Blood and Guts in High School
2007, 50:27 minutes, colour, English
Blood and Guts in High School features actress Stephanie Vella in a series of video installations that re-imagine punk-feminist icon Kathy Acker's book of the same title. The book received noteriety from 1978-1982 during the rise of Reagan republicanism and the emergence of punk rock. In Parnes' interpretation, each video-chapter presents a typical scene in the life of Janie bracketed by U.S. news events from the time period in which the book was written. These events saturate the character's daily experience, informing her adolescent, nihilistic worldview and her desire for rebellion. As the viewer looks back at pivotal historical events (Jonestown Massacre, Moral Majority, Three Mile Island, etc.) connections are drawn in relation to our current political situation.
"Shot with an hallucination Kubrickian eye, Blood and Guts brings a sleek cinematic esthetic to the often ineptly-lensed genre of gallery video, and offers the form a new role: as Hollywood's unconscious, peeping into the nightmare from which we cannot awake." --Ed Halter, Village Voice critic writing for Cinematexas
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