Pistolary! Films and Videos by Peggy Ahwesh
Peggy Ahwesh's films, videos and found-footage manipulations are among the most complex, alluring, irreverent and pleasurable objects in women's experimental moving image-making. Since the 1980s Ahwesh has produced works encompassing ethnography, melodrama, science fiction, horror, documentary, pornography and virtual reality, each realized through the aesthetic particularities of different formats (including 16mm, Super-8, digital video and PixelVision), her physical uses of cameras, and her ‘ornate, complicated pastiche’ relationship with processes of editing.1 Aesthetically, formally and structurally Ahwesh's practice is ‘slippery’, associative and, above all, extraordinarily heterogeneous.

Over the last two decades, Peggy Ahwesh has produced one of the most heterogeneous bodies of work in experimental film and video. Drawing from horror films, psychoanalysis, and the writings of Bataille, her films and videos are sublime studies of culturally complex subjects: sexual pleasure, relationships, and notions of the self. With playfulness and humor, she investigates cultural and gender identities, the role of the subject, language and representation.

This 3-disc DVD collection features nine works by maverick film and video maker Peggy Ahwesh.

3 x DVD5 | NTSC 4:3 | 03:34:42 | 10.6 Gb + 3% rec
Language: English
Subtitles: none
Genre: Experimental

Disc 1

The Scary Movie (1993)
Two girls personalize the horror genre with a plot and shot-by-shot structure of their own design, reveling in their ability to reproduce the tropes of horror while, at the same time, taking control of its meaning. With Martina Torr and Sonja Mereu.

She Puppet (2001)
Lara Croft, the virtual girl-doll of the late 20th century, is recast as a triad of her personas: the alien, the orphan, and the clone in this work based on appropriated footage from the game Tomb Raider.

Martina's Playhouse (1989)
In Martina’s Playhouse everything is up for grabs. The little girl of the title oscillates from narrator to reader to performer and from the role of baby to that of mother. While the roles she adopts may be learned, they are not set, and she moves easily between them. Similarly, in filmmaker Peggy Ahwesh’s playhouse of encounters with friends, objects aren’t merely objects but shift between layers of meaning. Men are conspicuously absent, a ‘lack’ reversing the Lacanian/Freudian constructions of women as Ahwesh plays with other possibilities.

The Star Eaters (2003)
A short and inconclusive treatise on women and gambling. The allure of risk- taking, the contradictions of excessive behavior, and a penchant for failure combine in this fairy-tale set in the abandoned decay that was once a glamorous Atlantic City. A sentimental education at the seashore off-season. With Jackie Smith, Alex Auder, and Ricardo Dominguez.

Disc 2

The Deadman (1990)
Charting the adventures of a near-naked heroine who sets in motion a scabrous free-form orgy before returning to the house to die -- this film combines elegance, raunchy defilement and barbaric splendor.

Nocturne (1998)
The woman has perhaps murdered her lover and is living in an unstable world when he returns to her at night, in her dreams and into her arms, as witness to the subversive violence of nature, corporeality and desire.
With Anne Kugler, Bradley Eros and Karen Sullivan. Additional cinematography by Robert Fenz.

Disc 3

73 Suspect Words & Heaven's Gate (2001)
Two text videos from a series that distills to a poetic and symbolic core, a variety of texts, source code, search results, and/or coded messages from the unruly databases that glut the net.

the vision machine (1997)
The spinning disks of Duchamp and the sex jokes of Bunuel collide in this essay about the feminine speaking subject, her wit, and its relation to her unconscious.
With Lucy Smith, Diane Torr.

Strange Weather (1993)
A quartet of crack addicts, absorbed by their life of pure sensation, are holed up inside while the world outside is about to explode.
With Deirdre Lewis, Cheryl Dunye, Jennifer Kay Baker, and Franck Messin

Download Pistolary! Films and Videos by Peggy Ahwesh (1989-2003) 3 x DVD5: