Close Up

16 September 2016: Storm De Hirsch: Goodbye in the Mirror


First of their new strand of screenings at Close-Up, and programmed by Arindam Sen, Rattis Books presents Storm De Hirsch's rarely screened Goodbye in the Mirror on a beautiful 16mm print, "A dramatic feature shot on location in Rome. Centred around the adventures and illusions of three girls living abroad, the film explores their restlessness and personal involvements in assuming the role of woman as hunter".

A founding member of The Film-Makers' Cooperative in New York, and praised by her contemporaries Jonas Mekas and Gregory Markopoulos, De Hirsch's deeply feminine oeuvre of experimental films has been largely ignored in canonical writings on avant-garde and underground cinema. De Hirsch's sole feature film, Goodbye in the Mirror is a discursive analysis of three women’s subjectivity and a contemplation on the philosophy of identity; embracing both formalism and pleasure, the film is a visual feast of experimentation, mesmerising in its ability to capture the phenomenon of apparent movement within the frame.

Goodbye in the Mirror
Storm De Hirsch
1964 | 80 min | B/W | 16mm
Introduced by Arindam Sen

"From the beginning to the end of the film, the spectator's pleasure and understanding are enhanced on the same social filmic scale of that grand experimentalist Rossellini. Though the images in most films are easily forgotten, such is not the case with those of Goodbye in the Mirror. Best retained and rooted are the images and episodes of the turning streetcar; the central characters Maria and Marco; the sweeper; the scurrying nuns; the steps of the water supply tank (homage, perhaps, to Maya Deren's Meshes of the Afternoon); the well-documented bathroom scene; the very amusing song 'I wish I was a fascinating Bitch'; the visual melodies as conceived in the walk episodes which alternate between one character and another; Marco's performance; the grapes being washed and the paper bag crumpled by the same two lovers. One is reminded that there is a sense of existence as in the famous Sous les toits de Paris by René Clair." – Gregory J. Markopoulos

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