Of all the films I have seen throughout this “And Yet She Moves” series the documentary, Shulie was the most unique one for me. The first aspect of my unique experience of the film was the way in which it was produced. The discussion prior to the film made me believe that Shulie was an unintentional masterpiece. The mundaneness of the subject that is being filmed fascinated me because this must have been differently refreshing in the mid 1990’s. The subject, however, isn’t so mundane. She’s an artist that is going through her daily routine of being in the studio, on the go, and dealing the people around her. I didn’t know that this was apparently a re-shoot of a similar production in the 1960’s. The original is quite different as it follows Shulamith Firestone doing things that aren’t necessarily related to her art. It was more like being in the subway, working in the post office. I love this contrast between the contemporary version and the original. I also founded interested how the film played tricks on the audience. We were led to believe that the contemporary Shulie follows the same real Firestone as we might have in the original. The opening quote of “No matter how many levels of consciousness one reaches, the problem always goes deeper–from The Dialectic of Sex, 1970″ made me think about Variety in a weird way. The main character of Variety seems to be disconnected from her conscious in that she does whatever she wants and follows whomever she pleases. Although I wasn’t around in the 1970’s I can presume that there might be a little tension between the way in which the audience from that time perceives the film to our contemporary audience. I just wonder what that discussion would’ve entailed. As for the feminist movement, it would be interesting to see Subrin’s take on the evolution of this political movement throughout the last four decades. There is one mistake that we should avoid in my opinion. And that is assuming that the remake is a clone of the original and that aside from the time period in which we live in there isn’t much of difference. Quite the contrary, there are important differences between the two films that should not be lost. For example, the way the second film uses concepts is different than the first and even better from my perspective. Another example is the camera shots, costumes, props and backgrounds. It’s much easier for me to aesthetically appreciate the contemporary version than the original. One question what I thought should’ve been addressed in the discussion that followed the film was how the contemporary remake utilized ideas from the original. Overall, I was really impressed with this portrait of an artist in the making. It was different than all of the films that we have watched. I felt that I didn’t necessarily have to think but observe more. I didn’t have to think about concepts or ideas. I honestly enjoyed watching Shulie as much as the camera enjoyed film it.
U of M Student Responds to "Shulie"
And Yet She Moves: Reviewing Feminist Cinema is a series co-organized by the Walker Art Center and the University of Minnesota. As a part of the collaboration, we will be using this blog as a venue for students to respond to and discuss the films. This post presents several viewpoints and responses to Shulie which screened in the Lecture Room during November. Written by U of M Student Rashid Ali