My Life Without Steve / The Accursed Mazurka

Using different strategies from experimental cinema and first-person documentary, Gillian Leahy's My Life Without Steve and Nina Fonoroff's The Accursed Mazurka are two medium-length films that deal with the representation of a mental crisis. Both films are based on the personal experiences of the filmmakers and, through filmic forms, attempt to express and understand the despair and pain they have felt at a certain point in their lives.

My Life Without Steve traces a year in the life of a woman after being rejected by her partner. The narrative takes the form of an essay that uses voiceover to tell the story of this failed relationship, a monologue made up of fragments from her diary and letters, as well as quotes from books and songs. This voiceover is accompanied by carefully filmed images of her home: a window with a view, objects, furniture, paintings, vases, kitchen utensils, family photos and books.

In The Accursed Mazurka, Nina Fonoroff mixes layers of images, both created and appropriated, making extensive use of optical copying and other filmic techniques to evoke a psychological crisis. The film is a highly complex interpretation of the director's struggle with depression and her time spent in a psychiatric hospital.

My Life Without Steve, Gillian Leahy, 1986, 35 mm, 53 min, Spanish subtitles.

Department of the Interior Nina Fonoroff, Nina Fonoroff, 1986, 16 mm, 9 min.

The Accursed Mazurka, Nina Fonoroff, 1994, 16 mm, 40 min, Spanish subtitles.

Digital copy of My Life Without Steve from Ronin Films. Analogue prints of Nina Fonoroff from Canyon Cinema.

31 March 2022


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