New Television Workshop Collection

New Television Workshop Collection Program MaterialsNew Television



O Panama

Copyright Date:
1985

Artists:
Barr, Burt
Benning, James

Extent:
1 videocassette of 1 (ca. 28 min.) : sd., col. ; 3/4 in.
1 videocassette of 1 (ca. 28 min.) : sd., col. ; 3/4 in.
One folder

Background:
It was broadcast as an episode of "New Television."

Scope:
Includes 3/4" screening copies of the work.
One folder contains an application and description of the project.

"O Panama," 1985, a video drama, was created by James Benning, based on a story by Burt Barr. A series of short images or vignettes, some of which are repeated, build to tell the story of a feverish man (Willem Dafoe) in a city apartment remembering time he spent in Panama, probably as a soldier. The suggestion is that as he endures the fever, he is visited by recollections, visualizations, and hallucinations of other places and events. Early on in the work, words describing but not pinpointing the man's illness slowly cross the screen. There is very little spoken text. Dafoe is seen lying in bed, sweating, moving about the apartment, watching a Western on television, walking his dog, and listening to the radio. Intercut with this are images of postcards and snapshots of exotic animals; snowy buildings; and Dafoe at a waterfall, playing baseball, and underneath an army tent singing a warbling version of the national anthem.



Producer:
Dowling, Susan

Coproducer:
Contemporary Art Television (CAT) Fund, The

Editor:
Benning, James

Funders:
Massachusetts Council on the Arts and Humanities, New Works Program
CAT Fund, The

Performers:
Dafoe, Willem
Gurley, Thomas (Baseball Player)
Benefield, Sebastian Moore (Baseball Player)
Gurley, Joseph (Baseball Player)
Miller, Craig (Baseball Player)

Subjects:
Fever


Genre:
Dramas





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