Film & Video

lower case "w" wife

2003
11 min

At least 1700 books and movies found in Internet and library databases contain the word "wife" in their title. "Wife" appears in these titles swaddled by adjectives and descriptive phrases, which upon closer examination, can be deemed to mirror social attitudes toward women as wives in the time span represented by the given literary and film media. Dozens of titles identify the wife by her husband's chosen occupation (as in "The Pilot's Wife", "The Baker's Wife"); others polarize the persona of the wife into good/bad, angry/kind, cheating/faithful.

The video lower case ''w" wife is based on a series of l=a=n=g=u=a=g=e poems written, or rather constructed, from the words that appear in the titles as descriptives of "wife". The poems lack narrative sense, yet are held together by the tools of syntax and poetic structure to sound as though they tell a story. This particular nature of the language poems is juxtaposed with visual interpretations of various rituals associated with marriage and wife-hood, such as carrying the bride over the threshold of the groom's house and displaying the wedding night linens as evidence of the bride's virginity. Such customs, though rendered senseless by the passage of history, are still invoked in marriage ceremonies, whether in the traditional or watered-down contemporary form, by those making the transition from single life to wife-hood.

The broken narrative of this piece depicts the inner tribulations of a woman in her passage toward becoming a wife. lower case "w" wife contemplates the stifling ritualized nature of marriage and weighty cultural and historical implications of what it means to become, to be, to be made a wife.

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Credits

Cast
Robert LoGiudice, Wendy Tremayne, Marina Potok
Voiceover
Andrea Mineo, Olive Bragazzi, Katy Lewis, Nan Turner
Camera, Editor and Animation
Marina Potok
Additional Camera
Robert LoGiudice
Sound Design and Mix
Matt Roth

Festivals & Screenings

  • Official Selection of the 2004 New York Short Film Festival
  • 11th San Francisco Art Institute Film and Video Festival, San Francisco CA, 2004, awarded Jurors´┐Ż Citation
  • Howl East Village Film Festival/Anthology Film Archives New Filmmakers Series, New York NY, 2004
  • Ms. Films, Durham NC, 2004
  • School of Visual Arts MFA Thesis Show, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Rose Cinemas, September 25, 2003

Poetry