Previously at the ICA - Films
13 Nov 2016
In Stabat Mater (1990, 8 mins) Nina Danino draws influence from French feminist theory and her Mediterranean Catholic upbringing to investigate female subjectivity and desire, with a particular attention to the immediate and unmediated voice. Laments sung by her mother bookend a recitation by Danino herself of fragments from the famous Molly Bloom soliloquy at the end of James Joyce’s Ulysses, while a handheld camera captures a torrent of images including a luscious blue sky, palms, a statue of the Virgin, roses and a satellite dish.
Stabat Mater, dir. Nina Danino, 1990, 8 mins.
Jennifer (2015, 72 mins) also shows concern with the sacred, with voice and with silence. In this portrait of an enclosed Carmelite nun, Danino explores what it might mean to live a contemplative life in the 21st century following the legacy of St Teresa, whose writings and representation in Bernini’s famous statue Ecstasy of St. Teresa Danino previously explored in her 1992 film Now I Am Yours. Founder of the Discalced Carmelites and known for her visionary creativity, St Teresa also wrote The Way of Perfection, a practical guide to prayer and community life, which the nuns still use and which is quoted in the film. We are led to consider the difficulties and rewards of those like Jennifer who feel called upon to undertake a life dedicated to prayer and work – what St. Teresa calls a ‘sublime endeavour’.
Jennifer, Nina Danino, 2015, 72 mins.