Long-time readers of this blog may remember the days before internet when I would mail an actual "newsletter" to a collection of friends, fans and would-be funders. [If you're relatively new to this site, double click the b&w photo to the right of this post titled MARTA RENZI: Newsletters, which will give you an idea of the history you missed.]
Now in 2023, much like in the '80's, I keep in touch with 2/3 of those f's - friends and fans, not so much funders. Those of you on Facebook keep up to date with where my recent work is appearing. What a difference from the old days that recent work is never live. Rarely anymore do I even attend a festival in person. Blame the shifting expectations that remain a post-pandemic custom - and the fact that spending money / carbon to fly somewhere for a 5-10 minute digital appearance seems a waste of energy.
Of course on Facebook I tend to only share news of a completed, accepted dance film. It's not an appropriate platform for my candid self-inquiry (aka self-doubt). This platform is a bit more like a journal - albeit a semi-public one - in which I ask myself questions like:
what will I make next?
is there a pattern or theme to what I work on next?
to what standards do I hold myself?
Like with a journal, it's illuminating to read back a few posts to see what had been on my mind. For example by December 2022, I had edited some video drafts documenting our time in Cork, Ireland:
- self-portraits of the 3 dancers [3 Dancers with Bells]
- "rehearsal" footage [3 Windows and a Door]
- the outdoor "documentary" [Cork Journal]
- miscellaneous clips that never got shaped
Meanwhile, Cork Journal is finding its way to festivals all around the world, including the 68th Cork International Film Festival itself - gratifying even if I don't attend. By the way, can you believe that I've made 4 dozen short films (a round 50 if you count the 2 PBS ones)?
Interested in a mini-Renzi-fest? Check out this page which lists them all, the fests they've appeared at, and a link to a trailer.
My most recent completed project is the one I described in the last post, way back in August. Called Death & other Disguises, it's a departure for me in many ways: talking but no music, 4 disparate solos, me dancing. Doubtful that it will find a home even in - especially in? - the niche of dance film festivals, I may get creative about how to disseminate it. For now, I'll share the trailer - in the post below, because I still can't figure out this wonky interface. You'll see what I mean by a departure.
As for those questions:
Why? Because it's always a pleasure to work with those students, and to collaborate with cinematographer Jennifer Keller for our 4th time together.
Is there a pattern? It will definitely follow my "not-that-again" alternation between something risky (Death) and something more accessible.
What standards? We have only 5 days to design, develop and shoot something that we can all be proud of. In such a short production process, the balance is between giving each student a creative experience and ending up with something that can screen at festivals. In fact, after a respectable festival run, Tumult was just selected to be part of a channel called Dancefilmmaking, where it can be seen "forever."