“He knows he will live in me after he is dead, I will carry him like a mother. I do not know if I will ever deliver.”
Sharon Olds, from the book of poems, The Father
There are so many possible entry points into Lynne Sachs’s A Film About a Father Who, an incredibly poignant and astute film sonnet on the director’s father, Ira Nathan Sachs, that over my repeated viewings I’ve begun to think of the film as a kind of quilt. Each of its patches unique and carefully hand-stitched into the fabric of its mosaic parts. Or perhaps a wondrous maze that a viewer winds her way through, and out, by pulling a delicate Ariadne’s thread.
I think it’s apt that the Greek mythology should have sprung to my mind. Aren’t all families somehow mythic, especially the troubled ones? The patriarch of the Sachs clan is certainly very Sphinx-like: an object, at once, of boundless adoration and love, but also a slippery man of mystery whose acts arouse genuine puzzlement in all his children. A god whose many faces are like a visage of a broken statue — bits that can never be whole again, but only awkwardly pieced, with glue, disjointed surfaces showing through, sharp edges painful to the touch.
In the film’s first introductory clip, the scionSachs, Sr. appears with his characteristic wisps of blond hair clinging to his skull, his bushy moustache, and somewhat restless and piercing blue eyes. He’s a “hippie businessman,” who “works as little as possible,” and “bottles water he can never stock.” In one shot, he stands framed by a mountainous vista (it turns out that Sachs developed hotels in Park City, Utah, where the Sundance Film Festival is held). The father speaks of his love for skiing, where you “go up slow and come down fast.” A comment that Sachs comments on in her own presciently clipped way: “To own a mountain from which there is nothing you can do but come down.”
I was struck by how this sentence is a gorgeous metaphor for pretty much how we relate to our parents — the most primordial love, which turns them into heroic, mythical, statue-like beings, mountain slopes from which, indeed, they can only come down. And how much of growing into adulthood is about the sudden vertigo of having to rewind, recalibrate our memories of the familial bind, from the times when we were still too innocent, too small, to have truly understood it. If we love them enough, we catch them coming down. We are mindful to pick up the pieces, glimpsing in their downfall from immortal heights the first sightings of our own fragility.
A Film About a Father Who is then an origin story, but one that’s never smug about its certainties, and always self-doubtful of how “it all” began. Sachs opens the film with a scene in which she’s cutting her elderly father’s hair, a moment so low-key yet so potent, because it is non-verbal. Everything else in the film – the tale of how the father managed to lie and cheat for so many years, how he hid his multiple affairs and his many children by different women from each other, for decades – all this will need to be explained. But the hair-cutting, with Sachs holding the scissors, untangling the knots, so that to snip them, lives outside language, time, it is an act of generosity and love, through which a small portion of care may me given back. Then there’s the scissors, which once again circle back to the metaphor of quilting, cutting things to pieces, and stitching them together — film editing itself like quilting, the kind of hands-on experimental cinema that Sachs practices, in particular, like the intricate, patient, artisanal task.
Sachs begins her story with the immediate family nucleus, her father, mother and her siblings, Dana and the filmmaker Ira Sachs. In this first central patch, there is still a certain sense of cohesion, as if the rest of the film could shoulder the illusion of producing a unified body of work; as if the process of delving into the past could heal, through rendering the small patches whole. Nothing like this occurs, it turns out. The more there is to discover, the more women and children enter the picture, the more quilt-like the film’s overall composition becomes. It demands to be seen as unruly, with each person, each story and heartache, finding its own proper place.
Among the father’s lovers are Diana, whose faint voice betrays terrible shyness, both on the subject’s part, but perhaps also the filmmaker’s. The inherent question of how to probe without hurting, how to make space for learning and empathy, but also establish a critical distance, is always keenly felt. Over the course of the film, this empathetic investigation becomes emboldened — either reflecting the director’s natural progression, or perhaps a mere artifact of thoughtful, painstaking editing, through which each woman’s testimony enriches the others. With Diana, for example, Sachs plants the idea of “companionship,” which apparently Sachs’s father used to seduce the young immigrant, Diana. And yet, Diana’s profile, cast against a dim window, is so lonely, so desolate, the word gains a heartbreaking, bitterly ironic twang.
If, as Tolstoy believed, all happy families are alike, but the unhappy ones suffer in distinct ways, Sachs’s film is indeed an epic that embodies a Tolstoian ethos. “I’ve been making this film about my father for twenty-six years now,” Sachs says at one point. In another she adds, “Can I make myself forget that for the first twenty years of my sister’s life I didn’t know of her existence?”
It’s a challenge to tell a story of such breadth without giving in to the tyranny of summary. But Sachs is never guilty of it, perhaps because, from the start, she strikes a patient but also an ironic tone. She holds out each cesura and is never rushed. Her carefully planted voiceovers, which echo, like refrains, emphasize dissonance, slippage, and paradox—as if to borrow Emily Dickinson’s motto, “Tell the truth, but tell it slant.” It’s a particularly poignant approach to a subject who is himself quite unable to offer this level of complete honesty, or transparency. We might have grown frustrated with such a subject, as too illusive, too coy, and yet, when centered in and filtered through Sachs’s voice, her father’s slipperiness becomes part of the game, a psychological, moral, philosophical quest for a glimmer of comprehension, and solace.
Again and again, this filmic richness emerges, where the previous parts of the film serve as a commentary on what comes next. Take the early family videos, for example. There is so much light, the children bouncing about, the colors overexposed, pushed, which on one hand reminds us of the fragility of earlier technologies, but on the other, doesn’t let us forget that family videos are a particular brand of narrative—or, one might say, fantasy. One makes a family. One constructs a memory. The film contains these small patches of idealized moments, frozen in time, it holds them in, like quilted patches, but it can also reveal them as such.
What’s brilliant about A Film About a Father Who is that this commentary on the past, on the nature of memory, on storytelling, on love, so often arises directly through its own filmic material. For example, the first dialogue with the mother is framed by a window with a bright light behind it, and it too seems part of the established idealized childhood space. As if the previous Impressionist brushes of light and movement, it too seems to point to brighter times. But when the dialogue continues, with some footage in the kitchen, a subtle change can be felt: It’s as if in a Rorschach test, what first seemed like light, now is the reverse, the shadow, the impermeability that beams into the kitchen, whereas the light is shut out, outside.
Thus the film builds and sustains its own cognitive dissonance. Sometimes, Sachs’s commentary seems to almost spill over, frame to frame, like a river, sometimes lyrical, sometimes critical, on her father’s behavior—while the image occasionally stops, holds almost still, desperately focusing the lens, surrendering to a blur. Somewhere in this tension, there’s language that fails, phrases like “a hippie businessman,” which try to establish just what the father is, how he might be summed up, then slowly letting go of substantive terms, and allowing adjectives, “caring,” “selfish,” “careless,” “loving” to cast their spell. If there’s a vertigo in these descriptions, it’s once again because the Sphinx-like puzzle isn’t meant to be solved. The film presents no solution; it can only ask, but this asking is also somehow enough. It is the necessary work.
