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I am Dora by Jemma Desai
Sat 12 Jan 18:30 ICA, Screen 1
Dir/ Scr Sandra Lahire 1991 25mins Colour 16mm
Lady Lazarus (Mad Men Season 5, Episode 8) 45 mins
Dir Phil Abraham Scr Matthew Weiner 2012
A subjective and personal study, I am Dora is a collaboration between curator Jemma Desai and designer Claire Huss. The series explores how and why women identify with one another and what this means when the identification is with a flawed or misunderstood character.
Each limited run printed edition launches with a programme of films alongside a discussion, or specially curated â€˜in conversationâ€™ aimed at encouraging a more subjective engagement with film and film theory.
Part 3 is a study on the persisting significance of Sylvia Plath.
â€œPerhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously near to wanting nothing.â€ Sylvia Plath, from a draft of a letter to Richard Sassoon, December 1955
Sandra Lahireâ€™s Lady Lazarus from 1991 beautifully reveals the overwhelming allure of Plathâ€™s poetry. The film creates an intimate phantasmagoria, revealing the emotion in her poetry to be as vital as her works are enduring.
Over 20 years later, in 2012, Matthew Weiner wrote Lady Lazarus, an episode of the popular American TV drama Mad Men. This episode and wider series explore the theme of persistent emptiness and dissatisfaction, eerily echoing the sentiments in Plathâ€™s work.
The films will be followed by an â€˜In Conversationâ€™ on Plath, with Jemma Desai, founder of I am Dora, and curator, critic and trainee psychotherapist Sandra Hebron.