SHOW AND TELL #28: Hannah Subotnick

Hannah is fascinated by the screen’s transformative potential. She has always loved to move and to look. From an early age, she studied ballet and modern dance, and ever since getting her first camera, she has been in love with recording her observations. Based on this background of visceral and visual experience, she now uses images, motion, and sound to create mysterious and poetic cinema. Hannah graduated from the Brown/RISD Dual Degree program this year, with a degree in Film/Animation/Video from RISD, and a degree in Modern Culture and Media from Brown. Hannah is coming to Alchemy to present a World Premiere of her film Ourself in our Self-Registration programme.

1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
My idea of perfect happiness is the ability to make my own work and time spent with my family, my boyfriend and my cats.

2. What lies at the heart of your own desire to make films?
My desire to make films stems from my love of dance and movement combined with my love of photography and image-making. I seek to create mysterious and transformative imagery.

3. What are the first things you do in developing a film idea in response to a subject?
I take many photographs as my method of sketching.

4. What’s your favourite film and why?
Some of my favorite films are The Mirror by Andrei Tarkovsky, Meshes of the Afternoon by Maya Daren, L’ange by Patrick Bokanowski, and Pina by Wim Wenders.

5. Choose 1, 2 or 3 of your all-time favourite music tracks!
Kate Bush, Under the Ivy
A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall – Bob Dylan
Breathing – Kate Bush
The Water is Wide – folk song
I’ll Be Your Mirror – Nico and The Velvet Underground

6. From your favourite poem – could you give us a few lines that mean something to you?

Much Madness is divinest Sense
To a discerning Eye
Much Sense – the starkest Madness
’Tis the Majority
In this, as all, prevail
Assent – and you are sane
Demur – you’re straightway dangerous
And handled with a Chain

by Emily Dickinson

7. If you were to die and come back as a person, animal or a thing, what would it be?
a cat

8. What is your greatest extravagance?

9. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
Learning new things, being in nature, dancing, reading, spending time with people I love.