Dana Plays

Across the Border (1982) 16mm, color, 8 min

Genre: Documentary, Experimental

Keywords: Ethnic / Multicultural, Political / Social Activism

In Across the Border, filmmaker Dana Plays expresses her lifelong commitment to the culture of Latin America. More specifically, her film offers the viewer an unusual insight into the complex relationship between the people of El Salvador and the United States government. Completed in 1982, during a period in which many American artists were trying to convey their anger with their own country's politics. Across the Border transcends the conventions of social documentary as we have come to know it through public television. Instead, Plays manipulates visual elements that compose the image through coloring and fragmentation. She uses this process of deconstruction to lead to a greater understanding of those "man-made" constructs that are responsible for the oppression she has witnessed. But Plays' message is hardly dogmatic. The subtlety of her collage-like style suggests a very open message, giving the viewer the opportunity to enter the work as a thinking human being rather than a receptacle of one person's point of view. Dana Plays' personal involvement with the people of El Salvador follows in the tradition of a cross cultural awareness expressed by other women filmmakers such as Maya Deren (Haiti), Margaret Meed (Bali, New Guinea) and Chick Strand (Mexico).

Rental: $30.00
16mm Rental: $30.00

Dana Plays

Zero Hour (1992) 16mm, black and white, 30 min

Genre: Experimental

Keywords: Found Footage, Political / Social Activism

The transgression and confrontation is re-enacted in this brilliant fugue-like film by Dana Plays constructed of found footage, and concerning both American involvement in oversees conflict and the resultant unseen plight of the child refugee. Subverting state-sponsored informational films on such issues as war bonds and highway safety, Plays transforms these agit-prop rhetorics into a celluloid mirror of transgression as a larger cultural pathology. In Zero Hour, the results - the products of war return to the initial cite of production: an assumed audience of Americans, middle-class citizens of an ideal suburban dream who have somehow foregone the immediate experiences and repercussion of mass destruction and displacement. The gaze rests on us. We are the sugar-stated, hyper and unaware violator, an audience whose relationship to world events is nowhere more homogeneous than in or communal incubation and guilt.

Rental: $60.00
16mm Rental: $60.00

Dana Plays

Love Stories my Grandmother Tells (1994) 16mm, black and white, 30 min

Genre: Experimental

Keywords: Biography & Autobiography, Personal / Diary / Journal

A portrait of Dana Plays' 90 year old paternal grandmother, Peggy Regler, reminiscing about her love affairs and significant relationships. Regler tells about her failed first marriage, the agreement she had to stay until the children were grown (but to see other lovers) which resulted in the true love she found with her second husband and renowned writer Gustav Regler, who later died a tragic death in India. The love affairs are historically rooted in the political and technological developments 20th century, and are narratively based in a complex sound/image structure. Interludes (silent optically printed film passages narrated with inter-titles excerpted from her diaries, and early childhood memories) formalistically refer to early cinema. The footage in these passages is re-contextualized and interwoven metaphorically throughout the text.

Rental: $60.00
16mm Rental: $60.00

Dana Plays

Nuclear Family (2001) 16mm, color, 22 min

Genre: Experimental

Keywords: Found Footage, Psychology & Mental Health

"A haunting, emotional exploration of human isolation drawn from observational films - scientific films, documentation of animal-behavior experiments, and early preschool footage." -- Kath Geritz, Pacific Film Achive.

Rental: $50.00
16mm Rental: $50.00

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