Her Socialist Smile

© John Gianvito, Her Socialist Smile

John Gianvito

USA 2020
93 min | HD | English
DOP+S: John Gianvito | E: John Gianvito, Eric P. Gulliver | M: Martin Marks | P+Sales: Traveling Light

sunday 10 oct 5.00 pm werkstattkino

Nearly all of the film is taken from Keller’s public talks and handsomely transcribed in lengthy sequences featuring only white lettering against a black screen. Gianvito here places a primacy on language and clarity of thought to a degree previously unseen in his work. Arranged in chapters, the film tells Keller’s story in four distinct ways: through voiceover, archival materials, block text, and newly shot landscape footage. Read by poet Carolyn Forché, the narration was recorded in a studio in scenes filmed in black and white; with her beguiling cadence, Forché contextualizes Keller’s emergence as a political figure and the extent of the authorities’ inquiry into her activities. Aside from its historical import, Her Socialist Smile is a work of exceptional aesthetic beauty, all vivid landscapes, elegant typographies, and lovingly filmed objects and interiors. (Jordan Cronk, Cinema-Scope)

John Gianvito works as a filmmaker, curator, and teacher in Boston, Massachusetts. He was in charge of the film program at the Harvard Film Archive and is film curator at the List Visual Arts Center at MIT. He teaches media arts at Emerson College.

Filme (Auswahl) The Mad Songs of Fernanda Hussein 2001 | Puncture Wounds 2002 | Profit Motive and the Whispering Wind 2007 (2. UX) | Far From Afghanistan 2012 (8., 16. UX) Wake 2015 | Her Socialist Smile 2021

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