Sara Kathryn Arledge (1911-1998)
What Is A Man? (1958)
“Imagery and dialogue stimulated by Finnegan’s Wake. It is a satire with undertones of the cosmic spirit.” – Sara Kathryn Arledge

"I consider WHAT IS A MAN? a sophisticated humorous exploration of the experimental film medium." – Shirley Clarke

What Is a Man?, is a satire in which everyday interactions between men and women play out through nonsense dialogue, highlighting the absurdity of mundane conventions.

What Is a Man?, whose bemused shrug at that big question manages to encompass onscreen text, preexisting art, time-lapse and science photography, dance, documentary scenes, advertising satire, rhyme, song, even a game of musical chairs.

WHAT IS A MAN?, her second film, is a series of vignettes which ponder the "alienation" of modern man and woman. Completed shortly after Arledge's release from Napa State Hospital, where she had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and had undergone numerous electroshock treatments, WHAT IS A MAN? offers a fascinating glimpse into the filmmaker's psyche.