The extended family grows, and so do group meetings, to include the younger generations. Some of the father’s children are born roughly around the same time as Sachs’s own daughter, Maya. In one scene, the young woman, Beth, expresses anger at having been cast out, and grown up in a harsh financial situation. Yet another mentions that she felt like the family’s powerful matriarch, Grandmother “Maw-Maw,” was going to disinherit her son, if more children surfaced, and so her existence was hidden. Earlier hesitations or questions are recast in a more discerning light. The careful trudging around fraught issues give in to Sachs’s direct question to her father about the lies. And if there is no immediate healing within the film’s constructed timeframe, there is a gesture and a reconciliation in a therapeutic exchange, in which each person voices her own hurt.
“Daughter, sister, mother, I cleave from one to another,” Sachs comments in the voiceover, heeding the lexical and experiential complexity of her many roles. And so the film never settles. It presents no center from which to control, contain, or judge. Instead, like Ariadne’s thread, it tugs, pulls, apart, anew, and so we’re guided the maze, enlightened, by the strings of love.
About Ela Bittencourt Ela Bittencourt is a critic and cultural journalist, currently based in São Paulo. She writes on art, film and literature, often in the context of social issues and politics.
Wearing the tell-tale masks of our daunting now, five NYC performers search for a meal in a Queens market while speaking in verse. A meditation on writing and making images in the liminal space between a global pandemic and what might come next. Inspired by the writing of Filipino-America poet Paolo Javier.
Showings: Sun, Jul 31st, 4:30 PM @ Logan Theatre
Year: 2022 Director: Lynne A. Sachs Runtime: 7 minutes Screenwriter: Pablo Javier Language: English, Tagalog Cast: Inney Prakash, Ray Ferriera, Country: United States Jeff Preiss, Juliana Sass, Premiere: Chicago Premiere Caredral
Counter Compositions – Truth to Material
This work started with a single reel of B/W silent film. This found footage having been disassociated from its intention raises questions about the unseen and forgotten aspects of workers lives and technological histories. The images focus on the bodies and gestures of the persons working within this factory environment.
Showings: Sun, Jul 31st, 4:30 PM @ Logan Theatre
Year: 2022 Filmmaker: Simon Rattigan Runtime: 14 minutes Language: English Country: United Kingdom
I get rid of memories selectively, as a form of self-salvation. A playback of the episodes I have lived renders no clue of who I think I am in the present. I guess many “me” reside in different parts of my memory. And the me of the present chooses to eliminate one of them.
replicant interrogated in Blade Runner, the person I am now is subjected to the
scathing gaze of others. And now he decides to disintegrate his existential
consciousness, by sending that of the past into exile, to the horizon where it
Showings: Sun, Jul 31st, 4:30 PM @ Logan Theatre
Year: 2020 Filmmaker: Yan Zhou Runtime: 6 minutes Language: English, Mandarin Chinese Country: China, United States Premiere: US Premiere
Fraktura is an abstract horror evoking a unique German expressionist atmosphere. Featuring lead type from the Gutenberg Museum (Mainz) and printing blocks from the Hatch Show Print (Nashville), the typographic forms, printed directly on 35mm film, move to the rhythm of an original score performed on a church organ.
“I made this film for the artist Haruko Tanaka. It is footage I shot in the summer of 2018 when I was in residence at the Putnam Cottage at MacDowell, a studio Haruko had worked in the winter before. I often thought of her in the month I was there. Haruko passed a few months after I returned; I made this film in her memory.” – Lee Anne Schmitt
Showings: Sun, Jul 31st, 4:30 PM @ Logan Theatre
Year: 2021 Director: Lee Anne Schmitt Runtime: 10 minutes Screenwriter: Lee Anne Schmitt Language: English Producer: Lee Anne Schmitt Country: United States Premiere: World Premiere
A City w/o A Map
signal communications proliferate across borders. incongruent shapes subtracted from form. fractal topographies without document.
Showings: Sun, Jul 31st, 4:30 PM @ Logan Theatre
Year: 2021 Director: Josh Weissbach Runtime: 8 minutes Producer: Josh Weissbach Language: English Country: United States, Cuba, Israel Premiere: US Premiere
A fascinating portrait of an individual with penis dysmorphia who appears to be much happier and content without the very appendage that provides many men – especially gay men – with their entire raison d’être. (Bruce LaBruce) read full text: https://www.sixpackfilm.com/en/catalogue/2679/
Showings: Sun, Jul 31st, 4:30 PM @ Logan Theatre
Year: 2021 Director: Jan Soldat Runtime: 16 minutes Language: German Country: Australia, Germany Premiere: Midwest Premiere
A serendipitous ritual of memory Colliding archives of body and place A cine-incantation to freedom and (be)longing
Showings: Sun, Jul 31st, 4:30 PM @ Logan Theatre
Year: 2021 Filmmaker: Kalpana Subramanian Runtime: 9 minutes Language: English Country: United States, India
A young programmer attempts to resurrect their lost mother by building an A.I. with human memories
Showings: Sun, Jul 31st, 4:30 PM @ Logan Theatre
Year: 2020 Director: Asuka Lin Runtime: 5 minutes Screenwriter: Asuka Lin Country: United States Producer: Giuliana Foulkes Premiere: Midwest Premiere Cast: Reinabe
Andrews was born
in Brooklyn, New York and raised in both Brooklyn and Queens. She is a former
actress, dancer and singer, as well as a notable performance poet and veteran
of the NYC poetry circuit. Her performance at The Nuyorican Poets Café was one
of the first to be archived at Poet’s House. She has been published in various
publications including ALOUD: Voices from the Nuyorican Poets Café, The
Voice Literary Supplement, The 2020 Beat Poets Anthology,
and Tribes Literary Journal, where she has also written film
and book reviews. She is the author of two chapbooks: Saving
Summer and Homeless (The New Press), and one poetry
collection: A Little Before Twelve (Poets of Queens). She
holds a Certificate of Language and Culture from Jagiellonian University in
Krakow, Poland, as well as a B.A. from Adelphi University and an MFA in
Creative Writing from Brooklyn College.
Findlay is a poet,
filmmaker of shorts (poetry in motion) and chef. Her new book Dysfunction:
A Play On Words In the Familiar, released by Pink Trees Press is one that
will walk you down a winding road to leave you to choose; the road of
redemption or a dysfunctional circus. One of the original Silver Tongued Devils
her work appears in their anthology as well as Brownstone Poets. She’s
performed at Fahrenheit, Women of Color and Tree of Cups the Rimes Series.
Findlay has judged poetry contests and collection of videos can be viewed on YouTube.
