Suburban Trilogy, The
- Abigail Child |
- 2004-2011 |
- 75 minutes |
- COLOR/B&W |
A feature-length project about girlhood and the immigrant dream, focusing on post World War II North American suburbs and between the war Europe, critically seen through the lens of gender, property and myths of nation. - A rambunctious embrace, body to body, woman to woman, entrance to exit - in-laws foregrounding the construction of cinematic meaning, the elusive nature of memory and desire, the hysteric familial arena of the social. This project is prismatic, in that each part explores a different perspective in terms of both cinemtics and historical era.
Cake and Steak 2004, 21 min.
Cake and Steak excavates 'girl training' in the legacy of home movies and post-war American suburban culture. Constructed as a series of achronological 'chapters' in which Edenic images of adolescent twirlers, basement parties, and 'dress-up' are challenged by a sound montage composed of horror movie music, old TV shows, laugh tracks, and machine noise of our modern Arcadias, Cake and Steak is conceived for single-screen loop projections.
The Future is Behind You 2004, 20 min.
A fictional story composed from an anonymous family archive of 1930's Europe with two sisters who play, race, fight, kiss and grow up together under the shadow of oncoming history. There are at lease 3 levels of research: 1) the home movie in which a family poses for the camera, preternaturally happy; 2) the historical moment which remains as text trace, undermining the image and serving as covert motive; 3) the development of gender identitites - the innocent freedom of the edler transformed into socially bruised 'bride,' the irrepressibility of the younger moving from tomboy to awkward, diffident adult. At once biography & fiction, history & psycholody, The Future is Behind You excavates gestures to get at the heart of narrative; it seeks a bridge between private and public histories.
Music by John Zorn, arranged and performed for the movie by Sylvie Courvoisier and Mark Feldman.
Surf and Turf 2008-2011, 32 min.
Contemporary ambiguities on the Jersey shore: the look is secular, the lifestyle capitalist, the religion orthodox. 40,000 Syrian Jews have moved into a landscape previously occupied by Irish, Italian and the quite different sect of Askenazi Jews. The "unmelted pot" of America's small towns is set within memory and contemporary oppositions. What does it mean to have class in America? What does it mean to be Jewish? I think of conflicts between Israel and Palestine, Serbia and Bosnia, India and Pakistan: neighboring families and races split apart by religion. Extreme poverty enforces the tribal, while extreme wealth maintains it. Surf and Turf provides no easy answers but raises issues that have too long stayed behind closed doors: what do we say when we think no one is listening?
Pesaro Film Festival 2014; Edinburgh Film Festival 2012; Boston Jewish Film Festival 2012; Wellesley College March-April 2013; Harvard Film Archive; Rotterdam Film Festival; Winner IPRESCI Press Prize at Oberhausen Film Fesival