Vincent Grenier
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16mm, B&W, Sound, 1988, 56 minutes

Part I, Prologue: 10 min, Part II (Joanne): 10 min, Part III (Milton): 17 min, Part IV (Steve and Nadra): 19 min. “I.D.” was filmed in Binghamton, N.Y. The main participants are, in order of appearance: Gayle Gorman, Joanne Thorne, Milton Kessler, Steve Grietzer, David Gresalfi, and Larry Klien. Dedicated to Lorie Blandin. Part 1 was produced in part by SUNY at Binghampton Cinema Department. Part II, III and IV wih the help of the Canada Council, over a number of years.

A driving interest in this film has been the raw material of conflicts between the persona and the individual qualities of a person. Also an interest in superimposition partly as a disruptive device equally metaphorical of conflicts between interior and exterior spaces. The use of synch-sound “reality” with an eye on tension between off-screen and screen spaces. Lip-synch is used mostly in counterpoint.

The procedure for the film involved interviewing people with relatively uninhibited and expressive personalities. I asked them about events which had made them feel estranged and alienated from things or people around them. Most talked about were traumatic events, although it is not necessarily what I was seeking. From these conversations, physical contexts were sought for their interactive possibilities. The participants were exposed to situations which were partly uncomfortable. The camera does not simply prod but is also an active participant; not so much to render meaningful but to appreciate and transpose. (VG)


“Vincent Grenier is best known for his elegant black and white films that manipulate spatial illusion through light and abstract shape. In I.D. he has taken on human subjects and their verbal discourse, again dealing with fleeting and shifting identity. In the four parts of I.D. the filmmaker asks each subject to talk about an event that “make them feel estranged from things or people around them”. The identity of the speakers is often obscured by their strange position in the frame, and by superimpositions (of the same scene at a different moment) which break up and recompose the image into veils of light, shadow, and areas of detail and texture. The narrations, too are layered. They splinter the discourse and metaphorically pose the film’s question about identity: is there a persona which remains coherent under all conditions?” –Joanna Kiernan, Parabola Film Distribution Project brochure for Current Avant Garde Filma 4.


..."The black and white I.D. utilizes superimpositions of image and sound to capture a series of monologues and dialogues by acquaintances of Grenier in Binghamton, New York; the camera and microphone capture the people and their surroundings elliptically yet far from objectively, functioning largely as participants in the encounters. Original and often beautiful, these films(I.D. & Time's Wake) encourage us to reconsider phenomenological experience as well as memory in fresh and interesting ways." -- Jonathan Rosenbaum, Critic's Choice, READER, Chicago, Friday April 7 1989.


Selected by a jury for promotion by Parabola Art Foundation’s Film Distribution Project in Program 4, 1989; Selection Committee was composed of Kathy Geritz, Mark McElhatten, Sandy Maliga, Joanna Kiernan and Bill Brand.

Purchased by: SUNY Binghamton for library collection.

Distributed by CFMDC, & FMC.
Available on16mm, HDQT.


This page was updated on 9/20/06