Hollywood Revisited: Mark Rappaport Essays

Mark Rappaport (b. 1942, New York - USA) made American independents long before it became a marketing term, and has been mentioned as a precursor by, among others, Hal Hartley and Todd Solondz - both for the radical style and the playful, intellectual tone.

After a handful of critically acclaimed features in the 70's and early 80's, things went quiet. A bit into the 90's, Rappaport developed his wayward, film-historical video essays, including Rock Hudson's Home Movies (1992) and From the Journals of Jean Seberg (1995).


Some of Rappaport's recurring themes are the more or less forgotten actors and actresses of the Golden Age of Hollywood. Generally, the production of such video essays has grown exponentially in recent years, but where many others turn to star worship and simply re-dress the old films in new varnish, Rappaport breaks through the smooth surface to show how underlying conditions regarding politics and sexuality affect what appears on the screen.

In some of the essays, Rappaport uses the daring approach of putting words in the mouth of the subject in the form of a fictional, first-person commentary. This is an effective way to reveal contextual conditions - the biological individual becoming just one of these. And in this way, through meditative reflection, somewhere between fact and fiction, he shares wry views of art and society from previously unexplored perspectives.

In this programme, we get four fairly new video essays in this spirit. We are pleased to have Mark Rappaport present to introduce the films and to answer questions from the audience.

Print Source: Mark Rappaport,


Hollywood Revisited: Mark Rappaport Essays (Total: 94 min.)
Lør | Sat 17:00
[Nova 2]

USA, FRA 2014 | Doc. (AV Essay) | 11 min.
Director: Mark Rappaport


En utforskning av omfanget og betydningen til sminkebordet i et bredt utvalg Sirk-filmer. Er det et redskap som fanger og holder kvinner igjen i en kunstig verden med begrenset utsyn, eller gir det kanskje et slags trollsyn av roller som kvinner er blitt tvunget til å spille i samfunnet?

An exploration of the frequency and meaning of the vanity table in a wide variety of Sirk movies. Is it a device that traps and keeps women in an artificial world with a limited point of view, or maybe a vision of the roles that women have been forced to play in society?

Script, Editing: Mark Rappaport

Production: Mark Rappaport

USA, FRA 2016 | Doc.(AV Essay) | 37 min.
Director: Mark Rappaport


Skuespillerinnen Debra Paget inngikk i stallen til 20th Century Fox i Hollowoods storhetstid. Hun var blinket ut for stjernene og ble dyrket fram, men slo aldri igjennom. Kanskje filmene ikke var interessante nok. Eller kanskje hun ikke skilte seg nok ut fra de andre.

Debra Paget was a contract player for 20th-Century Fox, whom they groomed and coached for stardom. But she never quite caught on. Maybe the movies weren’t interesting enough. Or maybe she didn’t stand out from the rest of the pack.

Script, Editing: Mark Rappaport | Cast: Caroline Simonds (as Debra Paget)

Production: Mark Rappaport

USA, FRA 2017 | Doc.(AV Essay) | 10 min.
Director: Mark Rappaport


Skjermen er et nøytralt element i filmopplevelsen. Eller er det? Det projiserer drømmer, men er også mottaker for våre drømmer. Det er et hjelpemiddel for å levere bildet til publikum - men ser det også samtidig på publikum? Er det en intrikat membran som publikummeren kan trenge inn i, og som samhandler med tilskuerne, til tross for den tilsynelatende passiviteten?

The screen is a neutral element in the film-going experience. Or is it? It projects dreams but is also the receptacle of our dreams. It’s the vehicle for delivering the image to an audience — but does it also watch the audience at the same time? Is it a complicitous membrane which audience members can penetrate and which interacts with the spectators, despite its seeming passivity?

Script, Editing: Mark Rappaport

Production: Mark Rappaport

USA, FRA 2016 | Doc.(AV Essay) | 36 min.
Director: Mark Rappaport


Sergei Eisenstein, en av historiens fremste og mest innflytelsesrike filmskapere, var også en strålende klassisk kunstner. Tegningene hans er fantastiske, slik som de hundrevis av homoerotiske tegninger han laget for sin egen underholdning.

Sergei Eisenstein, one of the greatest and most influential filmmakers of all time, was also a brilliant plastic artist. His drawings are superb — as are the hundreds of homoerotic drawings he made for his own amusement.

Script, Editing: Mark Rappaport | Cast: Mihailo Stanisavac (narrator)

Production: Mark Rappaport

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