General Hospital/Olympic Women Speed Skating

1980, 6 min, color, sound

General Hospital/Olympic Women Speed Skating is a fragmented collage that cuts between two sources of off-air television imagery - the TV sports event and the soap opera - to analyze the syntax and gestures of what Birnbaum terms "TV treatment" - in this case, the cross-cut and the reverse shot. The "cross-over" in an Olympic women's speed skating race is juxtaposed with daytime drama General Hospital's "whites" in reverse angle shots. A couple tries to reach an understanding. Skaters continuously return to the starting line. Frustration and exertion combine with originally scored soundtracks of disco, rock and jazz. The female soap opera character's emotional stress, her gestures and rhetoric of paranoia and self-doubt are countered with the pure physical performance of the female sports figures.

Vocals: Dori Levine, Sally Swisher. Instrumentation: Robert Raposo. Disco: Donna Summer.

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1980, 9 min, color, sound