14 films

Maya Deren b. April 29, 1917 d. October 13, 1961

Deren was a Ukranian born Russian-American avant-garde filmmaker. 

Born in Kiev, Ukraine, Deren and her family were forced to flee the USSR due to anti-semitic pogroms. They arrived in the U.S. when Deren was 5 years old. 

In 1943, using money from an inheritance, Deren made her first film, Meshes in the Afternoon which she co-directed with her husband, Alexander Hammid. The result was an experimental, independently financed 14 minute short film that won the Grand Prix Internationale at the 1946 Cannes Film Festival and immediately launched Deren as an influential filmmaker and a pioneer in the avant-garde movement. 

Though none of her films would ever reach the success of Meshes in the Afternoon, Deren continued to produce short, surrealist and avant-garde films throughout her lifetime to critical success and acclaim. Her works remained independently financed and she was critical of Hollywood and commercial films throughout her whole life once saying, “I make my pictures for what Hollywood spends on lipstick.”

She died of brain hemorrhage at the age of 44. 

5

霸王别姬 (Farewell My Concubine). Dir. Chen Kaige. 1993.

Chen Kaige’s Farewell My Concubine (1993), adapted from a novel of the same name by Lilian Lee, is a sweeping epic that follows the relationship between two Peking Opera stars, Cheng Dieyi (Leslie Cheung) and Duan Xiaolou (Zhang Fengyi) as they navigate the tumultuous political landscape of 20th century China. Set in Beijing, the film covers a span of 53 years and begins in the 1920s, depicting Dieyi and Xiaolou’s brutal opera training, their eventual rise to fame, and their subsequent struggle to survive and maintain the glory of Peking opera, all against the backdrop of the Japanese invasion, the Chinese Civil War, and the Cultural Revolution.

The name of the film references one of the famous operas that Dieyi and Xiaolou star in, in which Dieyi plays the role of Concubine Yu, who commits suicide out of loyalty to the Chu king, performed by Xiaolou. Dieyi, who is trained as a dan (female) performer, develops an ambiguous gender identity and blurs opera with reality, falling in love with and becoming deeply committed to Xiaolou. Xiaolou does not return his affections and instead marries a prostitute named Juxian, played by the then-rising star actress Gong Li. The film simultaneously depicts the bitter love triangle between Dieyi, Xiaolou, and Juxian, while also weaving personal trauma into a national allegory of the Chinese state.

Farewell My Concubine is considered as a representative work of China’s Fifth Generation film movement. It received international acclaim and won the prestigious Palmes d’Or award at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival.

flickr

PuerTrolley <3 por Juakonoise (Gatofilia)
Por Flickr:
Calle Serrano, Vaplaraíso 2017

Aşık olan iki kalp…

That’s my problem. I want to be driving in my car with the wind flowing through my veins but I also want to be able to stop to photograph a beautiful tree. I’m afraid of not being able to capture every little detail. I thrive, I thrive, I thrive. I have to put the pencil to the paper and the lens to the leaves. I just have to do it.
—  There’s no other way
vimeo

Here is the teaser trailer for my student film, Wonder. It’s inspired by my father’s childhood between him and his dog, Wonder.

Keep your eyes out for the completed film, but it will be showing at Memphis College of Art from April 22 to May 14.

The wonderful film score was composed and performed by Margaret Madsen. The music producer is Adam Gough. Telly Hager plays as the young boy and Robert Muren plays as Wonder.

We all do weird things when we’re 14 but when you’re an aspiring filmmaker, you do weird things and make weird films.

I found this gem floating around on an external hard drive of mine.  When I become a famous filmmaker, please bury this.  Thank you.

Down To Mephisto’s Cafe PT. 4.5

Brown Eyed Girl

One phone call later…

Pansy: Draco, I am having a crisis.

Draco: Did someone suggest florals for Spring again? Those tacky bastards.

Pansy: That was a real crisis Draco, as is this. I can’t tell if someone is gay.

Draco: What!? 

Pansy: I know! It’s driving me mental! She was giving me vibes at a photo shoot, attends a party with me, comes back to my place where she wants to cuddle? And share secrets? Secrets, Draco!

It was like some weird heterosexual coming of age film for 14 year old girls!

Draco: *teasingly* Did you share secrets?

Pansy: That’s besides the point! And then she comes into my office, unannounced, to tell me we are going out tonight!

Draco: Darling, I fail to see the crisis. That sounds like a date to me.

Pansy: Yeah, until you had to go and sabotage it all!

Draco: Me?! How did I-

Pansy: She invited you! 

Is it a date? Is it a group outing? Should I wear underwear!?

Draco: So, do you like her? Because the Pansy I know wouldn’t be a little bitch about it. Think darling, think. Don’t let Ginny Weasley be the one exception to the “I get what I want rule”. You deserve to be happy, love.

You like her. We both know you do. Sound the alarm! Pansy has a boner in her heart!

Pansy: I have work I should be doing, unlike some people.

Don’t forget to dress casual!

TBC

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