Priscila Fernandes & They Shoot Horse, Don’t They?

30 June, 8 pm
in collaboration with Cinema of the Dam’d
Online movie programme with a Zoom-introduction and a Q&A with Priscila Fernandes

What is the connection between rollerblading and modernism? Or the link between paddle pools and capitalism? Between tanning and productivity? This special screening programme co-hosted by Cinema of the Damn’d and Hotel Maria Kapel features work by artist Priscila Fernandes shown alongside Sydney Pollack’s They Shoot Horse, Don’t They?

Fernandes’ work humorously explores the relationships between work, leisure and capitalism. Her artistic films paint pictures of bodies playing, relating, relaxing and dancing, often humorously and in bright colours. Pollack’s film, released in the waning days of the Hollywood studio system, launches a savage critique of American capitalism, while eerily predicting the excesses of reality TV.

In California, during the height of the Great Depression, drifter Robert (Michael Sarrazin) and misanthrope Gloria (Jane Fonda, never shadier) compete with other desperate couples in a gruelling dance marathon for a $1500 prize. The contest stretches on for weeks, as a sadistic emcee (Gig Young) and a rabid audience push the dancers to their limit. Sydney Pollack’s grim, but fascinating drama is one of the most pessimistic Hollywood films ever made. Hustling between the backstage power plays, and the dizzying dance-offs, Pollack exposes the cruelties of showbiz spectacle.

Before the screening attendees were greeted by one of Cinema of the Dam’d programmers who introduced the program using Zoom. During intermission and after the screening, people were welcome to discuss the film or just say hi. After the screening, Priscila Fernandes joined us for a Q&A.

Priscila Fernandes: Calibration Circle (2011, 2 minutes)
Priscila Fernandes: Gozolandia (2016, 17 minutes)
They Shoot Horses Don’t They (Sydney Pollack 1969, 120 minutes. Watch trailer.)
Priscila Fernandes: Product of Play (2011, 4 minutes)

About Priscila Fernandes
Priscila Fernandes (1981, Portugal) is a visual artist living and working in Rotterdam. Her practice is rooted in an ongoing research into education, play, and the dialectics of work and leisure. She works in a broad range of media, from video, installation, sound, sculpture, drawing, painting, photography and text. She is currently artist in residence at Hotel Maria Kapel. More about Priscila Fernandes.

About Cinema of the Dam’d
Cinema of the Dam’d curates and presents unconventional film programmes in Amsterdam. They present a mixture of repertory programming and new films from around the world. They champion unusual, distinctive, and adventurous work, especially independent and undistributed films overlooked by commercial cinemas and established film houses.

Images: Priscila Fernandes: Product of Play (2011, film still); Priscila Fernandes: Calibration Circle (2011, film still); Priscila Fernandes: Gozolandia (2016, film still); They Shoot Horses Don’t They (Sydney Pollack 1969, film still)