Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Spider Woman 

Wednesday, Oct 22 2008
Perhaps a benefit of its epic gestation -- much of the original footage dates back to '93 -- Marion Cajori and Amei Wallach's documentary biography of nonagenarian sculptor Louise Bourgeois nicely distinguishes itself from a current theatrical epidemic of stultifyingly admiring life-of-the-artist docs. Bourgeois, born in France but expatriated to the U.S. before World War II, has tangled with surrealism, feminism, postmodernism, and most any other -ism you could think of in the course of her creative life. The filmmakers seem to have developed an unusual intimacy with their subject, and part of this film's pleasure is in the intergenerational frictions that come up in Bourgeois and Wallach's conversations, with the interviewer trying to coax her subject into mouthing explicitly feminist cant, and Bourgeois cannily demurring. When Wallach calls a Brancusi sculpture "phallic," Bourgeois scoffs; while many activists read Bourgeois's oeuvre as a rebellion against the patriarchy of her girlhood (the Guerrilla Girls: "She's our icon, whether she likes it or not"), Bourgeois insists that she's been reacting to one specific patriarch: her philandering father. The artist's festering recollections of her girlhood mesh with guided first-person tours of her sculptures, creating a privileged look into a psyche rendered solid.
Fri., Nov. 14, 7:15 & 9:25 p.m.; Sat., Nov. 15, 2, 4:15, 7:15 & 9:25 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 16, 2, 4:15, 7:15 & 9:25 p.m.; Mon., Nov. 17, 7:15 & 9:25 p.m., 2008

About The Author

Nick Pinkerton


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"