabilitate, Release" to force their own liberation. This is when the film really took off, its family values homillies expanding to encompass a whole community.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Whitstable Biennale 2016

This is a bit late, as I attended opening day last Saturday and the festival closes tomorrow. Nevertheless, it's always a pleasure to visit the lovely seaside town of Whitstable and take in its arty offerings, this year with my chum, C.

beach chairs; photo: Val Phoenix
In addition to the cultural pleasures, I was on a mission to visit Mystic Chips, celebrated as something of a touchstone by my friend, B., who couldn't make it this year, though we did attend in 2014. Her memory had converted Mr. Chips to Mystic Chips, and I promised her I would make the pilgrimage. In the end, eating chips on the beach while watching the tide go out and finding various crawly creatures in the retreating surf was a blissful interlude in the trip.

Of the works visited in one full day my highlight was Louise Martin's film, Lossy Ecology, on show at the Museum, which coincidentally was also the site for my 2014 favourite. Martin's elegant, beautifully realised work darts from one subject to another, from an acrobat to flowers on a rostrum, puzzling the viewer but making connections to her subject of embodiment, of interest to me as I am currently working on a project also combining art and science. C. and I agreed we were not clear on the connection to autism but thought it was a gorgeous film. One annoyance: not enough headphones to go around, necessary to hear the ambient soundtrack which added much to the work.

Viewing conditions proved to be something of a theme on this visit. Trish Scott's beach hut installation Medium was an audio work experienced while seated in blackout conditions, except when someone pulled back the curtain and audience members were exposed, blinking, to the outside world, while the would-be listener gaped in astonishment at being in such close proximity to the audience. Many backed out while others pushed in, disturbing the ambience of the event, which was a very clever multi-channel work with a great deal of humour not always present in contemporary art. Scott had contacted numerous mediums to ask what they thought would be her work for the festival. She had then voiced their replies, which were played out through speakers in the space, creating a delightful sound art performance. Meeting Scott later, I learned that she had intended for only three people to be in the hut at one time, to preserve the intimacy.

So, not what the artist intended. But, what did Tessa Lynch intend? We never even got into her performance of Green Belt? The door of the venue rose, the audience stood in anticipation, pushing into the Boatshed. And then we stopped, as the artist sat on the floor and spoke into an under-powered microphone, some kind of tablet in her hand. C. and I looked at each other. "What is she saying? Can you see her?" The performance was scheduled to last 75 minutes, but we left after about five, frustrated at not being able to hear or see anything. It was later suggested to me that she may have deliberately created a frustrating experience. Hmm, I though. Did I miss the point? Possibly.

On the other side of challenging was Marcia Farquhar's jamboree, Rooty Tooty, including Jem Finer on guitar and Dempsey, ex-Dolly Mixture, on vocals. The artist's theme was ice cream and she handed out free samples to various children and held up signs with lyrics, while doing some goofy dancing. Truthfully, I was not clear what the significance of ice cream was, but it was a very enjoyable performance and I became fascinated with some tiny birds flitting about and chirping loudly in the background. Sue Jones, director of the festival, suggested they might be some type of sparrow, possibly hedge sparrows. They contributed greatly to the feelgood factor the day, as did the weather, which was hazy the entire day, sea and sky merging at the horizon, which was a bit disorienting but added to the mysticism of the experience.

Whitstable Biennale continues through 12 June. 

Wednesday, June 08, 2016


If ever a film rested in the spaces between its hypenated words it's Mustang, a "comedy-drama" according to the reviews I'd seen. Intrigued by the idea of five sisters being the leads, I went to see it today and emerged shattered. It's comedy if the idea of girls being so oppressed they have to resort to locking themselves in their own home is funny. There are moments of levity, but it is a gruelling watch--part family drama, part suspense thriller, much coming of age awkwardness and a lot of gender oppression. I would recommend it, but a trigger warning would not go amiss.

What is most interesting about the film is the time it takes to let the audience get to know the girls, who live with extended relatives somewhere in Turkey 1,000 km from cosmospolitan Istanbul, the dream destination for anyone who doesn't enjoy living a rigidly controlled life where modern comforts are locked away, lest they lead to degeneration. The youngest, Lale, gradually emerges as the audience's eyes and ears and unexpected heroine as she seeks to escape the constrictions. When she slams a door and announces, "We are playing hard to get!", it's hard not to raise a fist in solidarity. A surefooted debut from director Deniz Gamze Ergüven, Mustang lingers long in the memory.

