Co-sponsored by the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, the Counter Cinema/Counter Media Project at the University of Chicago Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, and the Nightingale Cinema.
Barbara Hammer will appear via Skype in conversation with Jennifer Wild, associate professor in the University of Chicago’s Department of Cinema and Media Studies and Department of Romance Languages and Literatures.
As part of a two-night celebration of pioneering lesbian filmmaker Barbara Hammer, we’re pleased to present the Chicago premiere of her latest film, Welcome To This House (2015, 79 min., DCP), a feature documentary on the homes and loves of poet Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979), about life in the shadows, and the anxiety of art making without full self-disclosure. Hammer filmed in Bishop’s “best loved homes” in the U.S., Canada, and Brazil, believing that buildings and landscapes bear cultural memories. Interviews with poets, friends, and scholars provide “missing documents” of numerous female lovers. Bishop’s intimate poetry is beautifully performed by Kathleen Chalfant, and with the creative music composition by Joan La Barbara, it brings Bishop into our lives with new ways and unexpected details. Senses of Cinema raved, “as befits its subject, the film is a primarily poetic project, which inhabits the world of Bishop and her poetry, entranced by the beauty of life in all its forms.” Slant Magazine said “Hammer is careful to keep the film’s focus primarily on a sensorial experience of Bishop’s work and chosen habitat, which at its best becomes a polymorphous evocation of the sonorous affects permeating Bishop’s physical and psychological milieu.”