For my second participation blog, I am writing about the film My Prairie Home. My Prairie Home is an unconventional documentary focusing on the life of famous musician Rae Spoon. In the film, we gain a perspective of Rae Spoon’s life – a musician trying to make her place in the world. We learn about her family, early life, and her venture to making a name for herself in the music world. In this film, the audience gets insight into Spoon’s sexuality, gender identity and watches her continue on her path into the music world. For the majority of the film, we are watching her venture on a Greyhound bus to her next music venue.
The emphasis of using music to help express thoughts and ideas definitely allowed for audiences to connect and bond with her messages. The lyrics as well as being accompanied by her presence on screen are strong enough to make an impact with viewers. In many ways, this film is similar to another film that we watched in this class, Pina. While My Prairie Home does use verbal communication to connect with audiences, whereas Pina is very limited, the film’s strengths emerge through the songs and visual images as we follow Spoon’s journey. In Pina, the strengths of the film also emerge through visual images, songs, movements and dancing. Both of these films find other ways to communicate with audiences besides just speaking to the audience.
I found that the accompanying articles dig a little deeper into her life story, being transgender, and understanding the impact of her gender and how that has influenced who she is today (digitaljournal). Her sexuality has helped her get to the place where she is today- through bullying, criticisms, etc.
I think this documentary can fit into the poetic category. We see the speeding up and slowing down of camera footage (especially when she is on the bus), the film makes us feel emotion for her (listening to her music and videos to accompany her songs) and the film also does not rely on standard filmmaking techniques (as music and music videos are a major part of the film).