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Joan Sees Stars

This essay by the 'media-holic' video artist Joan Braderman is in two parts. The first ('Starsick') finds Joan - via Master's video technology - in bed with Liz Taylor (BUtterfield 8) discoursing on friendship and shared movie passion with the stage director Leland Moss (who died of AIDS), her own illness (ulcerated colitis), and her autobiographical feminist deconstruction of the nature of the TV/video image. She mugs to the camera, breathes fire, and places herself in various physically, aesthetically and ideologically compromised positions. Thoughtful, affecting, amusing and highly consumable. Part Two ('MGM: Movie Goddess Machine') is another persuasive melange of stills, clips and images marrying Frankenstein with Gentlemen Prefer Blondes; the Vivien Leigh of GWTW with that of Streetcar; and Ava Gardner (in On the Beach) with Joan herself, ending with a justification of S&M ('a parody of romance') and tattooing ('our refusal written in pain, blood and skin'). A witty slap in the face to all meanie manipulators, not least 'figure fascists' and 'aerobic storm troopers'. Light-hearted and strangely moving.

Release details

Duration: 60 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Joan Braderman, Dana Master
Screenwriter: Joan Braderman
Cast: Joan Braderman
Elizabeth Taylor
Vivien Leigh
Ava Gardner