Girl is Presence

Girl is Presence
4 min. color sound 2020
a film by Lynne Sachs and Anne Lesley Selcer  

For GIRL IS PRESENCE, Lynne Sachs has made images as a form of reading and listening in response to disquieting words from Anne Lesley Selcer’s poem “Sun Cycle”. A girl arranges and rearranges objects, sensorily reflecting the tense and disharmonious list of words voiced by Selcer in the film. As the language builds in tension, the scene becomes occult, ritualistic, and alchemical. Against the uncertain and anxious pandemic atmosphere, performer Noa Street-Sachs, Lynne’s daughter, creates and unmakes systems with the collection of small, mysterious things. Selcer’s poem emerges from Sun Cycle, the eponymous book which deals with image, gender and power. This poem reworks a George Bataille essay to undo and recast its rhythms.

Anne Lesley Selcer works in the expanded field of language. They write on, with, around and underneath art. This has created a book of essays called Blank Sign Book, a book of poems called Sun Cycle, as well as a multitude of multiform publications, performances and moving pictures scattered through galleries, artspaces, magazines and the internet, most recently, The Mouth is Still a Wild Door and The Sadness of the Supermarket: A Lament for Certain Girls. The short film Girl is Presence made in collaboration with Lynne Sachs, is based on Selcer’s poem “Sun Cycle.”

Here is an interview with Anne on her process of writing in Sun Cycle. Go to 20:17-23:58 for a direct correlation to “Girl is Presence”.

Noa Street-Sachs (performer) works as an investigator on police misconduct cases at a government agency in New York City. She is also a photographer and a native of Brooklyn.  

Rebecca Shapass (editor) is a filmmaker, multidisciplinary artist, and community organizer living in New York City. Commissioned by Small Press Traffic for Bay Area Shorts, spring 2020


International Premiere:
International Short Film Festival Oberhausen (Germany)

Screenings: 
Crossroads Film Festival, San Francisco Cinemathèque, August 2020; 2020 Film and Video Poetry Symposium; Oberhausen Festival of Short Film, Germany 2021; Experiments in Cinema International Film Festival, 2021; Athens Film and Video Festival, 2021; Moscow International Experimental Film Festival 2021; Dobra Festival International de Cinema Experimental, Rio de Janeiro; Cork International Film Festival, Ireland Artist Focus presented by Artist and Experimental Moving Image.

Criterion Channel streaming premiere with 7 other films, Oct. 2021.


This film is currently only available with a password. Please write to info@lynnesachs.com to request access.


For inquiries about rentals or purchases please contact Canyon Cinema or the Film-makers’ Cooperative. And for international bookings, please contact Kino Rebelde.