Jennifer, Where Are You? Trailer (1981)
01 January 1981 11 mins
Jennifer, Where Are You? is structured by a speech-act, a constant proleptic call, a man’s voice which has been edited and recut into a repetitive and pervasive presence. The insistence of this male voice, which repeats the phrase “Jennifer! Where are you?” every 30 seconds, parodies the authority conceded to voice-overs in the cinema. The voice is patriarchal, relentless, and runs the entire length of the film. Cut-aways to a small girl, glancing at the camera as she plays with lipstick and matches, reapportion the relation between patriarchal phonocentrism and masculine gaze. But is this small child subject to either? No. Not really. There she is, hiding in plain sight–ours, not ‘his’–a ‘purloined subject’ successfully evading subjugation through response or acquiescence. ‘Jennifer,’ whoever she might be (a cipher, a pseudonymous textual marker of gendered cinematic presence) is never apprehended, and the film, for all of its suspense, simply ends.
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