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Light Reading series 8
Barbara Sternberg

Like a Dream that Vanishes (1999)

no.w.here, London
19 November 2007 | 7pm
Tickets: 5 door / 4 advance
Telephone: 0207 7294494
Email: james.holcombe |at| no-w-here.org.uk

"Like a Dream that Vanishes is not only Sternberg's most artistically accomplished film, it is her most philosophical work to date. This is not because it includes a professor talking about philosophy, though John Davis makes a significant contribution by introducing large, philosophical issues in a work composed of "smaller and rougher" images of everyday life; rather, it is because Sternberg's point of view is philosophical in a more colloquial sense of the term. It is philosophical, that is to say, calm, rational and imbued with a kind of intense equanimity, in its acceptance of the ephemerality of life (and film) and the doubtfulness of ever arriving at final answers or infallible truths. One might also say that Sternberg thinks philosophically through her images. Rather than imposing philosophical ideas on her film's content, she integrates them in the film's formal elements, giving them a filmic embodiment that lets us, as viewers, participate in "the ancient condition of philosophy as beginning in wonder," while, at the same time, reflecting on how "wonder" may be grounded in ordinary events of daily living and revealed through the art of filmmaking ".(Everyday Wonders in Barbara Sternberg's Like a Dream that Vanishes, by William C. Wees)

Toronto filmmaker Barbara Sternberg has been making films since the mid-seventies. Her films - Opus 40 (1979), Transitions (1982), A Trilogy (1985), Tending Towards the Horizontal (1988), At Present (1990), Through and Through (92), Beating (95), C'est la Vie (1996), Awake (1997), midst (1997), Like a Dream that Vanishes (1999), Burning (2002), Surfacing (2004), Praise (2005) - have been screened widely across Canada as well as internationally at the Pompidou Centre in Paris, Kino Arsenal in Berlin, The Museum of Modern Art and Millennium Workshop in New York, and the Ontario Cinematheque, Toronto. Her work is in the collection of the Art Gallery of Ontario and the National Gallery of Canada. She has been a visiting artist at a number of Canadian universities and galleries including the University of Guelph, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Dunlop Art Gallery as well as the Universite d'Avignon, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.


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