Hand Movie

(Yvonne Rainer, 5 mins., b/w, 1966)

Watching this for the second time (see first viewing here) I started to detach the hand from its owner. The bottom of the film frame helps accomplishes this dismemberment. Though, it is easy to imagine an arm extending downward, outside of the film’s frame. Midway through this second look a disconnect occurred. The hand was devoid of an arm. It were as if it were something out of a Bunuel film or The Addams Family. Yet, Yvonne Rainer’s hand is more graceful. It is a dancer’s hand and each finger itself a performer.

No one moves there fingers in this manner, deliberate and delicate and yet were we to take the time to marvel at movements we can generate with barely a thought we would astound ourselves. Still, Rainer’s movements are not astonishing. They are not magical acts; slight of hand. For that, one should watch Bresson’s Pickpocket.


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