Man Who Envied Women, The (1985): Yvonne Rainer’s Feminist Satire

In 1972, Yvonne Rainer began directing feature-length feminist films. Her early films do not follow narrative structure or conventions.  Instead, Rainer’s films combine autobiography and fiction, sound and intertitles, to address social and political issues. Rainer directed several experimental films about dance and performance, including Lives of Performers (1972), Film About a Woman Who (1974), and Kristina Talking Pictures (1976). Her later films include Journeys from Berlin/1971 (1980), The Man Who Envied Women (1985), Privilege (1990), and MURDER and murder (1996).

MURDER and murder, more conventional in its narrative structure, is a lesbian love story dealing with Rainer’s own experience of breast cancer.

The Man Who Envied Women was a satirical film-essay about a self-satisfied womanizer, an intellectual who boasts his knowledge of Frederic Jameson as well as Raymond Chandler.