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I am Dora by Jemma Desai

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18:30 Sat 12 Jan 2013

ICA, Screen 1

I am Dora 

Lady Lazarus 

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 ‘in conversation’ aimed at encouraging a more subjective engagement with film and film theory. 

Part 3 is a study on the persisting significance of Sylvia Plath.

“Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously near to wanting nothing.” Sylvia Plath, from a draft of a letter to Richard Sassoon, December 1955

Sandra Lahire’s Lady Lazarus from 1991 beautifully reveals the overwhelming allure of Plath’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 Plath’s work.

The films will be followed by an ‘In Conversation’ on Plath, with Jemma Desai, founder of I am Dora, and curator, critic and trainee psychotherapist Sandra Hebron.

Find I am Dora on Facebook and Twitter


The Mall, St James's
020 7930 3647
£14 / concs £11