Wednesday, January 25, 2017 - 7:00pm - 10:00pm
Pollock Theater, UCSB


Privilege (1990)

Screening format: DVD (103 Minutes)

Director: Yvonne Rainer

The event is free but a reservation is recommended to guarantee a seat.

Privilege, Yvonne Rainer's sixth feature, is a genuinely subversive movie about menopause. Taking on a subject that has been virtually invisible on film, Rainer has fashioned a witty and risky work about sexual identity and the unequal economies of race, gender, and class. Privilege is set in motion by clips from an old black-and-white educational film, and features a cast of characters with varied, provocative, and often contrasting political viewpoints. Jenny, the white, middle-aged protagonist, agrees to be interviewed by Yvonne, an African-American friend who is making a documentary on menopause.  Her candid observations are punctuated by intense flashbacks, which reveal an experience that she has kept secret for 25 years.

Director Yvonne Rainer will join UCSB Professor of Film & Media Studies Constance Penley for a post-screening discussion.

Yvonne Rainer, filmmaker, is one of the founders of the Judson Dance Theater.  She made a transition to filmmaking following a fifteen-year career as a choreographer/dancer (1960-1975). After making seven experimental feature-length films  — including Lives of Performers (1972), Privilege (1990), and MURDER and murder (1996) — she returned to dance in 2000 via a commission from the Baryshnikov Dance Foundation (“After Many a Summer Dies the Swan”). Her dances and films have been seen throughout the U.S., including the Whitney Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Kitchen, Dia Beacon; in Europe and South America at the Louvre and Montpelier, also Documenta 12, Helsinki, Italy, Dublin; London, and Sao Paulo, Brazil. Museum retrospectives of her work, including drawings, photos, films, notebooks, and memorabilia, have been presented at Kunsthaus Bregenz and Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2012); the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles; Jeu de Paume, École des Beaux Artes; La Ferme du Buisson, Paris; and Raven Row, London (2014). A memoir — Feelings Are Facts: a Life — was published by MIT Press in 2006. A selection of her poetry was published in 2011 by Paul Chan’s Badlands Unlimited. Other writings have been collected in Work: 1961-73 (1974); The Films of Y.R. (1989); and A Woman Who…: Essays, Interviews, Scripts (1999). She is a recipient of two Guggenheim Fellowships and a MacArthur Fellowship.

Constance Penley, moderator, is Professor of Film and Media Studies and Founding Director and Co-Director Emeritus of the Carsey-Wolf Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and studied at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales. Her major areas of research interest are film history and theory, feminist theory, cultural studies, contemporary art, and science and technology studies. She is a founding editor of Camera Obscura: Feminism, Media, Cultural Studies and editor or co-editor of the influential collections Feminism and Film Theory, Male Trouble, Technoculture, The Visible Woman: Imaging Technologies, Science and Gender, and The Feminist Porn Book: The Politics of Producing Pleasure (with Tristan Taormino, Mireille Miller-Young, and Celine Parreñas Shimizu). Her books include The Future of an Illusion: Film, Feminism, and Psychoanalysis, NASA/TREK: Popular Science and Sex in America, and the forthcoming Teaching Pornography. She is co-producer of Porn 101 with Katie Morgan for HBO Documentaries. Her collaborative art projects are “MELROSE SPACE: Primetime Art by the GALA Committee” and “Biospheria: An Environmental Opera,” on which she was co-librettist. Penley is a recipient of the MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Award and the Kenneth Burke Society Prize in Rhetorical Criticism.

This event is sponsored by the Carsey-Wolf Center, the Department of Theater and Dance, and the UCSB Art, Design & Architecture Museum in conjunction with the exhibition Radical Bodies.