Her method towards writing is simple, “I don’t write in things I don’t believe
tova greene (they/them) is a non-binary,
queer, jewish poet who recently graduated with a bachelor in liberal arts from
sarah lawrence college in yonkers, new york. they were one of seven members of
the class of 2022 to submit a senior thesis; at a whopping 375 pages, “the
poetic is political” specialized in the intersection between twentieth
century american poetry & feminist theory. as a part of this year-long
endeavor, they created a chronological anthology of the american feminist
poetry movement from 1963-1989 entitled who can tolerate the power of a woman
(after “propaganda poem: maybe for some young mamas” by alicia
ostriker). their debut collection lilac on the damned’s breath was
published via bottlecap press in june of 2022. they are currently working on
their second book of poetry, ohso. they are a two-time gryphon
grant recipient & received the dean’s scholarship throughout their
undergraduate education. after interning with the poetry society of new york
from march to august of 2021, they were invited back as the program coordinator
in may 2022. in this capacity, they are currently producing the new york city
poetry festival. their work has been featured in eunoia review, midway
journal, love & squalor, clickbait, soul
talkmagazine, & primavera zine. they currently
live in manhattan with their partner & cat.
full length book, Naming the Ghost, is out from Cornerstone Press
September 2022. She is the author of five chapbooks, most recently the
ecology-themed Beach Vocabulary from Red Bird Chaps. Her poems
have appeared in a number of journals in print and online, and she can be found
on the web at www.emilyhockaday.com.
She tweets @E_Hockaday.
Ananda Lima is the author of Mother/land (Black
Lawrence Press, 2021), winner of the Hudson Prize, and four chapbooks: Vigil (Get
Fresh Books), Tropicália (Newfound, winner of the Newfound
Prose Prize), Amblyopia (Bull City Press), and Translation (Paper
Nautilus). Her work has appeared in The American Poetry Review, Poets.org, Kenyon
Review Online, Gulf Coast, Colorado Review, Poet
Lore, Poetry Northwest, Pleiades, The
Hopkins Review, and elsewhere. She has been awarded the inaugural
Work-In-Progress Fellowship by Latinx-in-Publishing, sponsored by Macmillan
Publishers, for her fiction manuscript-in-progress. She has an MA in
Linguistics from UCLA and an MFA in Creative Writing in Fiction from Rutgers
Since the 1980s, Lynne Sachs has created cinematic works that defy genre through the use of hybrid forms and collaboration, incorporating elements of the essay film, collage, performance, documentary and poetry. Her films explore the intricate relationship between personal observations and broader historical experiences. In 2019, Tender Buttons Press published her first book Year by Year Poems.
Please watch the January 17th PoQ reading here. Please watch the March 14th PoQ reading here. Please watch the May 16 PoQ reading here.
Poets of Queens creates a community for poetry in Queens and beyond.
Readings create a connection between a diverse group of poets and an audience. In 2020 an anthology of poetry by a group of twenty-five poets was published. This paved the way for Poets of Queens to start to publish individual collections to help poets connect to their community through their work. Connections are furthered when visual artists respond to poets and poets respond to visual artists as part of special projects. Poets also become mentors and teachers to fellow poets in all stages of their careers, strengthening community.
This month’s nonfiction picks include a reflection on a father, a immersive dive into the fishing industry and an alternative approach to the rock band biopic doc.
The proliferation of documentaries on streaming services makes it difficult to choose what to watch. Each month, we’ll choose three nonfiction films — classics, overlooked recent docs and more — that will reward your time.
In “Film About
a Father Who,” the director Lynne Sachs sorts through her feelings about her
elusive, problematic dad, Ira Sachs Sr. The movie, which mixes film and video
formats, brings together footage that Lynne shot over more than 30 years along
with other material from her filmmaker brother, Ira Sachs Jr. (“Love
Is Strange”), and Ira Sr. himself.
Right from the
start, Ira Sr. sounds like a bit of a flake. Lynne, explaining what her dad did
for a living, calls him “a hippie businessman, buying land so steep you
couldn’t build, bottling mineral water he couldn’t put on the shelves, using
other people’s money to develop hotels named for flowers.” He also seems to
have been a serial compartmentalizer. That trait may have been harmless enough
when it came to extravagances (he owned twin Cadillac convertibles and kept one
secret), but it caused a great deal of drama for his family. Lynne interviews
some of the women Ira Sr. had been involved with and the many children he
fathered, including two grown half sisters Lynne didn’t know about until 2016.
Did she have suspicions, you might ask? Lynne suggests that Ira Sr.’s
secret-keeping led her and her siblings to adopt a stance of what she calls
“complicit ignorance.” And Ira Sr.’s mother, called Maw-Maw by Lynne, only
complicated matters when she was alive, because, Lynne says, she “could not
take the constant flow of people that she was supposed to, quote, ‘love,’ in
the way that we’re taught to love family.”
Ira Sr. nevertheless comes across as a genial lug — maybe fun at parties, but
surely a handful to have as a father or a partner. “Film About a Father Who,”
whose title was inspired by Yvonne Rainer’s “Film About a Woman Who,” is a
consideration of how one man’s easygoing attitude yielded anything but an easy
family dynamic as it rippled across generations. The movie runs only 74
minutes, but it contains lifetimes.
documentaries aim to impose order on the world. “Leviathan,” by contrast,
revels in abstraction and disorientation, as Dennis
Lim noted in 2012 when profiling the filmmakers for The New York
Times. The co-directors Véréna Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor, of Harvard’s Sensory Ethnography Lab,
a group that merges the academic discipline of ethnography with the artistic
possibilities of filmmaking, shot it during six trips aboard a Massachusetts
fishing trawler. But it’s hardly an exposé or elucidation of the fishing
industry. It opens with a quote from the Book of Job and unleashes a furious
torrent of images in which it’s often difficult to know which way is up or even
whether it’s day or night.
As the title
implies, the human presence is something of a secondary concern next to the
monstrous churn of the sea or the clanking, threatening chains of the boat’s
equipment. The waterlogged, slicker-wearing fishermen aren’t identified until
the closing credits; their voices are often barely possible to understand (the
distortions of their words suggest Charlie Brown’s teacher fed through some
sort of metallic feedback), and their routines are never explained.
the filmmakers noted that they sought to surrender some of their agency to the
elements. Waterproof cameras get dragged underwater like a fishing net or
pulled above the surface to skip along with some hovering seabirds. They slosh
around on the floor with the day’s catch, as much a part of the detritus as the
ginger-ale can that rattles around in a pile of shells. Shooting at
ultra-close-range from boot height or at odd angles, Paravel and
Castaing-Taylor offer perspectives on the way the boat looks and sounds that
seem untethered from where our eyes would naturally dart for meaning. It’s so
vivid that at times, you swear you can smell the ship as well.
