July 7–21, 2010
Her earliest short films, which explored film technique, performance, and dance, incorporated experiments with ideas of “expanded cinema,” including projected films, split screens, and live performance. Her low-budget short Thriller (1979), which reverses Mimi’s tragic death in La Bohème, achieved international cult status as a feminist critique of the romantic drama. Thriller was followed by her first feature, The Gold Diggers (1983), a hybrid drama set in a surrealist landscape and starring Julie Christie, which further explored female stereotypes in Hollywood narratives. Her most critically acclaimed film, Orlando (1992)—which premieres here digitally restored in high definition—based on Virginia Woolf’s novel of the same name, features Tilda Swinton as a sixteen-year-old boy who, over four centuries and various escapades, becomes a woman. Potter’s most recent film, RAGE (2009), which is shaped around fourteen direct-address interviews into a cell phone, continues her groundbreaking forays into experimental narrative.
Considered together, these films reveal a common thread of transformation woven throughout Potter’s work—both in her characters’ journeys and in terms of her own ability to transcend genre and work with cutting-edge film forms. All films are written and directed by Potter and from Great Britain, unless otherwise indicated.