Now digitally remastered! Sally Potter’s cult classic rewrites Puccini’s La Boheme to ask why the woman always has to die.
1979 | 34 minutes | BW | DVD | Order No. W19329 |
Since its release in 1980, Sally Potter's rewriting of Puccini's opera, La Boheme, has become a classic in feminist film theory. A model for the deconstruction of the Hollywood film, THRILLER turns the conventional role of women as romantic victims in fiction on its head. Mimi, the seamstress heroine of the opera who must die before the curtain goes down, decides to investigate the reasons for her death. In doing so, she begins to explore the dichotomy which separates her from the opera's other female character, the "bad girl" Musetta. As rich in sounds and imagery as it is theoretically compelling, THRILLER provides the female spectator with a long-awaited recognition of her version of the story.
"Thriller becomes an exemplary sign of how pleasurable and how illuminating such a new feminist art might be."
"Thriller achieved international cult status as a feminist critique of the romantic drama."
"Potter’s black and white cult hit Thriller overtly equates revision with survival; the film invokes formal conventions to interrogate the narrative necessity of Mimi’s death… Scripted, edited, produced and directed by Potter, Thriller transforms the opera into, as the title suggests, a thriller that uncovers operatic form’s generic and gendered hypocrisy."
Sally Potter made her first 8mm film aged fourteen. She has since written and directed eight feature films, as well as many short films (including THRILLER and PLAY) and a television series, and has directed opera (Carmen for the ENO in 2007) and other live work. Her background is in choreography, music, performance art and experimental film. ORLANDO (1992), Sally Potter’s bold adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s classic novel, first brought her work to a wider audience. It was followed by THE TANGO LESSON (1996), THE MAN WHO CRIED (2000), YES (2004), RAGE (2009) and GINGER & ROSA (2012). Her latest feature, THE PARTY, was released in 2017.
Sally Potter is known for innovative form and risk-taking subject matter and has worked with many of the most notable cinema actors of our time. Sally Potter’s films have won over forty international awards and received both Academy Award and BAFTA nominations. She has had full career retrospectives of her film and video work at the BFI Southbank, London, MoMA, New York, and the Cinematheque, Madrid. She was awarded an OBE in 2012. Her book Naked Cinema - Working with Actors was published by Faber & Faber in March, 2014.
Sally Potter co-founded her production company Adventure Pictures with producer Christopher Sheppard. (8/19)