Pain Is…’ (1997) unflinchingly examines the role of pain within society. Attempting “to make an image of pain”, Dwoskin’s film is practical and philosophical.
“Pain Is… combines interviews, archival footage and Dwoskin’s thoughtful voice-over to arrive at a scrupulous anatomy of pain (encompassing disease, dental work and sadomasochism). The interviews range from those who suffer from chronic pain to those who find pleasure in wilfully inflicting pain.” (Dennis Lim, director of Film at Lincoln Centre NYC)
Stephen Dwoskin’s experimental film records in a single continuous shot a woman’s face before, during and after orgasm.
A static camera records, in one single continuous shot, a woman’s face before, during and after orgasm. The act of looking and the limits of the film frame are highlighted in this intimate sexual episode with Tina Fraser. Stephen Dwoskin presents a powerful, personal moment while maintaining a distance and resisting the viewer being subsumed into the action on screen.
Stephen Dwoskin was a highly regarded underground filmmaker who had moved from New York to London and helped to found the London Filmmakers’ Co-op in 1966. His extremely striking work quickly received critical attention and he made several feature-length works through the 1970s with support from German television and the BFI. He continued with both personal and essayistic films and documentaries, and in the 1990s began shooting on handheld video. He made collage films and explored his family’s home movies as he reflected on age, sexuality and the passing of different generations.