Vital Signs

1991, 9:41 min, color, sound, 16 mm film on video

"Waltzing cheek-to-cheek with a grinning skeleton, filmmaker Barbara Hammer sets the tone ... . Hammer's Vital Signs is dedicated to a trio of losses, including her late father and Curt McDowell, a fellow filmmaker who died of AIDS in 1987. Her recurring motif of a danse macabre makes a jarring symbol for the will to reconcile spirit and body; as she caresses and cradles the all-too-familiar form, Hammer fashions an artful, elegantly disturbing keynote address." — Calvin Ahlgren, San Francisco Chronicle

This film is dedicated to John Wilbert Hammer, Curt McDowell, and Vito Russo.