Body Parts explores the nude female body as the site of a cultural struggle in Hollywood media. In what is being called the new “Golden Age" of television, nudity and themes of sexuality are more explicit and prevalent than ever. And with them, complex issues of gender parity and representation and the highly negotiated process of creating these scenes for film. With subjects ranging from actresses to female body doubles, rape stunt coordinators to merkin makers, SAG representatives to lawyers who specialize in “nudity clauses”, this film explores how female performers struggle to protect their bodies, how the studios push back, and how unions have fought for better standards. From the clichéd body double inserts of the 80s to contemporary and seamlessly rendered CGI scenes, the film asks: if these scenes are about sex, to whom are they sexy? By what standards? How do race, age and body type factor in? And what does it mean when so much construction goes into creating seeming nakedness?
The film will juxtapose footage of Hollywood sex scenes––wherein the nudity is redacted through animation––against interviews and stylized re-enactments of the behind-the-scenes process of major film productions. From actresses who regret performing certain nude scenes when they were younger to actresses who are defying stereotypes by performing nudity in their 40s, 50s and beyond, Body Parts explores how nudity can be experienced as both exploitative and empowering. Finally, in conversations with women directors, the film proposes what a female gaze might look like, and how female desire and sexuality can be portrayed without exploit and with authenticity.
The End of Weed (2018)
Set amidst the rugged mountains of Northern California, The End of Weed, is a short homage to a passing California way of life, that of the independent dope grower. Fires, heavy rains, and endless physical toil fill the days of the small batch grower over the agrarian year in which filmmaker and farmer document his crop.
This is a film about marijuana as a once-powerful engine of iconoclastic, land-based homesteading in an era in which it is increasingly a slickly-marketed, corporate investment opportunity with a panoply of carnival-barker marketing claims. As such it is as much a meditation on the beauty of life in the mountains, in the garden, and on the edges of society and economy. A view from the garden rather than a detached story about it.
Embracing the innovative technology of the Go-Pro camera, Mothertime is an essayistic portrait sweeping us into a corporeal experience in parenting. By using a very small, portable camera worn by mother and child, or left on any surface and turned on and off remotely, this video is a real-time, sensorial journey spanning the frenetic to mundane.
Set primarily amidst scenes of domestic life in their first home, the camera captures the whimsical, ordinary, sometimes claustrophobic repeating loops of work and play in daily life. The audience is drawn into the raw and messy reality of the mother-daughter relationship as the markers of toddlerhood become the turning points of the film itself. Early mobility, language acquisition, and increasing independence play out as preparation for the move from one house to another.
Like the fictional work of Chantal Akerman, Mothertime explores the boundaries of time and home to invite the viewer to see the labor of motherhood as neither romanticized nor banal. This video seeks to reframe motherhood as a valuable site of intellectual exploration and artistic production and expand on a decades-long dialogue considering maternity as an essential feminist concern.
· Screening and conversation with the m/other voices Field Trips
What Happened to Her (2016)
WHAT HAPPENED TO HER is a forensic exploration of our cultural obsession with images of the dead woman on screen. Interspersing found footage from police procedural films and television shows and one actor’s experience of playing the part of a corpse, the film offers a meditative critique on the trope of the dead female body.
The visual narrative of the genre, one reinforced through its intense and pervasive repetition, is revealed as a highly structured pageant. Concurrently, the experience of physical invasion and exploitation voiced by the actor pierce the fabric of the screened fantasy. The result is recurring and magnetic film cliche laid bare.
· Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival 2016 World Premiere, Honorable Mention Best Short Documentary
· New York Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam and Traverse City Film Festival selections
· Grand Jury Prize at Dallas International Film Festival
· Distributed by Women Make Movies
Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines (2012/13)
WONDER WOMEN! THE UNTOLD STORY OF AMERICAN SUPERHEROINES traces the fascinating evolution and legacy of Wonder Woman. From the birth of the comic book superheroine in the 1940s to the blockbusters of today, WONDER WOMEN!looks at how popular representations of powerful women often reflect society’s anxieties about women’s liberation.
WONDER WOMEN! goes behind the scenes with Lynda Carter, Lindsay Wagner, comic writers and artists, and real-life superheroines such as Gloria Steinem, Kathleen Hanna and others, who offer an enlightening and entertaining counterpoint to the male-dominated superhero genre.
· Broadcast on PBS Independent Lens (2013)
· SXSW 2012 World Premiere
· Audience Awards: Indianapolis International Film Festival & Spokane International Film Festival
Going on 13 (2008/9)
From Tweety Bird to Bow Wow, double dutch to chat rooms, Daddy's girls to first deceptions, watch as Ariana, Isha, Rosie, and Esme let go of childhood and fumble — or sprint — toward an uncertain future. This is puberty and for each of these girls of color, it’s a whirlwind of change and new choices. Without flinching, GOING ON 13 enters their world as they negotiate the precious, precarious moments between being a little girl and becoming a young woman.
· ITVS & Latino Public Broadcasting Co-Production
· Broadcast on public television in 2009
· 2008 Tribeca Film Festival World Premiere
· Best Documentary: LA Femme Film Festival
El Corrido de Cecilia Rios (1999)
EL CORRIDO DE CECILIA RIOS is an inspiring documentary about the life and death of one teenage girl. When the life of Cecilia Rios is tragically cut short by her brutal murder, a group of teens comes together to commemorate her life and speak out about the violence that intersects their lives. Using the traditional structure of the Mexican ballad and featuring the music of the acclaimed folkloric group, Los Cenzontles, EL CORRIDO DE CECILIA RIOS offers a unique entry into the lives of Latino youth and an empowering narrative about community healing.
· Sundance International Film Festival, Mill Valley International Film Festival and Directors Guild of America Student Film Awards
· Golden Spire award-winner at the San Francisco International Film Festival
· Broadcast nationally on the Sundance channel, 1999-2000
Love and Strife (1999-2006)
The Love And Strife collection positions a blow up doll within the four primordial elements of the universe: air, water, earth and fire. Her apparent destruction by these indestructible elements offers a cathartic release of the image of woman cast into the grotesque plastic mold of a life-sized doll.
· Shown at the Getty and the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art
· Screened at festivals including, the Los Angeles Freewaves Experimental Media Arts, Ann Arbor and Women in the Director's Chair