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Pleasure Dome is pleased to present the Canadian premiere of Toronto filmmaker Barbara Sternberg’s new film Through and Through. Sternberg has been making films since 1975 and has been widely exhibited in Canada and abroad. She has long been a pivotal figure, both as a teacher and as filmmaker, in the post-60’s generation of the Canadian avant-garde. Alongside her filmmaking activities she has been a tireless promoter and curator of films by artists. Barbara Sternberg’s films use techniques such as “multi-layered sound and image tracks…superimposition and split-screen optical printing, and a number of mixed sound sources, creating spatial juxtapositions and a temporal simultaneity of experience for the viewer.” (M. Zryd)
Through and Through Barbara Sternberg, 60 min, 1991.
Through and Through is Sternberg’s most expansive and richly textured film to date. In it she explores her concern with the social location of women in general and with her identity as a Jewish woman in particular. As with Tending Towards the Horizontal, Sternberg continues to deal with “the dilemma of being Jewish here and now – how am I implicated in a long history of being oppressed, expelled, murdered?” Through and Through is composed of two types of images, one of the pastoral: ‘ beautiful landscapes, richly coloured leaves, flowers, etc.; ‘ and the other of masculinity: ‘male figures in the midst of a tug-of-war and a man walking against the wind’. Using single frame filming, the work achieves a pulsing effect like the flickering light of a film projector and as such speaks simultaneously of an absence and presence, of place and of home. Through and Through marks a continuation of Sternberg’s concern with the tensions between the universal and the particular, the generalized and the personal, the formal and informal and a remarkable exploration of how we dwell together within this complex system of differing realities and perceptions.
by Barbara Sternberg