FREEDOM, by Yoko Ono and John Lennon

"Yoko Ono’s films tend to deal with themes of sexuality, intimacy, and the navigation of public life."

"1969’s Rape is" [reports book/rock critic David Ulin] "her most famous work, a disturbing first-person perspective from the eyes of the film crew, who chase, harass, and assault a German woman as she flees through the streets of London. No doubt the film is a commentary on the sudden media onslaught she experienced in the initial stages of her relationship with John Lennon. It’s an incredibly compelling piece."

"It’s also 77 damn minutes long. Since I know you’re all reading this at work, I’ll hook you up with one of Ono’s briefer film experiments. In Freedom, we see a shot of Ono’s chest in a silky purple bra. Faceless, she attempts to unhook the front claps in slow motion to the sound of modulating, electronic drone, (provided by John Lennon, of course)."

"While it’s not unheard of to see a close-up of breasts on celluloid, the speed and sounds of the shot transform a mundane ritual of taking off a bra into a sort of post-modern dirge. The bra is never removed on camera, and the audience is left in a state of anticipation, as the clinical, hypnotic feel of the film belies all the general comfort we associate with breasts, whether maternal or sexual."

Posted today in memory of John Lennon, assassinated thirty-odd years ago on this date. 

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  1. Woman

    I have to disagree slightly w/Ulin. I don’t believe she is trying to unclasp the bra (for a waiting male audience); she is trying to break it, to escape the bondage every bra-wearing woman experiences. Not only the bra, but all the objectification that goes with it. Thus the title, Freedom. Ironic that when I viewed the video, an ad appeared at the bottom hawking Asian women’s bodies.

    December 12, 2013