doesn’t exactly reinvent the rock-band-biopic documentary in “The Velvet Underground,”
but there are times when he seems pretty close to it. The title is in some ways
a misnomer: The focus isn’t so much on the band as the Warholian cultural
ferment of the 1960s that the group grew out of. (It’s more underground and
less, uh, velvet.) Dedicated to the memory of Jonas
Mekas, who appears, and featuring excerpts from films by him and
film-artist contemporaries like Bruce Conner, Stan Brakhage and many others,
Haynes’s movie is as interested in picture, sound and sensation as it is in
The copious use
of split screen evokes Warhol’s “Chelsea Girls,” a work that places imagery
from two projectors side by side while the soundtrack alternates between the
film strips, allowing viewers to draw connections. In a similar spirit, Haynes
is devoted to capturing the cultural crosscurrents that shaped the band and its
John Cale, one
of the band’s founders, speaks of the influence of experimental musicians like
John Cage and La Monte Young on the music he was making. Later, offering a
fan’s perspective, the musician Jonathan Richman talks about hearing “overtones
that you couldn’t account for” while seeing the Velvet Underground play. The
film critic Amy Taubin draws a link between Warhol’s silent films — meant to be
played at the slower-than-standard speed of 16 frames per second — and the
avant-garde music scene: “It was all about extended time.”
doesn’t avoid standard biographical details. There are tales of Lou Reed’s
prickliness and a long section about what happened to the band after its
game-changing (if famously not best-selling) first album. But you don’t have to
be interested in the music, or music at all, to appreciate “The Velvet
Underground” as a movie.
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is extending invitations to 397
distinguished artists and executives to join the organization in 2022.
Membership selection is based on professional qualifications, with an ongoing
commitment to representation, inclusion and equity. This year’s class of
invitees includes 71 Oscar nominees, including 15 winners.
selection of this year’s invitees includes Michael Greyeyes (Wild Indian)
to the Actors branch, Elodie Demey (Summer of 85) to Casting Directors,
Martin Ruhe (The Tender Bar) to Cinematographers, Paul Tazewell (West
Side Story) to Costume Designers, Andrew Ahn (Fire
Island) to Directors, and Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh (Writing With
Fire) to Documentary.
Shannon Baker Davis (The Photograph) has been invited to Film
Editors, Stacey Morris (Coming
2 America) to Makeup Artists and Hairstylists, Leo Heiblum and Jacobo
Lieberman (Frida)to Music, Shih-Ching Tsou (The Florida
Project) to Producers, set decorator Ellen Brill (Being the Ricardos)
to Production Design, Charlotte De La Gournerie (Flee) to Short Films
and Feature Animation, production sound mixer Denise Yarde (Belfast) to
Sound, Hayley Hubbard (The Old Guard) to Visual Effects, and Jeremy O
Harris (Zola) to Writers.
Amber Rasberry (Sr. Creative Film Executive at Amazon) to Executives, Stephanie
Dee Phillips (EVP of Publicity at Focus) to Marketing and Public Relations, and
Ilda Santiago (Executive Director of Programming, Festival do Rio) are among
those invited to Members-at-Large.
The 2022 invitees are:
Lori Tan Chinn
Daniel K. Daniel
Robin de Jesús
Sandra Kwan Yue Ng
Sheryl Lee Ralph
Yngvill Kolset Haga
Sturla Brandth Grøvlen
Bruno Villela Barreto
Rolf de Heer
Jeferson Rodrigues de
Pawo Choyning Dorji*
Reinaldo Marcus Green
Sian Harries Heder*
Jonas Poher Rasmussen*
Opal H. Bennett
Joe Cephus Brewster
Traci A. Curry
Peter Jay Miller
Mohammed Ali Naqvi
Jonas Poher Rasmussen*
Joshua Barnett Grode
Gene Yoonbum Kang
Ori Joseph Marmur
Olivier Bugge Coutté
Shannon Baker Davis
Úna Ní Dhonghaíle
Joshua L. Pearson
MAKEUP ARTISTS AND HAIRSTYLISTS
Anna Carin Lock
MARKETING AND PUBLIC RELATIONS
Bethan Anna Dixon
Stephanie Sarah Northen
Jodie Magid Oriol
Stephanie Dee Phillips
Glen Erin Wyatt
Billie Eilish Baird O’Connell
Ariel Rose Marx
Laura Ballinger Gardner
SHORT FILMS AND FEATURE ANIMATION
Murad Abu Eisheh
Charlotte De La Gournerie
Youssef Joe Haidar
Jetzabel Moreno Hernández
Marc J. Scott
Paul (Salty) Brincat
Tom Yong-Jae Burns
Benjamin A. Burtt
Richard Anthony Clegg
Marcos Fajardo Orellana
Catherine Ann Mullan
J. Alan Scott
Michael Van Eps
Sean Noel Walker
Eric Jay Wong
Pawo Choyning Dorji*
Jeremy O Harris
Sian Harries Heder*
Alex Ross Perry
Randi Mayem Singer
Mark A. Victor
Valerie Flueger Veras
Anne Lajla Utsi
individuals — noted by an asterisk — have been invited to join the Academy by
multiple branches. These individuals must select one branch upon accepting
Among those who
will henceforth be able to vote for the Oscar nominations and winners if they
accept, as the vast majority of people who have received invites historically
have: newly-minted Oscar winners Billie Eilish and Finneas
O’Connell (music branch) and Ariana DeBose and Troy
Kotsur (actors); Paramount chief Brian Robbins and
Disney general entertainment chief Dana Walden (executives);
and film critic Leonard Maltin (members-at-large).
According to an
Academy-provided breakdown of the new invitees, 44 percent are women, 37
percent are non-white and 50 percent are non-Americans (54 different countries
are represented). If they all accept, the Academy’s overall membership will be
34 percent female, 19 percent non-white and 23 percent non-American.
invited more women than men (actors, casting directors, costume designers,
documentary, makeup artists/hairstylists, marketing/public relations and
producers); three branches invited more non-whites than whites (actors,
directors and documentary); and nine branches invited more non-Americans than
Americans (actors, casting directors, cinematographers, costume designers,
directors, makeup artists/hairstylists, producers, short films/feature
animation and visual effects).
list of invites is two
longer than last year’s, which was, by far, the smallest since the
#OscarsSoWhite uproar prompted a massive expansion of the organization. The
most invites came from the short films/feature animation branch (41), followed
by the documentary branch (38) and the actors branch (30).
names invited to join the Academy this year include 2021 standout actors Caitriona
Balfe and Jamie Dornan (Belfast), Jessie
Buckley (The Lost Daughter), Gaby Hoffmann (C’mon
C’mon), Robin de Jesus (Tick, Tick … Boom!), Vincent
Lindon (Titane), Jesse Plemons and Kodi
Smit-McPhee (The Power of the Dog) and Anya Taylor-Joy (Last
Night in Soho); director Reinaldo Marcus Green (King
Richard); documentarians Traci A. Curry (Attica)
and Ben Proudfoot (The Queen of Basketball);
producers Tim White and Trevor White (King
Richard); and writers Zach Baylin (King Richard) and Jeremy
O Harris (Zola),
entertainment industry figures who received invitations not tied to a specific
recent projects include Sheryl Lee Ralph (actors); Amy
Seimetz (directors); Scott Foundas (executives); Craig
Mazin, Alex Ross Perry and Katie Silberman (writers);
and George Drakoulias (members-at-large).
