Yvonne Rainer: MURDER and murder 18


This film is F-Rated

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From the archive

This film was last shown on 28 April 2024

Rainer’s last feature finds the filmmaker in highly personal form as she draws on her own experiences of breast cancer, in a leftfield rom com which explores the joys of late in life lesbian love. Doris (Joanna Merlin), a part-time art teacher and single mother in her early 60s, has surprised herself by falling in love with a woman, lesbian academic Mildred (Kathleen Chalfant). As the two move in together, Doris is diagnosed with breast cancer, setting, setting into motion a darkly comic story which, in quintessential Rainer style, blends forms and genres (slapstick, soap opera, black comedy) to explore life, love, death and politics.

MURDER and murder would mark the end of Rainer’s feature filmmaking, as she returned her focus back to dance; witty, intimate and still, of course, boundary pushing, it makes for a fitting swan song to a remarkable run of films.

Yvonne Rainer: A Retrospective is a UK-wide touring programme presented by archive activist feminist film collective Invisible Women in partnership with the ICA. Restorations undertaken by the Museum of Modern Art and the Celeste Bartos Fund for Film Preservation.

Yvonne Rainer
1 hour 53 minutes
Catherine Kellner, Joanna Merlin, Kathleen Chalfant


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