Feelings Are Facts: The Life of Yvonne Rainer
with guest director Jack Walsh
Yvonne Rainer has been overthrowing genres and radically altering the way we experience dance, film, and performance art for 50 years. Feelings Are Facts examines the contradictions and creativity of this remarkable provocateur, still performing at age 80, and raises the question, What does is mean to be an avant-garde artist today?
Yvonne Rainer exploded onto the performance scene in the early 1960s, a protégé of John Cage and Merce Cunningham, boldly pursuing a minimalist aesthetic, using everyday, often random movements that confounded critics. At the Judson Dance Theater, which Rainer co-founded, she collaborated with the rule-breaking artists of her generation: Robert Rauschenberg, Trisha Brown, Steve Paxton, Lucinda Childs, and Meredith Monk. With foundational works like “Trio A,” Rainer radically altered the vocabulary of modern dance forever.
In the ‘70s, Rainer turned from performance to filmmaking, bringing both humorous storytelling and dense theory to seven independent features. After 25 years of filmmaking, encouraged by dancers including Mikhail Baryshnikov, Rainer, in her 60s, returned to choreography once again to make courageous, unpredictable dances.
Rainer comes across here as a flinty, inspiring and indefatigably questing practitioner, keen to explore her chosen fields to their maximum potential.
– Neil Young, The Hollywood Reporter
Directed by Jack Walsh
Written by Jack Walsh
Cinematography by Marsha Kahm
Editing by Laurie Lezin-Schmidt, Bill Weber
Cast: Yvonne Rainer, B. Ruby Rich, Steve Paxton, Carolee Schneemann, Simone Forti, Lucinda Childs, Douglas Crimp