invited to join the marketing and public relations branch were DDA chief Dana
Archer, Amazon awards chief Debra
Birnbaum, international features specialist Tatiana Detlofson,
personal reps Sheri Goldberg and Jessica Kolstad, Magnolia
Pictures publicity chief George Nicholis, Apple TV+ awards
chief Gina Pence (who was central to CODA‘s
winning Oscar campaign), Focus Features’ executive vp publicity Stephanie
Phillips, Shelter PR evp awards and events Jerry Rojas and
Netflix’s US publicity chief Michelle Slavich.
were invited to join multiple branches and will have to select one,
including: Drive My Car‘s Ryusuke Hamaguchi (directors/writers), CODA‘s Sian
Heder (directors/writers) and Flee‘s Jonas Poher
A full list of
those invited to join the Academy follows.
Funke Akindele – “Omo Ghetto: The Saga,” “Jenifa”
Caitríona Balfe – “Belfast,” “Ford v Ferrari”
Reed Birney – “Mass,” “Changeling”
Jessie Buckley – “The Lost Daughter,” “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”
Lori Tan Chinn – “Turning Red,” “Glengarry Glen Ross”
Daniel K. Daniel – “The Fugitive,” “A Soldier’s Story”
Ariana DeBose – “West Side Story,” “The Prom”
Robin de Jesús – “tick, tick…BOOM!,” “The Boys in the Band”
Jamie Dornan – “Belfast,” “Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar”
Michael Greyeyes – “Wild Indian,” “Woman Walks Ahead”
Gaby Hoffmann – “C’mon C’mon,” “Wild”
Amir Jadidi – “A Hero,” “Cold Sweat”
Kajol – “My Name Is Khan,” “Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham…”
Troy Kotsur – “CODA,” “The Number 23”
Vincent Lindon – “Titane,” “The Measure of a Man”
BarBara Luna – “The Concrete Jungle,” “Five Weeks in a Balloon”
Aïssa Maïga – “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind,” “Mood Indigo”
Selton Mello – “My Hindu Friend,” “Trash”
Olga Merediz – “In the Heights,” “Adrift”
Sandra Kwan Yue Ng – “Echoes of the Rainbow,” “Portland Street Blues”
Hidetoshi Nishijima – “Drive My Car,” “Cut”
Rena Owen – “The Last Witch Hunter,” “The Dead Lands”
Jesse Plemons – “The Power of the Dog,” “Judas and the Black Messiah”
Sheryl Lee Ralph – “Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit,” “The Distinguished
Renate Reinsve – “The Worst Person in the World,” “Welcome to Norway”
Marco Rodriguez – “El Chicano,” “Unspeakable”
Joanna Scanlan – “After Love,” “Notes on a Scandal”
Kodi Smit-McPhee – “The Power of the Dog,” “Let Me In”
Suriya – “Jai Bhim,” “Soorarai Pottru”
Anya Taylor-Joy – “The Northman,” “Last Night in Soho”
Casting Directors Rich Delia – “King Richard,” “The Disaster Artist” Elodie Demey – “Happening,” “Summer of 85” Yngvill Kolset Haga – “The Worst Person in the World,” “One Night in Oslo” Louise Kiely – “The Green Knight,” “Sing Street” Meagan Lewis – “Blast Beat,” “Free State of Jones” Karen Lindsay-Stewart – “Marie Antoinette,” “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” Juliette Ménager – “A Bag of Marbles,” “As Above/So Below” Kate Ringsell – “The Lost City of Z,” “Justice League” Toby Whale – “Dunkirk,” “The History Boys”
Ava Berkofsky – “The Sky Is Everywhere,” “Free in Deed”
Josh Bleibtreu – “Dark Phoenix,” “Shazam!”
Alice Brooks – “In the Heights,” “tick, tick…BOOM!”
Daria D’Antonio – “The Hand of God,” “Ricordi?”
Mike Eley – “The Duke,” “Woman Walks Ahead”
Sturla Brandth Grøvlen – “The Innocents,” “Another Round”
Ruben Impens – “Titane,” “Beautiful Boy”
Shabier Kirchner – “Small Axe,” “Bull”
Martin Ruhe – “The Tender Bar,” “The Midnight Sky”
Kasper Tuxen – “The Worst Person in the World,” “Riders of Justice”
Costume Designers Joan Bergin – “The Prestige,” “In the Name of the Father” Antonella Cannarozzi – “A Five Star Life,” “I Am Love” Andrea Flesch – “Midsommar,” “Colette” Lizzy Gardiner – “Hacksaw Ridge,” “The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” Dorothée Guiraud – “Murder Party,” “French Tech” Suzie Harman – “The Personal History of David Copperfield,” “Extinction” Tatiana Hernández – “The Japon,” “Lope” Louise Stjernsward – “Made in Italy,” “The Mercy” Elisabeth Tavernier – “The Man in the Basement,” “Tanguy Is Back” Paul Tazewell – “West Side Story,” “Harriet” Mitchell Travers – “The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” “Hustlers”
Directors Newton Aduaka – “One Man’s Show,” “Ezra” Andrew Ahn – “Fire Island,” “Spa Night” Bruno Villela Barreto – “Four Days in September,” “The Kiss” Mariano Barroso – “Ants in the Mouth,” “Ecstasy” Rolf de Heer – “Charlie’s Country,” “Bad Boy Bubby” Jeferson Rodrigues de Rezende – “The Malê Revolt,” “Bróder!” Pawo Choyning Dorji* – “Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom” Blessing Egbe – “African Messiah,” “Iquo’s Journal” Briar Grace-Smith – “Cousins ,” “Waru” Reinaldo Marcus Green – “King Richard,” “Monsters and Men” Ryusuke Hamaguchi* – “Drive My Car,” “Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy” Sian Harries Heder* – “CODA,” “Tallulah” Gil Kenan – “City of Ember,” “Monster House” Amanda Kernell – “Charter,” “Sami Blood” Mary Lambert – “The In Crowd,” “Pet Sematary II” Blackhorse Lowe – “Chasing the Light,” “5th World” Nalin Pan – “Last Film Show,” “Samsara” Jonas Poher Rasmussen* – “Flee,” “Searching for Bill” Isabel Sandoval – “Lingua Franca,” “Apparition” Amy Seimetz – “She Dies Tomorrow,” “Sun Don’t Shine” Rachel Talalay – “A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting,” “Tank Girl”
