Trinh T. Minh-ha does it all: post-colonial theory, music composition, gender studies, Chinese ink-painting, film theory and filmmaking. To be as simple and as honest as I can be, her work excites me. Lately I can't read an article in a film publication without being turned off by how much of film criticism draws from comparison. Granted, I think this is an inherently dogmatic device for film-lovers: one thrives through the proof of extensive, obscure knowledge. I will admit to relishing in the dark the ability to recognize shots nodding to famous camera movements and the like, but at a certain point I get fed up and want to see all referents blown up into small Saussurian chunks (I promise I like the guy!). Minh-ha's films address the problems attached to representative contextualization. Naturally, right after criticizing this particular rhetoric, I can't help but thinking of Varda, Costa, and one of my favorite duos, Straub & Huillet. The first words of Nake Spaces might be the new motto of my blog: "Not descriptive, not informative, not interesting." Luckily, the same can't be said for her films.
Film stills from Naked Spaces- Living is Round (1985) and Reassemblage (1982).