A Man’s Woman

This feature-length video by Laura Kipnis, which was funded by England’s Channel Four, takes the form of a pseudodocumentary about the career and assassination of Clovis Kingsley (Petrea Burchard), an antifeminist, profamily media personality who is investigated by reporter Connie Yu (well played by Chicago actress and formerReader staffer Lisa Tejero). On the plus side, Kipnis’s tape uses a pluralism of voices and some witty self-referential devices in order to raise some interesting questions about women, power, and the media. (One of the suggestions made is that Kingsley’s success in the media is both motivated and implemented by submerged feminist goals that aren’t acknowledged as such.) Unfortunately, the execution of the narrative isn’t always up to the ideas, and some of the secondary performances are unnecessarily broad. (A French psychoanalytical theorist, for instance, flaunts an accent that no French person would ever have.) The results are intermittently witty and frequently provocative, although the implied effort to find progressive elements in conservative rhetoric has at times a touch of desperation about it. (JR)

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