Saturday, May 07, 2016

We can't compete

Been inundated with things this month and lo! It's May. So, time to get back to blogging.

This week I ventured over to artists' space to see films by Deirdre Logue and Allyson Mitchell, visiting from Toronto, where they run the Feminist Art Gallery or FAG, "an irresistible acronym", as one of their pieces had it, drawing a laugh from the audience.

The programme interspersed Allyson and Deirdre's films, as although the collaborate in art and life, they don't actually make films together, which is interesting. The post-screening Q&A didn't really touch on this, though it did touch on how they keep their public and private lives separate, when they are so entangled--FAG is based at their house, for instance, and they seek to make it an open space, where many under-represented groups can find a platform. How, moderator Karen Mirza wondered, did that work? Mitchell and Logue allowed that they were still working through that, as FAG has put them on the edge of bankruptcy and it hasn't proven the seed they quite hoped. As with Ladyfest, they hoped others would take the model and transplant it. Logue and Mitchell differed on the success of this mission.

They have very different styles, which is apparent in the films shown. Logue's were very autobiographical and often quite intense. Tape, which drew many comments, is quite visceral and disturbing in its presentation, with a discordant popping soundtrack that punctuates Logue's efforts to tape and untape her face. Mitchell's work tends to be quite playful, with elements of kitsch and satire. Intro to FAG, which I have quoted above includes the refrain "We can't compete/we won't compete" in a distorted vocal that runs over quite a catchy dance track. I pondered what it means to not compete. Not compete with other women? With the dominant structures? Other galleries? It sounds like a very feminist ideology. And one you can dance too, as well.

I have read Mitchell's article on Deep Lez, as well as attending the duo's Killjoy's Kastle installation and talk at Flare two years ago. Their film oeuvre offers additional insight into their practice.

Saturday, April 02, 2016

Flare: Feelings Are Facts

The last few years have offered a range of material on dancer/choreographer/filmmaker Yvonne Rainer. Now comes a documentary on her, Feelings Are Facts: the Life of Yvonne Rainer, courtesy of director Jack Walsh. Taking her 1966 dance piece Trio A as its starting point, the film recounts Rainer's creative output, only pausing midway through to discuss her life, an odd decision, I felt. The interviews with Rainer and a host of luminaries, from Carolee Schneeman, B. Ruby Rich and others, are set in sumptuous rooms with fireplaces and richly coloured walls. I thought they all must live in fabulous mansions until I saw the interview locations credited at the end. Ah, the duplicity of film.

Rainer is a fascinating subject and seeing her on screen, I marvelled she is in her 80s, now quite proudly out and evincing a weathered butchness in her dotage. Throughout the film, she outlines a range of credos, from working with her own limited body to her No Manifesto to her use of pedestrian movement. But, she is adamant she is no theorist. Another critic offers a rejoinder. Rainer's work, she says, is choreography as theory.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Flare: Family Drama

As I did last year, I shall continue reviewing films from Flare, thanks to the online screening service available for a bit. Today I shall look at some films charting personal dramas.

One of the films that earned repeated screenings at the festival was Akron, prompting me to give it a look. It certainly pushes some populist buttons: two hunky jocks hook up in the US midwest, but then are torn apart by tensions between their families. Christopher and Benny have a meet-cute on a football field while playing "mudball" and then quickly get together. Refreshingly, the drama is not because they are gay, but rather improbably that they were witnesses to a death some years back, something their families can never forget. Aside from the ridiculous premise, it's actually a pretty decent film, with some juicy roles for the two actresses playing their mothers. And it's unusual to see a Mexican-American as the lead character, with his family not portrayed as homophobic. It's a bit neat and clean for me, but an unusual mix of first love and melodrama.

Almost entirely in the melodrama corner is the French short Between Silences, which is a rather drawn out encounter between two lovers, before one threatens to leave. It took me ages to figure out this was an adaptation of The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant, and that the drama was in the power struggle between the two protagonists. Didn't really float my boat, but Fassbinder fans should take note.

