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In Focus: Betzy Bromberg 3

Ciao Bella or Fuck Me Dead

Betzy Bromberg | 1978 | USA | 9’ | 16mm | English spoken 

“In Ciao Bella (1978), Bromberg shows us a world of crowded New York streets and hauntingly empty interior spaces, graced briefly by wisps of childish energy and the provocation of nearly naked women. She deftly contrasts such vibrant exuberance with a sense of devastating loss, and the effect is at once brazenly personal (if elliptical) and incredibly powerful. Unfolding desire merges with the ever-present reality of the threat of losing what you love…. In Ciao Bella, one of the final shots is of a jubilant topless dancer caught in a reddish flare and sprocket holes; the picture merges the woman’s vivacious energy with film as a medium, and this is a perfect emblem for Bromberg’s work. She somehow lets her filmmaking and ideas become embodied in the film itself; they are folded together in a remarkable synergy that could almost be construed as some sort of philosophical system for being in the world.” (Holly Willis) 


Az Iz

Betzy Bromberg | 1983 | USA | 37’ | 16mm | English spoken 

A descent into a desert underworld. A macabre tale of life and lifelessness.  

“In Az Iz, Bromberg builds what might be considered a jazz opera – it’s all saxophone riffs, repetition and fragments, but swells to epic proportions, essaying notions of origins and archetypes. The deepest blues highlight the sky behind three people in the mountains, and later, black-and-white images of twisted and torqued trees resonate with all the mystical glory of Being. Az Iz , with its sense of grandeur and beauty, is downright breath-taking, and the effect is sublime.” (Holly Willis)  


Body Politic (God Melts Bad Meat)

Betzy Bromberg | 1988 | USA | 40’ | 16mm | English spoken 

“The body, culture and nature are also at stake in Body Politic, a film that goes to a hospital operating room, research laboratories and a family picnic to outline the issues raised by genetic experimentation. With her typical serious humour, Bromberg explores both the claims of science (we can improve human life) and the claims of religion (God made perfect beings) and implicitly asks the question, ‘How do we know when we’ve gone too far?’ … There’s no voice-over and the argument is made by an athletic juxtaposition and testimony.” (Helen Knode) 

 In the presence of Betzy Bromberg and followed by a Q&A