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Barbara Hammer Interview (Maya Deren’s Sink)

Barbara Hammer

Barbara Hammer is a legend of experimental cinema, creating bold and affecting works on a wealth of subjects, including feminism, lesbian cinema, queer and hidden history, the body, art in the context of war, mortality and much more. Beginning in the 1970s, Barbara’s work has consistently grown in scope and stature, including the avant-garde classics: Dyketactics (1974), Sanctus (1990), Nitrate Kisses (1992), Tender Fictions (1995), History Lessons (2000), and Resisting Paradise (2003).

Barbara was in Toronto for a comprehensive programme of her work, presented by the Toronto International Film Festival, the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre (CFMDC) and the Images Festival. Barbara’s introductions and Q&As are lively affairs and our interview with her was no different, speaking candidly as ever about her career; her recent autobigraphy, HAMMER! Making Movies Out of Sex and Life; and most importantly, what she’s currently working on. Thank you to TIFF for hosting our interview!

Our interview with Barbara Hammer was one of four feature interviews in the thirteenth monthly issue of The Seventh Art as a “video magazine.” It was released in June 2013. Barbara was our second interview with a legendary experimental filmmaker, following Ernie Gehr.

Lead photo by MoMA.

By Christopher Heron

Christopher Heron is one of the co-founders of The Seventh Art. He's conducted over 60 long-form interviews for the publication, while also writing and cutting several numerous video essays that investigate formal traits in films and filmmakers. He received his MA in Cinema Studies from the University of Toronto, where his work explored cinematic representations of urban space with special attention paid to the films of Pedro Costa and Tsai Ming-liang.