Deliver

2008 | 01:38:00 | United States | English | Color | Stereo | 16:9 | HD video

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: Blu-ray, Crime or Violence, Expedition/Travel, Feminism, Film or Videomaking, Gender, Hollywood, Media Analysis, Remake

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Like a generation of viewers, I was profoundly affected by Deliverance.  But I have always been troubled by the hegemonic structures of gender proposed by Boorman and Dickey. Hence, my version is played by women: myself, Peggy Ahwesh, Jackie Goss, Su Friedrich, and Meredith Root, all experimental filmmakers who work as academics. While faithful to our respective male characters, we also play ourselves.

Provocative questions arise through these filters of similarity and difference. My film's title, Deliver, refers to the re-birthing experience of surviving extreme physical challenges, the product-obsessed nature of the film industry, and, of course, the fact that it is only women who can, biologically, truly deliver. Unlike the Deep South setting of Deliverance, Deliver takes place in the Catskill Mountains. The group goes canoeing down a river, which is, believe it or not, called Beaverkill. We are confronted by two local women armed with a shotgun, and one of us is sodomized. This is the moment when a seemingly simple exercise in gender inversion becomes complicated. In the original, the iconic male hillbillies' hostility toward bourgeois men is based largely on land entitlement. Few women can claim that history of entitlement, and the Catskills are not hillbilly country. Most importantly, there is the false notion that women do not pose a sexual threat to one another. What, then, motivates this rape? At what point do we read it as an unconvincing imitation of a "real" rape? The lines between bathos and pathos become dangerously blurred. It is the aim of this film to pose critical questions about the gendering of nature, homosocial sexual violence, and the act of filmmaking itself.

-- Jennifer Montgomery

Note: This title is intended by the artist to be viewed in High Definition. While DVD format is available to enable accessibility, VDB recommends presentation on Blu-ray or HD digital file.

Premiere

Migrating Forms at Brooklyn Academy of Music
Brooklyn, NY

Exhibitions + Festivals

PDX Festival, Portland, 2010

Chicago Underground Film Festival, 2008

British Film Institute, London

Images Film Festival, Toronto

XCENTRIC, Center of Contemporary Culture, Barcelona

 

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