I Want to Live in the Country (And Other Romances)

1976, 24:06 min, color, sound

Loss, displacement, time and memory permeate this haunting nonlinear narrative, which unfolds like a dream in the process of telling itself. Jonas is seen watching video images — shot in a New York studio and in rural Nova Scotia — that metaphorically relate to the dreams, reveries and memories that she is heard reading from her journal. The studio space, which is filled with complex "still life" compositions of archetypal objects, is intercut with Super-8 film footage that nostalgically evokes the quotidian rhythm of the country — the pastoral Nova Scotia landscape, the ocean, a farmhouse. Throughout, Jonas constructs a layered formal structure of time and space, a theater of mediation that reveals frames within frames, monitors within monitors. The poetic journal text and images represent conscious memory; I Want to Live in the Country is a story of the unconscious.

With: Ellen McElduff. Editor: John J. Godfrey. Produced by the TV Lab at WNET/Thirteen.