Our City Dreams (2008/First Run DVD)
C Sound: C Extras: C Documentary: B-
artists in all media have made some strides to level the art world playing
field, however, the world still tends to be male dominated (note the lack of
female directors in feature film) and Chiara Clemente’s Our City Dreams (2008) looks at five women involved with art that
includes painting, sculpting and much more in this interesting 85 minutes-long
documentary look at the work and lives of Swoon, Ghada Amer, Kiki Smith, Marina
Abramovic and Nancy Spero.
offer five distinct voices of five distinct life experiences with different
backgrounds and age groups, yet all are unified by an honesty about female
life, female sexuality and all are distinct.
Clemente does a fine job of character study on all, bringing home the
artist as much as the art shown. Though
likely known to the art world because they are so good, it is amazing and sad
they are not known beyond it and hopefully, this program will help tot change
that. Don’t be surprised if one or more
of them breaks out in the near future.
anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image is on the weak side, with watered-down
color, a rough mix of what looks like digital video and analog video (save some
stills and old film footage). Why they
went for 16 X 9 is beyond me, but maybe 1.33 would have been looked
better. The Dolby Digital 2.0 sound is
usually monophonic, rarely stereo and always weak, in part because of the
location audio being often rough. The
combination can be trying, so it is good the subjects are interesting. Extras include trailer, trailer gallery for
like DVDs from First Run, text bios, making of featurette, DVD-Rom accessible
PDF timeline and very short film Remembering Stephen Sprouse (at just
over 2 minutes).
- Nicholas Sheffo