Book Report

Jeanne C. Finley, John Muse

2017 | 00:13:30 | United States | English | Color | Stereo | 16:9 | HD video

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: Literature, Politics, Television

Book Report explores themes of sexual assault, the weaponization of language, and the futility of escape. It combines short sequences of Mad Men's Don Draper with relevant facts about the 2016 presidential campaign — including a history of the hashtag #trumpbookreport and notes on a payment to the mysteriously named “Draper Sterling” ad agency. A choral voice-over, drawn from the infamous Access Hollywood transcript, revises the misogynist “locker room talk,” turning it against the original speaker. In the Mad Men sequences, Draper’s reading is always interrupted, as though his efforts to be elsewhere are doomed. Mysterious, specimen-like images intervene in the scenes of reading, providing both commentary and a vivid index of Draper’s immersion. The text and voiceover create a tense counterpoint: Draper reads and viewers are invited to read over his shoulder, but with little patience for literature, facts, or civility.

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Premiere

Aesthetica Short Film Festival
York
2017

Stream Single Title

Title Awards Image Major Exhibitions/Festivals Description
Sea in the Blood

Equal First Prize for Best Male Short, Inside Out, Toronto Lesbian and Gay Film Festival

Sea in the Blood

OutFest (LA, CA.), 2001

Rotterdam International Film Festival (The Netherlands), 2001

 

Athens Int'l Film/Video Festival (OH), 2001

 

 

Sea In The Blood is a personal documentary about living with illness, tracing the relationship of the artist to thalassemia in his sister Nan, and AIDS in his partner Tim. At the core of the piece are two trips. The first is in 1962, when Richard went from Trinidad to England with Nan to see a famous hematologist interested in her unusual case. The second is in 1977 when Richard and Tim made the counterculture pilgrimage from Europe to Asia. The relationship with Tim blossomed, but Nan died before their return. The narrative of love and loss is set against a background of colonialism in the Caribbean and the reverberations of migration and political change.

"Sea in the Blood was to be a meditation on race, sexuality and disease, but after working with the material for three years, it was the emotional story that came through. It's hard to work with such personal material, but in the end the work takes on a life of its own. 'Richard' is a character. Because of the subject matter — disease and death — I wanted to avoid sentimentality. I'd like the audience to think as well as feel."

— Richard Fung