Venice 71: Film Festival Miu Miu Women’s Tales #7 - #8.
#7 - Spark and Light – Kim So Yong. Spark and Light is directed by So Yong Kim. It’s the seventh commission from Miu Miu Women’s Tales, the acclaimed short-film series by women who critically celebrate femininity in the 21st century. “Mom’s stable, asleep. Drive safe! Xoxo Dad.” Soon after Elizabeth receives this text message, her mother isn’t the only one lost in sleep. Elizabeth’s car has broken down. It’s freezing cold, no sign of life nearby. She just has to wait, patiently. The recovery guys will be here soon, Elizabeth. Till then, she warms her young hands on the vents, drifts into a strange slumber, followed by an even more surreal awakening. Icelandic landscapes merge with Elizabeth’s memories. Fears are magically transformed into comforting and fantastical fabrics. Father, upstairs, alone. This latest addition to Women’s Tales is redolent of So Yong Kim’s previous features—such as For Ellen, Treeless Mountain and Inbetween Days, which won a Special Jury Prize at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. “I’ve always been obsessed with family dynamics,” says the Korean born American writer and director, “I’m always trying to develop my understanding of that.”In the new film, we see this take the shape of a mother divided in two: one unconscious on a hospital bed; the other vibrantly alive surrounded by love. Riley Keough’s acute performance as Elizabeth paired with the poetic isolation of Iceland effectively multiplies the size of this dream-like story. It adds new intellectual and emotional colour to the Miu Miu Women’s Tales series: that twilight space between childhood, adulthood and mortality."
Above. Attending the Miu Miu Women’s Tales screening; Dakota Fanning, Kirsten Dunst, Kate Mara, Felicity Jones, Lena Dunham and Nicoletta Romanoff.
Dakota Fanning with Lena Dunham
#8 - Somebody – Miranda July. “Test my soil. Deeper.” Have you ever found it impossible to say something, face to face, to someone you know, someone you love? The words just won’t come out? A new messaging service, SOMEBODY, by Miranda July could help. It’s the star of her film for Miu Miu Womens’ Tales, the eighth commission in the acclaimed short-film series by women directors who critically celebrate femininity in the 21st century. Jessica wants to tell Caleb she can’t be his girlfriend anymore. She opens up SOMEBODY, types in the heartbreaking message, and selects Paul from a list. Paul is in the park. Paul’s phone dings. He eyes Caleb having a picnic. Paul delivers the bad news—as Jessica. Eyes bawling. Arms flapping. Caleb is, devastated. The SOMEBODY app then totally saves Yolanda and Blanca’s friendship, makes Jeffy’s marriage proposal to lonely Victoria, and initiates a curious ménage-a-trois between two prison workers and a parched potted plant named Anthony. This latest addition to Womens’ Tales showcases Miranda July’s unique ability to capture the strange tenderness of contemporary relationships. SOMEBODY takes our endless hunger for communication, technology, avatars and outsourcing, and blends it into what seems to be a surreal near-future — but it’s not. It’s right now. In close collaboration with Miu Miu, July worked with a team of developers to create this radical and complex app; when the movie ends we’re invited to visit somebody app.com to send or deliver our first message.
Above. Director Miranda July.