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I Can't Make You Love Me

Breda Beban
2003
8 min loops Colour Sound
Double screen

I Can't Make You Love Me

I Can't Make You Love Me is homage to Gertrud, a film by Carl Theodore Dreyer about a woman who refuses to speak any other language except for the language of love.

The film was predesigned for one continuous shot with two film cameras mounted back to back on a dolly. When staged in a gallery, the film takes the form of a dialogue between two ex-lovers, each of which is projected on a separate screen. In this way, two characters who are sharing the same cinematic space and time are also at once each inhabiting their own frame. Seated on either side of the same table, these two figures cut off at midriff, move away from each other and then into each other and then away from each other again. They are like two moving icons engaging with one another yet unable to exchange or share anything. The movement of the cameras cuts with cruel regularity through the scene. It creates a cinematic point of view which can be thought of as that 'of the wind on the table'. With this movement the viewer is drawn inside the encounter and a space is opened up for the possibility to share in this spectacle of non-sharing.

Production: Bevis Bowden
Camera Script: Breda Beban
Photography: Teddy Testar
Editing: Steve Sprung
Sound: Peter Eason
Cast: Breda Beban and Ewan Stewart
Commissioned by: Film & Video Umbrella
Two 8-minute segments looped on two screens

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