The Love Tapes and Casablanca



Cinefamily rings in Valentine's Day with a screening of video artist Wendy Clarke's The Love Tapes, in which the daughter of avant-garde/indie filmmaker Shirley Clarke takes the concept of the photo-booth-as-confessional to its logical end. Since 1977, Clarke has made kiosks equipped with video cameras available to interested individuals who want to briefly pontificate about the meaning of love and what it is to them. (It's rather telling that Clarke made her videos available to the American Psychiatric Association in 1982.) Not only is Cinefamily hosting a selection of Clarke's favorite answers of the more than 800 testimonies she's collected in the last 30 years — you too can drop by the theater and give your two cents' worth on the topic, as people have been doing in the weeks leading to tonight's screening. It's a revolutionary concept, in that the man-on-the-street is usually asked about the economy, television or war. Being asked about love, and how one feels about it, tends to — as with Philippe Halsman's jump photography or the Pepsi Challenge — make the subject focus on the immediacy of the act, summoning forth a surprisingly broad and tender volley of introspection and honesty. Screening with The Love Tapes is Casablanca (1942), and while you've likely seen it more times than you can count, it never hurts to revisit this avatar of movie romance and give a thought to those who have no love in their lives on this particular day. If you don't feel a full-body shiver of emotion at Rick's heroic sacrifice of letting Ilsa get on that airplane — to paraphrase Claude Rains' Inspector Renault, "I'm shocked, shocked!" (Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre; Thurs., Feb. 14, 8 p.m.

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