Documentary Julie Anderson – “God Is the Bigger Elvis,” “Arthur Ashe: Citizen of the World” Susan Bedusa – “Procession,” “Bisbee ’17” Opal H. Bennett – “A Broken House,” “Águilas” Shane Boris – “Stray,” “The Edge of Democracy” Joe Cephus Brewster – “American Promise,” “Slaying Goliath” Ellen Bruno – “Satya: A Prayer for the Enemy,” “Samsara: Death and Rebirth in Cambodia” Traci A. Curry – “Attica,” “Boss: The Black Experience in Business” Jason DaSilva – “When We Walk,” “When I Walk” Emílio Domingos – “Favela Is Fashion,” “L.A.P.A.” Sushmit Ghosh – “Writing with Fire,” “Timbaktu” Lyn Goldfarb – “Eddy’s World,” “With Babies and Banners: Story of the Women’s Emergency Brigade” Susanne Guggenberger – “Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes,” “The Beekeeper and His Son” Cristina Ibarra – “The Infiltrators,” “Las Marthas” Oren Jacoby – “On Broadway,” “Sister Rose’s Passion” Isaac Julien – “Derek,” “Frantz Fanon: Black Skin White Mask” Deborah Kaufman – “Company Town,” “Blacks and Jews” Firouzeh Khosrovani – “Radiograph of a Family,” “Fest of Duty” Jessica Kingdon – “Ascension,” “Commodity City” Mehret Mandefro – “How It Feels to Be Free ,” “Little White Lie” Mary Manhardt – “Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl),” “Racing Dreams” Amanda McBaine – “Boys State,” “The Overnighters” Peter Jay Miller – “Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1,” “Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport” Elizabeth Mirzaei – “Three Songs for Benazir,” “Laila at the Bridge” Gulistan Mirzaei – “Three Songs for Benazir,” “Laila at the Bridge” Bob Moore – “Dope Is Death,” “China Heavyweight” Omar Mullick – “Footprint,” “These Birds Walk” Mohammed Ali Naqvi – “Insha’Allah Democracy,” “Among the Believers” Sierra Pettengill – “Riotsville, USA,” “The Reagan Show” Ben Proudfoot – “The Queen of Basketball,” “A Concerto Is a Conversation” Jonas Poher Rasmussen* – “Flee,” “Searching for Bill” Gabriel Rhodes – “The First Wave,” “Time” Lynne Sachs – “Film about a Father Who,” “Investigation of a Flame” Brett Story – “The Hottest August,” “The Prison in Twelve Landscapes” Thorsten Thielow – “The First Wave,” “Mayor Pete” Rintu Thomas – “Writing with Fire,” “Dilli” Nathan Truesdell – “Ascension,” “Balloonfest” Jenni Wolfson – “Pray Away,” “One Child Nation” Jialing Zhang – “In the Same Breath,” “One Child Nation”
Executives Steve Asbell Carole Baraton Steven Bardwil Jeff Blackburn Liesl Copland Kareem Daniel Eva Diederix Scott Foundas Brenda Gilbert Joshua Barnett Grode Gene Yoonbum Kang Jenny Marchick Ori Joseph Marmur Anna Marsh Katherine Oliver Joel Pearlman Elizabeth Polk Louie Provost Amber Rasberry Brian Robbins Marc Schaberg Ron Schwartz Aditya Sood Frederick Tsui Dana Walden Clifford Werber
Film Editors Geraud Brisson – “CODA,” “Dark Hearts” Olivier Bugge Coutté – “The Worst Person in the World,” “Thelma” Shannon Baker Davis – “The Obituary of Tunde Johnson,” “The Photograph” Billy Fox – “Dolemite Is My Name,” “Hustle & Flow” Myron Kerstein – “tick, tick…BOOM!,” “Crazy Rich Asians” Jeremy Milton – “Encanto,” “Zootopia” Úna Ní Dhonghaíle – “Belfast,” “Stan & Ollie” Heike Parplies – “Invisible Life,” “Toni Erdmann” Joshua L. Pearson – “Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised),” “What Happened, Miss Simone?” Peter Sciberras – “The Power of the Dog,” “The King” Aljernon Tunsil – “Attica,” “The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution” Azusa Yamazaki – “Drive My Car,” “Asako I & II”
Makeup Artists and Hairstylists Jacenda Burkett – “King Richard,” “Concussion” Nana Fischer – “Encounter,” “The Lost City of Z” Sean Flanigan – “The Many Saints of Newark,” “The Irishman” Massimo Gattabrusi – “Loving Pablo,” “Volver” Stephanie Ingram – “The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” “It” Anna Carin Lock – “House of Gucci,” “Borg/McEnroe” Heike Merker – “The Matrix Resurrections,” “Anonymous” Stacey Morris – “Coming 2 America,” “Dolemite Is My Name” Justin Raleigh – “The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” “Army of the Dead” Kerrie Smith – “Motherless Brooklyn,” “John Wick” Nadia Stacey – “Cruella,” “The Favourite” Julia Vernon – “Cruella,” “Maleficent” Wakana Yoshihara – “Belfast,” “Spencer”
and Public Relations
Bethan Anna Dixon
Stephanie Sarah Northen
Jodie Magid Oriol
Stephanie Dee Phillips
Glen Erin Wyatt
Music Billie Eilish Baird O’Connell – “No Time to Die” Amie Doherty – “Spirit Untamed,” “The High Note” Lili Haydn – “Strip Down, Rise Up,” “Broken Kingdom” Leo Heiblum – “Maria Full of Grace,” “Frida” Natalie Holt – “Fever Dream,” “Journey’s End” Nathan Johnson – “Nightmare Alley,” “Knives Out” Jacobo Lieberman – “Maria Full of Grace,” “Frida” Ariel Rose Marx – “Shiva Baby,” “Rebel Hearts” Hesham Nazih – “The Guest,” “Born a King” Finneas O’Connell – “No Time to Die” Dan Romer – “Luca,” “Beasts of the Southern Wild” Nerida Tyson-Chew – “H Is for Happiness,” “Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid”
Producers Mariela Besuievsky – “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote,” “The Secret in Their Eyes” Cale Boyter – “Dune,” “Pacific Rim Uprising” Chad Burris – “Collisions,” “Drunktown’s Finest” Damon D’Oliveira – “The Grizzlies,” “Love Come Down” Luc Déry – “Gabrielle,” “Monsieur Lazhar” Michael Downey – “Elvis Walks Home,” “Light Thereafter” Yaël Fogiel – “Memoir of War,” “Latest News of the Cosmos” Cristina Gallego – “Birds of Passage,” “Embrace of the Serpent” Laetitia Gonzales – “Plot 35,” “Tournée” Pauline Gygax – “With the Wind,” “My Life as a Zucchini” Margot Hand – “Passing,” “Brittany Runs a Marathon” Jojo Hui – “Better Days,” “Dearest” Eva Jakobsen – “Miss Viborg,” “Godless” Lucas Joaquin – “Mayday,” “Love Is Strange” Lizette Jonjic – “12 Dares,” “Guerrilla” Thanassis Karathanos – “The Man Who Sold His Skin,” “Tulpan” Kim McCraw – “Drunken Birds,” “Incendies” Sev Ohanian – “Run,” “Searching” Christina Piovesan – “The Nest,” “Amreeka” Natalie Qasabian – “Run,” “All about Nina” Philippe Rousselet – “CODA,” “Source Code” Sara Silveira – “Good Manners,” “Vazante” James Stark – “Prayers for the Stolen,” “Mystery Train” Riccardo Tozzi – “La Nostra Vita,” “Don’t Move” Shih-Ching Tsou – “Red Rocket,” “The Florida Project” Nadia Turincev – “The Insult,” The Boss’s Daughter” Tim White – “King Richard,” “Ingrid Goes West” Trevor White – “King Richard,” “LBJ” Teruhisa Yamamoto – “Drive My Car,” “Wife of a Spy” Olena Yershova – “Brighton 4th,” “Volcano”
