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Cinema Studies
Experimental Film

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A film by Leslie Thornton
1983, 30 minutes, Color, 16mm/DVD
Order No. W99302
A formal 1861 portrait of a Chinese Mandarin and his wife is the starting point for this allegorical investigation of the fantasies spawned in the West about the East, particularly that which associates femininity with the mysterious Orient. ADYNATA presents a series of oppositions-male and female images, past and present sounds-which in and of themselves construct a minimal and fragmentary narrative, an open text of our imaginations, fears and fantasies.


  • Mannheim Film Festival
  • Athens Int'l Film Festival, Special Merit Award
  • Rotterdam Film Festival

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    "Beautiful and beguiling...mixes Truffaut's Shoot the Piano Player with The Bride of Frankenstein, a TV cop show and a Betty Boop cartoon-yielding a complex form of signification run riot."
    Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Sight & Sound

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