Go, Women’s Experimental Cinema, Go!

Lily is reading Go, Dog, Go! out loud on the couch in my office. I am working.

“Get up! It is day. Time to get up. Go, dogs, go! Where are they going?”

The images that flash and are superimposed on the screen defy the controlling orderliness of conventional narrative. Keller does not eliminate the dark corners that do not fit a predetermined story. She includes, rather, all the contradictory, obscure, and mysterious images and sounds in a prismatic structure that documents her own experience of the place that formed her.

“Go, dogs, go, to the top of the tree. Up there on top of the tree. A dog party. A dog party. A big dog party.”

The film differs, however, in both its overt political intentions and in its imagery, for Keller has moved here from the natural and familial world to one in which found footage plays an important role. Just as her unfinished book project sought to examine women’s films that deranged patriarchal constructs by manipulating media manifestations of them, this last film contrasts two versions of a world she knows well: the narrow descriptions of women’s lives offered by Hollywood and a dominating male voice, as opposed to the far richer version created by the wide-open eyes of the experimental artist fully aware of cinema’s potential.

“‘And now do you like my hat?’ ‘I do! What a hat. I like it. I like that party hat.'”

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