François Audouy – “Ghostbusters: Afterlife,” “Ford v Ferrari”
Laura Ballinger Gardner – “The Irishman,” “Joker”
Chris Baugh – “Steve Jobs,” “Argo”
Ellen Brill – “Being the Ricardos,” “Bombshell”
Joanna Bush – “La La Land,” “Life of Pi”
Christina Cecili – “Cyrano,” “A Quiet Place”
John Coven – “The Lion King,” “Logan”
Carol Flaisher – “Wonder Woman 1984,” “Miss Sloane”
Sandy Hamilton – “tick, tick…BOOM!,” “Joker”
Ellen Lampl – “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” “Jurassic World”
Enrico Latella – “Tenet,” “All the Money in the World”
Steven Lawrence – “Death on the Nile,” “Cinderella”
Melissa Levander – “The Tender Bar,” “The High Note”
Drew Petrotta – “The Suicide Squad,” “Captain Marvel”
Jean-Vincent Puzos – “Jungle Cruise,” “Amour”
Maya Shimoguchi – “Ford v Ferrari,” “Men in Black 3”
Short Films and Feature Animation Murad Abu Eisheh – “Tala’vision,” “Ta Hariri” Olivier Adam – “Sing 2,” “Minions” Michael Arias – “Harmony,” “Tekkonkinkreet” Evren Boisjoli – “Fauve,” “What Remains” Maria Brendle – “Ala Kachuu – Take and Run,” “The Stowaway” Sean Buckelew – “Drone,” “Hopkins & Delaney LLP” Olivier Calvert – “Bad Seeds,” “Animal Behaviour” Enrico Casarosa – “Luca,” “La Luna” Karla Castañeda – “La Noria (The Waterwheel),” “Jacinta” Hugo Covarrubias – “Bestia,” “The Night Upside Down” K.D. Dávila – “Please Hold,” “Emergency” Charlotte De La Gournerie – “Flee,” “Terra Incognita” Luc Desmarchelier – “The Bad Guys,” “Open Season” Anton Dyakov – “Boxballet,” “Vivat Musketeers!” Brian Falconer – “Saul & I,” “Boogaloo and Graham” Youssef Joe Haidar – “Scoob!,” “Animated American” Andy Harkness – “Vivo,” “Get a Horse!” Pierre Hébert – “Thunder River,” “Memories of War” Aneil Karia – “The Long Goodbye,” “Work” Brooke Keesling – “Meatclown,” “Boobie Girl” Nadine Lüchinger – “Ala Kachuu – Take and Run,” “Puppenspiel (Puppet Play)” Tadeusz Łysiak – “The Dress,” “Techno” Joe Mateo – “Blush,” “Big Hero 6” Sharon Maymon – “Skin,” “Summer Vacation” Kathleen McInnis – “Mama,” “Downturn” Yvett Merino – “Encanto,” “Wreck-It Ralph” Alberto Mielgo – “The Windshield Wiper,” “Spider-Man: Into the Spider- Verse” Les Mills – “Affairs of the Art,” “The Canterbury Tales” Jetzabel Moreno Hernández – “The Followers,” “Plums and Green Smoke” Dan Ojari – “Robin Robin,” “Slow Derek” Brian Pimental – “Tarzan,” “A Goofy Movie” Mikey Please – “Robin Robin,” “The Eagleman Stag” Erin Ramos – “Encanto,” “Frozen II” Mike Rianda – “The Mitchells vs. the Machines” Doug Roland – “Feeling Through,” “A Better Way” Leo Sanchez – “The Windshield Wiper,” “Over the Moon” Marc J. Scott – “The Boss Baby: Family Business,” “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” Sarah Smith – “Ron’s Gone Wrong,” “Arthur Christmas” Daniel Šuljić – “From Under Which Rock Did They Crawl Out,” “The Cake” Conrad Vernon – “The Addams Family,” “Shrek 2” Pamela Ziegenhagen-Shefland – “Abominable,” “The Emperor’s New Groove”
Sound Douglas Axtell – “True Grit,” “I Am Sam” Nerio Barberis – “Violeta al Fin,” “Find a Boyfriend for My Wife…Please!” Amanda Beggs – “The Forever Purge,” “Finding ’Ohana” Adrian Bell – “Mothering Sunday,” “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” Joshua Berger – “King Richard,” “The Lost City of Z” Paul (Salty) Brincat – “The Invisible Man,” “The Thin Red Line” Tom Yong-Jae Burns – “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” “Blade Runner 2049” Benjamin A. Burtt – “Dolittle,” “Black Panther” Simon Chase – “Belfast,” “Artemis Fowl” Brian Chumney – “West Side Story,” “The Croods: A New Age” Richard Flynn – “The Power of the Dog,” “Slow West” Albert Gasser – “Straight Outta Compton,” “Dances With Wolves” Lewis Goldstein – “In the Heights,” “Hereditary” Theo Green – “Dune,” “Blade Runner 2049” James Harrison – “No Time to Die,” “Captain Phillips” John Hayes – “The King’s Man,” “Tom and Jerry” Ruth Hernandez – “The United States vs. Billie Holiday,” “Brooklyn’s Finest” Huang Zheng – “Better Days,” “Chongqing Hot Pot” Thomas Huhn – “The Wife,” “White God” David Husby – “Tomorrowland,” “Elf” Allison Jackson – “Don’t Think Twice,” “Beasts of the Southern Wild” Paul Ledford – “One Night in Miami,” “Logan” Leff Lefferts – “Vivo,” “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” Nancy MacLeod – “The Revenant,” “The Hunger Games” Charles Maynes – “After Earth,” “Letters from Iwo Jima” Alan Meyerson – “Dune,” “Inception” Casey Stone – “Frozen,” “Tsotsi” Edward Tise – “Into the Wild,” “Full Metal Jacket” Jana Vance – “Cast Away,” “Saving Private Ryan” Tara Webb – “The Power of the Dog,” “Mortal Kombat” Waldir Xavier – “From Afar,” “Central Station” Denise Yarde – “Belfast,” “Dumbo”
