Scene from the film Suitcase of Love and Shame
Scene from the film Suitcase of Love and Shame
Scene from the film Suitcase of Love and Shame
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Suitcase of Love and Shame

  • United States
Audio Tracks 

Tender, erotic, and pathetic, this reconstructed narrative examines the obsession to chronicle the details of an adulterous affair. Suitcase of Love and Shame is a mesmerizing collage woven from 60 hours of reel-to-reel audiotape discovered in a suitcase purchased on eBay. Recorded in the 1960’s, a Mid-western woman and her lover become reliant on recording devises to document and memorialize their affair. The film suggestively foregrounds the tape recorder as the confidant, witness, and participant that the couple come to depend on -- always omnipresent, the recorder creates a welcomed ménage-à-trois.

The film uses this rare audio example to critically examine a time in the United States when it was exceptional to listen to the contradictory words of those who secretly and exuberantly lived a lie while publicly constraining their passion. Mirroring the compulsion to confess ones indiscretions in today’s virtual world and illuminating the impact that new technology - portable recording devises, had on their lives.

Suitcase of Love and Shame aims at a cross-generational consciousness about exhibitionism, privacy and voyeurism. Focusing on the aural and experiential nature of the audio the imagery in the film is restrained - abstract, evocative and expectant, so that the audience will see with their ears. The listener/viewer is variously located within and outside of the events – complicit and voyeuristic. The “eavesdropping viewer” compelled despite feeling embarrassed and uncomfortable with the knowledge and access they have been given and the transgressions they imagine they see.

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  • Original title
    Suitcase of Love and Shame
  • Direction
  • Screenplay
    Jane Gillooly
  • DOP
    Beth Cloutier
  • Editing
    Jane Gillooly, Pam Larson
  • Sound
    Rob Todd, Damon Addleman
  • Duration
    70 min (46-90 min.)
  • Year
  • Country
    • United States
  • Production
  • Festivals
    • VISIONS du Réel, Nyon, Switzerland 2013
    • FULL FRAME Documentary Film Festival, Durham, NC 2013
    • IFFB Independent Film Festival Boston – Somerville Theater 2013
    • MENDOCINO Film Festival, CA 2013
    • FID International Film Festival Marseille, France 2013
    • TRAVERSE CITY Film Festival, MI 2013
    • ARKIPEL International Documentary and Experimental Film Festival, 2013
    • ORPHANS MIDWEST: Materiality and the Moving Image IN 2013
    • CIFF Camden International Film Festival, ME 2013
    • UNDERDOX Munich, Germany, 2013
    • REDCAT Los Angeles, CA 2013
    • CPH:DOX Copenhagen International Documentary Festival, Denmark, 2013
    • The Art of the Real, Film Society of Lincoln Center, April 15, 2014
    • SEBASTAPOL Documentary Film Festival, CA, March 29, 2014
    • AFF Annapolis Film Festival, MD, March 28. 2014
    • NEW YORK PREMIERE The Art of the Real, Film Society of Lincoln Center, April 15, 2014
    • DOCAVIV International Film Festival, Tel Aviv, Israel, May 9 and 11, 2014
    • EDOC Festival Internacional de Cine Documental, Quito, Ecuador, May 23, 2014
    • MOSTRA Internacional de Cinema – São Paulo, Oct. 22 – Nov 4, 2014
    • IMAGES Festival, Toronto
    • HOPKINS CENTER for the ARTS - Dartmouth, NH - Representing Full Frame Documentary Festival
    • NOLA New Orleans Film Festival Louisiana, Oct. 10-17
    • RIDM Montreal International Documentary Festival Montreal Canada
  • Awards
    • ARKIPEL International Documentary and Experimental Film Festival, 2013 Jury Award
    • IMAGES Festival, Toronto “On-Screen” Award for Best New International Film is powered by Doc Alliance, a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.

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