Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Hello ... 2019!

Welcome to the latest missive from She Who Doubts, composed of that tantalizing and contradictory blend of painful self-searching, self-promotion and breaking news.

painful self-searching

The last few years or so I've spent some time reckoning with my past output - creating the two Volumes of Newsletters, creating Her Magnum Opus whose central question is about what lasts, trying to figure out if it's time for a major pivot. 

Can you believe that this is the 12th year of this blogspot!? To be sure, I browsed back through "older posts" on the About Marta Renzi page. There was a 2006 entry about Acceptance and Rejection which sounded awfully familiar ... and one about my double life which reads: 

for more than ten years, I've led this kind of double life, working with families, often Spanish-speaking, around literacy, advocacy - liberation, really ... this work helps me to feel balanced, feeds me in a different way from making art. If you asked me which of my lives is more rewarding to me, more valuable to my community, more remunerative in the long run, more fundamental to my identity, I'm not sure I could say.

Twelve years later, I'm still "working with families around literacy" through the Parent Child Home Program, and still being fed by it. Plus ├ža change, plus c'est la meme chose, baby.


She Who Doubts has had a rocky few months, behaving like her own worst critic, not feeling quite as "balanced" as she declared herself to be in 2006. So it was a boost to receive the news that Red Dirt Dances is an Official Selection of Dances with Camera, at Short Waves Festival in Poznan, Poland. 

We selected 18 international short films showing innovative, authentic and original perspective on dance and your film is absolutely one of them. It fits perfectly our programme and we are sure our audience will appreciate it as much as we do.

May this be the first of many. 

breaking news

a few projects coming up in 2019: 

a 3rd videodance commission by my pal Angelica Vessella at Rhode Island College, shot by my pal Jennifer Keller from Slippery Rock. Great young people, 5 days, Catholic school uniforms, one camera. See the previous blog post for my assignments to myself

5 days in Bratislava, Slovakia with my long-time collaborator Anka Sedlackova.  We'll finish the solo about aging that we started in Nyack this past June - and Anka's arranged a screening of Her Magnum Opus. By the way, if you'd like to celebrate the New Year by supporting my work, you can throw me a few dollars by watching it on Vimeo on Demand. Or that DONATE button is sitting over there on the right ...

And finally, here's the trailer for Where Love Leads, shot in September and edited in time to premiere at the December dance concert at Slippery Rock University. For that occasion, the full 15-minute version was screened - including a lovely-and-now-deleted scene at the garden of our cinematographer Jennifer Keller.  Immediately after that screening, She Who Doubts edited a 10-minute version which presumably has a better chance of getting programmed at film festivals.  But is it actually better at 10 minutes?

What does better mean? 

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Thank you, some whining and a hat trick

I so appreciate that you check in here when prompted. I'm taking requests - so if there's anything you'd particularly like me to talk about or post, let me know. 

Meanwhile, the big news is that Her Magnum Opus is now available for download through Vimeo on Demand.  The next festival screening for Opus is in Nashville at HerStory Cinephilia Society, with a few more screenings anticipated in 2019. But it's time to move on - and make those big bucks in sales, right? 

In Search of Lost Time, the 9-minute black-and-white short featuring Aislinn MacMaster & David Thomson, continues to travel all over the world, having screened in 22 festivals thus far. 
If you're near New York, please join me at YoFiFest in Yonkers on Saturday, November 3 at noon. Still to come are Breaking 8 in Sardegna, Dance on Screen in Austria, VideoSkin in the Yukon, and InShadow in Lisbon - which has shown my work for 7 of its 10 editions - which I actually plan to attend.

Two new shorts are just beginning to make their way in the world:

Strategic Retreat, shot by Charles Caster-Dudzick in a treehouse in Richmond, Virginia last spring. Trailer here, for you hard core fans. 

Red Dirt Dances, which Gustavo Fataki shot almost a year ago in Sao Carlos, Brazil. [Trailer below, looping as you read.] It had its Brazilian premiere last week - essentially a cast and crew screening minus the director.  Stay tuned for festival updates for both works.

Every film project is recognizably Renzi, especially for longtime followers, like most of you reading this.  But each one is also different, in cast, length, music, location, style.
Where Love Leads, my return engagement with Slippery Rock University dancers, took place in 4 locations, with 15 performers and features a lively soundtrack of 6 songs, and currently clocks in at 16 minutes. Cinematographer-producer Jennifer Keller made my every wish come true during production, so it would be ungenerous of me to whine - but just try and stop me - about the hassle and cost of paying fees to corporate entities for music rights. I'd dearly love to know what percentage of the licensing fees actually makes it into an artist's wallet. HUGE thanks here to the artists who have recently shared their work gratis - among them, Emily Holden, Lorenzo Wolff and Kamel Boutros.

So for my hat trick with Rhode Island College in January, I've laid down a few ground rules, limitations which are a natural and opposite reaction to SRU's Love:

one location
royalty-free music 
cast of 5 or 6
movement vocabulary that is less "easy-going"

I set myself these tasks so I don't repeat myself.
Thanks for listening.
Am I repeating myself?

Thursday, August 16, 2018

What's it all about ?

years pass and I move from NYC to Nyack
years pass and I raise two children
years pass and the print newsletter transforms to a digital format
years pass and those children grow to be men
years pass and I become a filmmaker
years pass and I become eligible for Medicare!

And I ask myself for the umpteenth time if it's necessary, or even worthwhile, to share what I'm up to with the same small group of people who find their way here.

Last month, in the run-up to the screening of Her Magnum Opus at the prestigious Dance on Camera Festival, I was posting furiously on Facebook. And the first NYC screening of Opus was gratifying because folks came who hadn't seen it yet, probably hadn't seen ANY Renzi work in quite a while, if ever.

But if the number of likes on the Opus Facebook page are a measure of its value, I'd give up altogether. And when I come to understand that "everyone" is migrating to Instagram, I realize that I'd rather save my energy to make stuff - or even meditate on making stuff - than play the social media game, and badly at that. Come to think of it, this blogspot is hopelessly un-trendy now that the digital world abounds with hipper opportunities to go public. Blogspot? Definitely eligible for Medicare.

But I do apparently feel the urge to keep a running log in here - however irregular, and however slanted - that marks the passing of the years. And to confirm that I'm still at it: determinedly making stuff while just as perpetually wondering why.

Running Log

31 short films since 2006

Check out the Filmography for trailers and festivals.
Crazy, right? I should be ashamed of myself.

Her Magnum Opus
Tuesday, September 25th @ 7:00 pm
Anthology Film Archives

In search of lost time is the one making the rounds these days - from Huntington, West Virginia to Lisbon.

Red Dirt Dances, made in Brazil last November, is just weeks from starting on its festival journey.
At the moment I'm wrestling with the one I shot in Virginia ... stay tuned.

2 new ones to come, commissioned by old friends at two colleges:

September 6-16
a 2nd dance film residency 
Slippery Rock University, PA

January 14-20
a 3rd ! dance film residency 
Rhode Island College, Providence

And now, because the running log always includes imagery,
this excerpt from Opus, with original music by Ljova.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Her Magnum Opus
Saturday July 21 at 3:00 pm
New York City premiere!

Your only excuse for not attending is if you saw it earlier in the month as part of the American Dance Festival's Movies by Movers in Durham, North Carolina on 
Sunday July 14th at 2:00.