A film featuring no dialogue whatsoever is the curious Trouser Bar, directed by Kristen Bjorn and with a script credited to no-one. A series of gentlemen arrive at the titular location sporting awful wigs (to suggest the 1970s), eye each other up, stroke some trousers and proceed to get it on in the changing rooms, all to a 1970s porny soundtrack. While not the target audience, I found it rather funny and silly, especially when other gentlemen arrive to peer through the windows, among them Julian Clary and Nigel Havers!! Online research reveals the gentleman responsible for the script. Well, well.

On a more innocent note, there were tonnes of films featuring kids this year, among them the Heathers-like Little Doll, in which dorky girl Elenore falls in with the beautiful but aloof Alex. At first, all goes well and it seems as if the two will form a band. But, then Elenore comes face-to-face with Alex's circle of friends, including a very jealous girl who looks about five years older. Anyway, it doesn't end well. Kids can be cruel.

On a more positive note, the gender-queer heroine of Take Your Partners, Ollie, finds a way of creating her chosen style and observing school regulations, all while charming the object of her affections. Result! If only all of life were so simple to negotiate.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Flare: La belle saison

The closing night film at Flare was La belle saison (Summertime) (dir Catherine Corsini), which I'd seen some weeks back at a press screening. At the time I found it initially dazzling, losing its verve mid-way through. But, a lovely film. I was struck, though, reading a Twitter comment after the screening last night that it lacked a "lesbian happy ending". Hmm, I thought, it didn't end badly for the protagonists, did it? (spoiler alert) Nobody died.

But, what the viewer probably meant is that the two protagonists, Carole, a sophisticated feminist activist, and Delphine, a younger farm girl, don't end the film by running into one another's arms. True. But, this film is largely about recognising the specificity of existence. Aside from the age difference, the two women come from quite distant backgrounds and the film is set in 1971, when social mores were being prodded from many directions. Geography is important in this film, with Delphine constantly commenting on how different things are, how she's never been this far from home, as she soaks up the vibrant energy of the cause and the thrilling women she is meeting.

For me, the best scene is when the women decide to spring a gay man from an institution where he's been sent to be "cured". The film palls when it deposits Delphine back on the farm to care for her ailing father. Then it becomes more of a family melodrama with typical quandaries: will Delphine tell her family she and Carole are lovers? How will they react? I found this a bit drama by numbers, in contrast to the Paris section where the women are meeting, debating, planning and acting. The ending, by the way, finds the women some years on knowing quite a bit more about themselves and what they need in life. So, it may not be a Hollywood happy ending, but it's a pretty good resolution.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Flare: Horror Show

It's been a striking feature of Flare how many horror films are appearing, something I've noticed for the last couple of years. It may simply be (as someone told me) that it's because one of the programmers, Michael Blyth, is partial to horror. Or maybe there is something inherently queer about horror. It's something I've been thinking about, as my own comic horror is about to swing into production. In any case, I kept an eye on the spooky offerings at this year's festival. I have yet to catch up with Closet Monster, which will be out later this year. But, I sat down to watch Sisters of the Plague with much enthusiasm. And rose 73 minutes later thinking, "File under 'What the Fuck?'"

Hmmm. Where to start? Well, it's a first-time director Jorge Torres-Torres, who also co-wrote. It stars Josephine Decker, herself an acclaimed director, though I have not seen her films so had no predisposition toward or against the film. It's just an ungodly mess. No scares. No atmosphere, though it's set in New Orleans, for cripes' sake! Decker plays a tour guide who lives with her girlfriend and her alcoholic, dying father and wants to find out once and for all how her mother died, all those years ago. Beset by nightmarish visions (wisps of black smoke and crap bubbly screen effects), she consults a psychic. Her relationship with her girlfriend unravels, blah, blah. I could have cried with boredom. The last 15 minutes made no sense and I overheard other audience members commenting on the sound design. Yes, it's that bad.

Much more entertaining is Sauna the Dead, a well executed concept short of zombies invading a gay male sauna. The rather obnoxious lead, Jacob, tries to evade them, eventually teaming up with another client he initially shunned. And there is a heartwarming ending, utterly not in keeping with the previous 18 minutes of towel-clad zombies lurching around the cubicles tearing into flesh, which I found hilarious.

