Amherst – Short film by Amy Lawrence, 1995

“I was led to make this film because I’d always loved Dickinson and I found myself living in a house built around 1805. It occurred to me one day that someone would have been living there at the time Dickinson was living in Amherst. Imagining a woman living this parallel life, I thought of her looking out her window. Just as in the poem, “Because I could not stop for Death,” figures stop by, giving her the chance to step outside. Built in four sections to mimic the stanzas of a poem, the film moves backward in time. The seasons change but each section features people in different forms of transportation pausing on the road outside the house until 1863 when a carriage finally pulls up and stops.

The film is made out of pieces of fabric, mimicking quilt-making — a style that evokes both the nineteenth century and art created by women that could be disguised/dismissed as domestic work.”
– Amy Lawrence

Amy Lawrence is Professor of Film and Media Studies and Comparative Literature at Dartmouth College. She has taught film at Dartmouth since 1988, including courses on film history, women and film, film sound, musicals, British film and television, 50s melodrama, avant garde film, animation history, and film theory. She has written on sound in film, feminist film issues, Hollywood stars, and contemporary animation. She also makes animated films.