Auto Portrait/Self Portrait Post Partum is a first person autobiographical experimental film exploring the ramifications of the devastating breakup of a romantic relationship.
Considering the ubiquitousness of this experience, the film examines my own range of emotional responses with particular attention to the context of how this phenomenon is culturally represented and impacts our personal emotional space and psyche in this regard.
Auto Portrait/Self Portrait Post Partum evokes the fairly predictable phases of a failed relationship: from initial passionate attachment with all its projections and idealizations, to escalating conflict over disappointed expectations, unfulfilled promises, and betrayal to the ultimate catastrophic ending.
The visual and sound treatment suggest the pathos, the alternating cycles of hope and demoralization, involved in the various phases of the grieving process — from denial, to mournful yearning, to anger, to final liberation — and ultimately a healing release, a catharsis effected through the making of this film.
A triptych of self-portraits — entire camera rolls, each subjected to different methods of intervention with the celluloid itself — are intercut with short excerpts of altered footage from a B movie trailer and punctuated by quotes reflecting on romantic love viscerally scratched into the filmstrip.
These strategies, along with the non-diegetic sound employed (popular songs, sentimental elements both reflexively employing and indulging in cliché) serve as meta-commentary simultaneously foregrounding and deconstructing conventional representations of love — which not only reflect but also structure our contemporary experience of the same.
See also: « L’autoportrait et autres ruines ». Quelques réflexions sur le cinéma de Louise Bourque by André Habib.