Shifting Polarities: the VHS Tape in Film (Autumn 2016)

Shifting Polarities: the VHS Tape in Film is a series of screenings & discussions on the presence of the Video Tape in narrative cinema, presented by Vartan Avakian in collaboration with Dawawine.

The series runs parallel to Avakian’s seminar on the videotape at the School of Visual Arts at Alba. 

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The subject

VHS, the video home system that dominated consumer markets in the 1980s, was designed to be a personal, portable and an intimate medium for recording video. Cinema was attracted by the mysterious architecture of this magnetic videotape as an object of latent images and utilized the act of videotaping as a self-reflexive tool in its narrative. In the films of this series, the videotape appears into story and unthreads the narrative fabric of the characters by introducing new paradigms that disrupt the coordinates of their reality. 

The movies 

Videodrome by David Cronenberg 
Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter by David Zellner 
Caché by Michael Haneke 
Lost Highway by David Lynch 
Benny’s Video by Michael Haneke 

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