Mary Filippo

Feel the Fear (1990) 16mm, color, 24 min

Genre: Experimental

Keywords: Psychology & Mental Health

The film begins with the lyrics of a song: The key to life is your attitude make sure you're doin' what you wanna do and watch your goals unfold right before your eyes change you can do it, we can do it change. The film ends with an audio hypnotherapy voice that tells us: "A message will enter your subconscious mind without conscious effort on your part, and so the changes will take place in your life as they should, without effort, without thought, without strain." In between, we see a woman watch TV and drink, while a man tries not to drink, reads self-help books, and wonders if he could not only change himself but lead others. An actress drinks from a remembered coffee cup. Another woman walks through a park and thinks she is competing in a game show or is a detective in a TV drama, until she realizes she is disguised as a priest. She fears becoming like the man she passes lying in the street, but realizes she has become someone who is otherwise able to ignore him. An on-camera commentator recites a string of quotes, both scientific and anecdotal, on hypnosis, alcohol intoxication, acting and the viewing experience. A lot of scientific and pseudo-scientific explanation, some religious conceptions and a few twisted political images mimic the bombardment of contradictory messages that compete to represent and explain ourselves to ourselves. Images and ideas about alcohol use, television viewing, hypnosis, self-help therapy, acting, mimicry and social responsibility, while connected through metaphoric or formal similarities, reveal illogical, skewed connections of cause and effect. This editing strategy, which forces connections between incompatible images and information, serves to undermine the assured messages, heard throughout the film, and throughout our culture, that both understanding and change are easy. Produced in part with funds from NYSCA and NYFA.

Rental: $60.00
16mm Rental: $60.00

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