Nest of Tens
"One day some
little girl in Ohio is going to make a beautiful film with her father's
camcorder and for once the so-called 'professionalism' about movies will be
destroyed for ever, and it will really become an art form." -- Francis Ford Coppola
"Miranda July is a hero to many and an enigma to many more" – Amy Kellner, Time Out.
As you may
know from your own experience, a lot of us ladies do not have the time, energy,
resources or support to make movies, or even think of ourselves as
storytellers. Missing movies are particularly easy to ignore. It is easy to
say: too much sex and violence in the theatres. But not enough WHAT? What are
the missing movies about? Is is hard to even guess. Maybe they are very sexy
and very violent. More sexy and violent than we can even imagine. Maybe they
are Dullsville… Who knows?
If you want to know what the missing movies are about, check out Big Miss Moviola. Big Miss Moviola is a challenge and a promise to all woman moviemakers. You send her your film, she sends you the latest Big Miss Moviola Video Chainletter, a compilation of 10 lady-made movies – including your own…
Big Miss Moviola was founded in 1995 by Miranda July, a 26 year-old multi-media artist from Portland, Oregon. An unconventional moviemaker herself, she completed last January her fourth film, Nest of Tens, which made its world premiere at the Rotterdam International Film Festival. Her previous video, The Amateurist (about a woman obsessed with numbers), has been screened at venues around the world (including "The American Century" exhibit at the Whitney Museum).
Besides making her video-work she is creative as a performance artist. After "the paranoid fable" Love Diamond, "a kaleidoscopic examination of love in all its dimensions", Miranda July is currently finalising her second "live movie", The Swan Tool. This performance features herself as a "technician who is waiting to die, or fall in love, or win the lottery".
July has also recorded several music albums. Last year she directed a video for the girl band Sleater-Kinney (introduced at the City of Women 1997) and made her feature film acting debut in Alison McClean's, Jesus' Son. Earlier this year she co-created the story for the upcoming feature film Center of the World with director Wayne Wang and writer Paul Auster.
In a 2 hour-programme, City of Women proudly presents "The Best of Big Miss Moviola" (or America, the Quintessential Other Half, or The Way You've Never Sseen It on Screen), and July's intriguing latest Nest of Tens. In between we'll treat you to a surprise act.
Written and directed by: Miranda July; Director of photography: Vanessa Renwick; Soundtrack by Zac Love; Starring: Polly Bilchuk, Peter Borden, Eva Rioselo, Michael Loggins, Lindsay Beamish, Richard Greiling, Miranda July, Aidan McClean; Editor: Kelly Mc Clean.
In cooperation with Slovenska kinoteka in Retrovizor
Dr. Wilkins, I am making a movie. It's about our appointments. I just thought I
would warn you… Dear Dad, I am making a movie. It's about you. I play the part
of you… Dear Carrie, I am making a movie. It is about that game we used to play
called Everlasting Love in the shadow of the blanket. I want you to be the
Big Miss Moviola, I am making a movie…
Dear Big Miss Moviola,
Living in rural Indiana, I have seen so much talent go to waste, because here you're either a farmer or a school teacher. I have promised myself that I will be out of here as soon as possible… until then, thank you for giving me a way out…" – Summer Daye Martin, age 14, Pine Village, Indiana.
MAKING. There are two variables on the video camera. There is the lens: the
eye. This is the same eye that is watching you all the time, anyway, if you're
a woman. Especially in public, but even when you are alone in your room. The
eye is programmed into your brain. When you are making a movie you stop
pretending that you are not aware of the eye. THEY ARE LOOKING AT YOUR ASS NO
MATTER WHAT YOU WEAR. THE DAD IN YOUR HEAD WATCHED YOU MASTURBATE. YOU BRUSH
YOUR HAIR INTO THE THE SHAPE OF THE HOLE IN HIS HEART.
You stop pretending that you are innocent and unaffected by the eye. You turn and face it: the camera. You look into its eye and see yourself and you say, "I see you watching me." I know you are there and I am not embarrassed to admit it. I admit the role I play everyday in this movie made not by me. I am not embarrassed, because just surviving being watched every day has trained me to be an expert on the eye. Every woman is an expert on the eye. An expert actress, and an expert at controlling situations while being watched. THIS IS MOVIE MAKING. And making movies means that you are a watcher. Of course you are. You have to be self-conscious all the time just to take care of yourself.
So there is the eye and there is one other variable: the on/off button, which is about control. Because this is the one time that you can turn the eye off. You can keep secrets or you can tell lies or you can tell the real truth through manipulation of the eye-on/eye-off. I'm talking about editing. Editing equals gorgeous control.