Not at all horror-oriented, but rather downbeat is the much heralded Tangerine, which I finally saw and had mixed feelings about. Cleverly shot, brilliantly acted, but rather short on sexual politics. Two transgendered sex workers, Alexandra and Sin-Dee, roam the streets of L.A. in search of the woman Sin-Dee's boyfriend Chester is meant to be seeing behind her back. There are many, many laugh-out-loud moments, usually from the mouths of Alexandra (Mya Taylor) or Sin-Dee (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) and a bit of a less interesting plot involving an Armenian cab driver whose mother-in-law has come to stay. But, my main misgivings were about the film's treatment of the so-called love rival, Dinah (Mickey O'Hagan), a white cis-gendered sex worker who spends much of the film being abused by either Sin-Dee or Chester.

Is it funny to see women beating up other women? Is it hilarious to see them cutting each other down, seeking male approval? Do we just watch and let it go because well, that's how shit is? Where is the revenge film in which the sex workers gang up on the pimp and fuck him up? I'd definitely watch that one. This film isn't it, though it does pay careful attention to the lives of the two protagonists, which is something.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Flare: Young Love, Old Love

One of the best films I've seen in the high school canon is the Israeli film, Barash (dir Michal Vinik), featuring a trio of teenaged girls who roam the streets of their town, bunking off school and smoking various substances. Then a new girl, Dana, turns up and they let her join their gang. The titular character, Naama Barash (everyone goes by surnames), falls hard for the newcomer, attracted by her brash attitude and partially shaven hair. What really stands out for me are the minutiae of Naama's existence, her exasperation with her parents' squabbles, her detachment from her older sister, who is in the army and her infatuation with the mysterious Dana, who represents something else: freedom, non-conformity and sexual allure. How it all unwinds is interesting, but the camerawork is exquisite, the performances captivating and the dialogue quite witty. Naama and Dana checking out their schoolmates and vowing to offer their services to sexually enlighten them is marvellously bold.

The course of love doesn't run smooth in the Israeli short Words Unsaid, as best mates Danny and May get a little too close on the former's hen night and need to renegotiate their relationship. I found it disconcerting as the lead actresses so closely resemble Toni Collette and Rachel Griffiths from Muriel's Wedding, which is quite funny. Watching hetero pre-wedding rituals is enlightening, but the film goes a bit melodramatic for me.

As a tonic, one could try out the US short Partners, in which a lesbian couple enacts a full cycle of dysfunctionality in six minutes, waking up, arguing over sex and bringing up untold historical baggage before heading out for a juice. Laugh out loud funny.

And just to show you are never too old to find love, there is the Spanish short, The Orchid, one of this year's Five Films for Freedom, in which an elderly man attempts to get through to his son in Berlin to share his big news. A big "Awwwwww!" is in order. This film is available to watch online through 27 March.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Flare: A Woman of Words

I've had things going on, so haven't spent as much time at Flare as I would like, but I hope this will be the first of a flurry of reviews from the LGBT film festival in London.

To start with, there is Welcome to This House, which I prioritised because: 1) it's about Elizabeth Bishop and 2) it's made by Barbara Hammer. Well, what a coupling, eh? And it starts off well enough with Hammer nosing about (she remains off-camera, save one reflection) in Bishop's childhood home in Nova Scotia. As one interviewee makes clear, the poet was someone who never found home. And that's the premise: Bishop's various living places and her relationship to them, taking Hammer on a journey from Canada to Brazil and various places in the USA.

In part, it works, as Hammer can focus her camera on small details in each house, from furniture Bishop purchased to things she had on her wall, recounted by a range of interviewees who are not particularly well introduced. I found myself stopping the film to Google various folk to understand why they were picked (possible as I watched it in online form!). Thus, the running time jumped from 79 mins to almost double that, as I found myself increasingly frustrated at the storyline emerging. How did Elizabeth end up in Nova Scotia? How long was she in Seattle? Why wasn't there a stop in New York?

