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December 1993


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Robert Withers <[log in to unmask]>
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Mon, 13 Dec 1993 20:36:22 EST
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I thought people might be interested in this message that appeared on the
PERFORM-L list.                                       --Robert
----------------------------Original message----------------------------
I notice that quite a number of films that are *about* performance have
recently been released, and I've been wondering why this might be so.  I'm
thinking of "The Piano," "M. Butterfly," and "Farewell, My Concubine,"
among others.  Another such film, "L'Accompangnatrice," is about to come
out (Will Crutchfield has an article about this new film, comparing it to
"The Piano," in today's NY Times).  As a friend of mine pointed out, films
about performers aren't anything new.  But it seems to me that this new
run of films are rather different in what they're up to.  They all use
performance as a broader metaphor, as a way to explore the mutability of
things like gender and the very construction of desire.  I'd be curious to
know what some of you think is going on.  Is this the trickle-down effect
of reflexive impulses coming out of postmodernism?  Or what?
Deborah Wong
U of Pennsylvania
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