Blood Lust of the Wolf
(2015, live cinema performance)
Blood Lust of the Wolf is a new live cinema performance that remixes the classic film Nanook of the North (dir. Robert Flaherty, 1922) into a fugue state about race, ethnicity and exploitation.
The show dissects the core of what makes Nanook disturbing yet compelling nearly a century later—the film’s approach to ethnography.
By examining the landscape and people that were once fragmented during Flaherty's filmmaking process, and reassembling them into new personas and places, Blood Lust of the Wolf invites the audience to reconsider their own positions and complicities in global systems of race and exploitation.
WHAT DOES THE TITLE MEAN?
Nanook of the North was a silent film, so like other films of the time, it uses text intertitles to situate and advance the film's story. Intertitles were much more baroque than narration or dialogue, the film is peppered with these poetic and strange turns of phrase. The phrase "blood lust of the wolf" is an intertitle used to describe the mighty sled dogs, but unmistakably ascribing such characteristics to Allakariallak, the man playing the character of Nanook.
Showing Blood Lust of the Wolf
The show itself runs approximately 20 minutes. Depending on the audience at your venue, it might be useful to have a short introduction to Nanook before the show in case attendees are unfamiliar.
This performance is designed for people with the disposition to enjoy experimental film and media, silent documentaries, and experimental film and media made out of silent documentaries. It is not necessary to have seen Nanook to connect with Blood Lust of the Wolf, though it would add dimension. I am accustomed to performing for audiences new to Nanook, and in those cases I introduce the piece and talk about the film as landmark documentary, a problematic work of filmmaking, and as an complex and troubling work of ethnography.
This work needs a screen and laptop connection (VGA, DVI, HDMI, or Thunderbolt), speakers and audio connection (3.5mm stereo), AC power, and a place to put my laptop down.
Here is some documentation of a performance.
(other live performances: Glitchscape, Tiamak)