Riverbody (1970)

Anne Severson as a filmmaker was a product of the sixties ,especially the sixties reaction to an earlier Puritanism about the human body.In Riverbody, 87 nude males and females are seen one by one , each dissolving to the next, to the sound of lapping water.The Film implicitly polemieze the naturalness of the body and satirize the social control of the body by means of the gender (and other) roles encoded in dress.

By the time Severson made “Near the Big Chakra” she began to realize that the politics of the body as image were different for the two genders. Films had always marketed young, shapely female bodies,but as the structures against nudity fell ,women found themselves increasingly exposed . And all dimensions of the female as an organism continued to be routinely suppressed. For Severson this pattern seemed extremely problematic and ‘Near the Big Chakra’ was her response. The film presents , in extreme close up, the vulvas of 37 women ranging in age from 3 months to 56 years.Each Valva is presented in a single continuous shot,though each time she adjusts the zoom lenses,the shots are of varying lengths.