It's described as an "impressionistic" documentary, which gives Hammer licence to skip around and her focus is clearly on Bishop's love life as much as her homes, which is a refreshing counter-balance to earlier biographies of her which completely ignored her queerness. What a writer! There is a generous serving of her writing, both her poems, as wel as excerpts from letters and journal entries. But, far from featuring interviews with former lovers as the accompanying notes claim, the interviews are with academics, a few male former students and a housekeeper. Unless I missed something, no lovers. Perhaps they are no longer with us. But, it does rather reek of tittle-tattle. In the end, I found it a bit unsatisfying. What emerged was a fascinating woman not quite given her due.

Sunday, February 28, 2016


As I've been spending a bit more time at home recently, I've been watching some DVDs lent to me by my cineaste friend, B., whose collection features a fair few under-appreciated female directors. So far, I've worked my way through the moody French Innocence, the No Wave-influenced Smithereens and the British microfeature Gypo. All deal to to greater or lesser with people not quite relating or getting along, making a feature of awkwardness and discomfiture, in contrast with typical Hollywood fare which insists on the happy ending.

Innocence, directed by Lucile Hadzihalilovic, is a curious beast, a horror film that never quite warms up to be scary, a mood piece set in an uncertain time and location, at a secluded girls school, where the pupils are so contained, so regimented, that they seem to be self-regulating, with a few elderly staff members popping in to prepare their meals. There are also two teachers (one a young Marion Cotillard) who may or may not be a couple, who offer ballet instruction laced with lessons such as the importance of conforming and following rules. My mind kept flashing to historical regimes such as the Nazis, especially when the girls were put their paces in front of a mysterious head mistress who wanted to see their gums and other physical features. Were they being prepared for some type of eugenics programme? The ending seemed to be a total cop-out, and I found the film didn't quite reach the heights it could have.

By contrast Susan Seidelman's early film, Smithereens, is bursting with energy, action and seedy New York locations as it charts the misadventures of its anti-heroine Wren. Early on in the film she tells anyone who will listen that she is starting a band. But, she then spends most of the film pinballing between two unsuitable men, the mid-Western dude who lives in a van and the would-be rock star. Why, oh why does she never start the band? Why does Seidelman let her run riot for most of the film and then seem to punish her at the end? It almost seemed like she lost her nerve in creating such an unconventional lead.

Finally, there's the British low budget feature, Gypo, directed by Jan Dunn, which is actually quite timely, dealing as it does with refugees who find themselves unwelcome in an English seaside town. Interestingly, it's told from three viewpoints, including a husband and wife, and a refugee. The story really comes to life in the third version, told by the refugee, and moves into a higher gear. I quite enjoyed it, though the early scenes of the squabbling family felt like they went on too long. Some dramas are a bit too close to home, but cinema can be at its most powerful when it makes us feel uncomfortable.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Carolee Schneemann: Unforgivable

I have been thinking about the day-to-day, the routine, the quotidian, everyday life. I have been thinking about how context and form can reshape the banal into the beautiful. I have been thinking about how critics condemned Carolee Schneemann's experimental Super 8 films for their indulgence and personal clutter and how they really are quite fine pieces of work. The current exhibit, Unforgivable, at Work Gallery has ten of her films on view, in digital form. My friend B. and I took in three of them in pieces, interspersed with cups of hot chocolate, chatter and a meal, making for a very fine afternoon.

The film that really spoke to me was the longest, Kitch's Last Meal, which has been described as Schneemann recording her elderly cat declining over many, many meals, but that does the film a disservice. It is a meditation on death and does show the cat in a state of decline, but it is much more than that. Schneemann records her life, the cat's, her farmhouse, her partner of the time, Anthony McCall over a long stretch of time (in this viewing 53:47 over several reels), from 1973-1976. She also comments on institutional sexism, gender roles, and her own approach to art-making in a way that is fascinating, moving and profound. She also dances, makes preserves, and works with her film reels, and goes on car journeys. Her daily life makes up the film, which is in itself a defiant riposte to the art establishment that dismissed women's lives as unworthy of art.

I ponder all this as I face a period of confinement and reduced mobility. I am in the process of making a film and wondering how I will do it in these circumstances. I hope to take some inspiration from Schneemann and let my imagination wander where my corporeal being cannot.

Unforgivable contines at Work Gallery, London until 11 March.