Lesbian Artist Yvonne Rainer
Lesbian Artist Yvonne Rainer

Feelings Are Facts: The Life of Yvonne Rainer tells the story of one of America’s most important artists.

Feelings Are Facts: The Life of Yvonne Rainer will screen at the Mardi Gras Film Festival on Saturday, February 20 at 2 pm. Director Jack Walsh spoke with LOTL about his new film and the amazing lesbian artist that is its subject.

Tell us about your film?

Feelings Are Facts: The Life of Yvonne Rainer tells the riveting story of one of America’s most important artists. In 1962, as a founding member of Judson Dance Theater, Rainer revolutionised modern dance by introducing everyday movements like walking and running into the dance lexicon. Abandoning choreography in the ’70s, Rainer introduced narrative techniques into American avant-garde film, turning that genre on its head. In Feelings Are Facts, we follow Rainer, now 81 and returned to choreography, as she continues to create vibrant, courageous, unpredictable dances that invite audiences to question basic assumptions about art and performance.

What made you want to make the film?

I read Yvonne’s memoir of the same title and was moved to learn that she took her first dance class at 25, and three years later, with Judson Dance Theater, revolutionised dance ushering in the postmodern period. I was fascinated that in a field where many people are ending their careers, she upended the commonly held beliefs, blazed her own trail, and continues to create choreography today.

Why should LOTL readers see your film?

If they are interested in contemporary dance, art or cinema, this is the film for them. If they want to see a fascinating story about how an artist creates work and sustains a career for five decades, there will be plenty to keep them engaged. If they are queer, it’s the story of an amazing queer artist who came out late in life and incorporated that into her artmaking.

What part of queer culture do you think people want to see more of?

Great question and I have no idea. I can speak for myself and say that I want to see more films about queer artists and their impact on larger cultural movements and trends.

Who is your queer icon?

I don’t have one. But I have great respect for queer artists who bucked the trend of their times such as John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Christopher Isherwood, Jill Johnston, Derek Jarman, Mark Rappaport and Isaac Julien, to name a few.


More Information

When: Saturday 20 February 2016, 2pm

Where: Event Cinemas George Street

Check out the full program here