Some Call It Bad Luck

Lisa Steele

1982, 47:50 minutes, B & W, English


"I produced this tape to examine the process of interrogation. I used the format of a "cop show" but removed all the action; the people just talk. The story is simple enough: Donna (the main character) works in a laboratory as a technician. One night when she's working late, an armed man enters and holds her hostage. Before morning, the police have intervened, the man is dead, and Donna herself is under suspicion. These events all occur before the tape opens. The subject of this tape is based on my own observations of how legal and law enforcement agencies interact with women. This is not so much a story of corruption within the police force as it is an examination of how order and authority reproduce themselves, developing an account of reality, one that differs greatly from the lives of the powerless people that these 'official conclusions' supposedly describe." -L.S.

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Critical Writing

Lisa Steele: The Conceptual Anthropology of Narrative Works, 1976-1982
by Joshua Thorson. Lisa Steele: The Conceptual Anthropology of Narrative Works, 1976-1982, 2010. Toronto: Vtape, 2010.
Then + Then Again: Talking with Clive Robertson about artist-run...
by Vera Frenkel. Fuse, July 2007, v. 30, no. 3.
Lisa's Long Haul: Artist Lisa Steele talks to Sarah Milroy about...
by Sarah Milroy. The Globe and Mail, Feb. 19, 2005.
Top 20 Toronto Films since 1981
by Cameron Bailey. Now, Oct. 25, 2001, v. 21, no. 8.
Relatively True Stories
by Amy Taubin. Voice, Jan. 9, 1990.
Lisa Steele and Kim Tomczak: The groundbreaking dynamic duo of...
by Cameron Bailey. Now, Nov. 9, 1989, v. 9, no. 10.
Collaborative Videotapes: Descriptions by the Artist
by Lisa Steele and Kim Tomczak. 4 Hours and 38 Minutes, 1989. Toronto: Art Gallery of Ontario, 1989.
Grierson '86: Descriptions by the Artist
by Magnus Isacsson. Cinema Canada, Jan. 1987, no. 137.
Hope Arrives For Documentaries
by Salem Alaton. The Globe and Mail, Nov. 10, 1986.
Shorts, real life and courts
by John Harkness. NOW, Nov. 6, 1986, v. 6, no. 10.
The New Narrative: Video In The 80's
by Marie Morgan. Banff Letters, Winter 1984.
Canada (cont.)
by Unknown. Video 84, 1984.
Video's Voices
by Peggy Gale. The Second Link - Viewpoints on a Video in the Eighties, 1983. Banff: Walter Phillips Gallery, 1983.
Colour Video/Vulgar Potential
by Peggy Gale. Parachute, Sept. Winter 1982, no. 25.