The Black Oud

HD Trilogy: Part 1 THE BLACK OUD represents a subtle new direction in documentary. I have used the term "bio-documentary" to describe this slight, though essential, difference between my film and the majority of personal or experimental documentaries made in the last decade. The prefix "bio," of course, means "life." But what I refer to specifically here is the connotation of biography. The film shows only one woman. Most biography, however, details information about a specific human being: who that person is and what he or she did when. Some of these elements occur in THE BLACK OUD. But there is a difference.

The film is truly about Joanna McClure. It follows her actual activities during the summer of 1990. She traveled in Rome and the Greek islands, saw ruins and temples, reavc bd, sometimes swam, dressed, wrote lines of poetry, sat at cafe tables, etc. She did all these things; the camera recorded them. (Is there perhaps too little information about daily lives of people?)

Through the use of H.D.'s great poem, "Hermetic Definitions," as the fictitious thoughts of Joanna, a kind of everywoman, is projected onto the screen, and it is no longer simple biography, but bio-documentary, a document of all life.

16 MM
Black & White Sephia Tint
45 Minutes

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Available through Canyon Cinema