Visual Effects Ivy Agregan – “India Sweets and Spices,” “Wakefield” Geeta Basantani – “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” “Vivo” Aharon Bourland – “Ghostbusters: Afterlife,” “Venom” Ivan Busquets – “Malignant,” “The Irishman” Joe Ceballos – “Skyscraper,” “Thor: Ragnarok” Richard Anthony Clegg – “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms,” “Blade Runner 2049” Mark Curtis – “Sully,” “Spectre” Markus Degen – “The King’s Man,” “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” Jack Edjourian – “Top Gun: Maverick,” “Tenet” Eric Enderton – “Shark Tale,” “Jurassic Park” Marcos Fajardo Orellana – “Thor,” “Monster House” Joel Green – “No Time to Die,” “The Kid Who Would Be King” Earl Hibbert – “The Fate of the Furious,” “Guardians of the Galaxy” Hayley Hubbard – “The Old Guard,” “Dumbo” Maia Kayser – “Rango,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” Garrett Lam – “Limbo,” “Shock Wave 2” Jake Maymudes – “Dune,” “Terminator: Dark Fate” Catherine Ann Mullan – “Dumbo,” “Maleficent” Charlie Noble – “No Time to Die,” “Wonder Woman 1984” J. Alan Scott – “Finch,” “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” Tefft Smith – “Alice through the Looking Glass,” “Tomorrowland” Alan Travis – “Black Widow,” “The Irishman” Michael Van Eps – “Deepwater Horizon,” “Poseidon” Sean Noel Walker – “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” “Black Widow” Vernon Wilbert – “Stealth,” “I, Robot” Eric Jay Wong – “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Lucy” Kevin Wooley – “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” “Jurassic World” Wei Zheng – “Mank,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
Zach Baylin – “King Richard”
Henry Bean – “The Believer,” “Deep Cover”
Pawo Choyning Dorji* – “Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom”
Michael Grais – “Cool World,” “Poltergeist”
Ted Griffin – “Ocean’s Eleven,” “Ravenous”
Ryusuke Hamaguchi* – “Drive My Car,” “Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy”
Jeremy O Harris – “Zola”
Sian Harries Heder* – “CODA,” “Tallulah”
Mike Jones – “Luca,” “Soul”
Reema Kagti – “Gully Boy,” “Gold”
Adele Lim – “Raya and the Last Dragon,” “Crazy Rich Asians”
Craig Mazin – “Identity Thief,” “The Hangover Part II”
Margaret Nagle – “With/In,” “The Good Lie”
Takamasa Oe – “Drive My Car,” “Beautiful Method”
Alex Ross Perry – “Her Smell,” “Listen Up Philip”
Adam Rifkin – “Giuseppe Makes a Movie,” “Small Soldiers”
Jordan Roberts – “Big Hero 6,” “3, 2, 1…Frankie Go Boom”
Katie Silberman – “Booksmart,” “Isn’t It Romantic”
Randi Mayem Singer – “Tooth Fairy,” “Mrs. Doubtfire”
Jon Spaihts – “Dune,” “Doctor Strange”
Małgorzata Szumowska – “Never Gonna Snow Again,” “Elles”
Mark A. Victor – “Cool World,” “Poltergeist”
Valerie Flueger Veras
Anne Lajla Utsi
Originally launched under the stars in 2020 at the celebrated Queens Drive-In at Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, MoMI’s Queens on Screen series comes home to the Redstone Theater for a monthly program spotlighting films set or filmed in our home borough of Queens, New York. From early silent films shot at Astoria’s legendary Paramount studios, whose history is entwined with this very Museum; to productions shot at various local studios that have proliferated in recent years; to films shot on the iconic streets, parks, waterways, airports, apartments, and storefronts of the borough—sometimes with Queens playing itself, sometimes disguised—to the Queens of the imagination, the borough is represented at a fanciful or dystopic slant in ways that only cinema is capable of. The series will also showcase films made by Queens-born and Queens-based artists, representing a diversity of form, subject, genre, maker, and era, all illustrating, exploring, and exemplifying the most diverse community in the world.
Entre Nos + Swerve
Friday, Jul 15 at 7:15 PM Sunday, Jul 17 at 1:30 PM Location: Bartos Screening Room
July 15: With filmmakers Paolo Javier and Lynne Sachs in
Dir. Paola Mendoza and Gloria La Morte. 2009, 81 mins. In
Spanish with English subtitles. With Paola Mendoza, Sebastian Villada, Laura
Montana Cortez, Anthony Chisholm. Newly arrived in New York City and deserted
by her husband, Mariana (Mendoza) must find a way to financially and
emotionally provide for her family in a strange city where she barely speaks
the language. Directed by and starring the extraordinary Mendoza, Entre
Nos is a tale of love, family, and a woman’s defiant pursuit of
stability, set and filmed in Queens and featuring remarkable visual texture by
Academy Award–nominated cinematographer Bradford Young (Arrival).
Preceded by: Swerve
Dir. Lynne Sachs. 2022, 7 mins. With performances by
Emmy Catedral, Ray Ferriera, Jeff Preiss, Inney Prakash, and Juliana Sass. Five
New York City performers search for a meal at a market in Queens, New York,
while speaking in verse. Inspired by Paolo Javier’s Original Brown
Boy poems, Swerve becomes an ars
poetica/cinematica, a meditation on writing and making images in the
liminal space between a global pandemic and what might come next.
Tickets: $15 / $11 senior and students / $9 youth (ages 3–17) / Free or discounted ($11) for MoMI members. Order online. Please pick up tickets at the Museum’s admissions desk upon arrival. All seating is general admission. Review safety protocols before your visit.
visiting CRFIC2022, the American director spoke with “La Nación” about what it
meant to film her family for 30 years, the contradictions of the term
“non-fiction,” and her fascination with Julio Cortázar.
Rather than the feeling of being inside a
dream, Lynne Sachs’ cinematographic work feels like sneaking into another
person’s memory; making yourself small and tiptoeing into a room where a
cassette is playing memories of days gone by, of a past times that only years
later consecrate themselves into golden postcards.
Her last film, Film about a Father Who, condenses the emotions of Sachs’ own
family, whom she filmed for close to 30 years. While the recording of this project
never ceased, she produced many other films during this period (her prolific
career includes more than 30 films). Among them, a sentimental piece titled Con el pelo en el viento (Wind in Our Hair),
in which she explores the transition to adulthood, inspired in Julio
Cortázar short stories.
“To me, everything is about exploring and
challenging reality,” says the filmmaker, smiling and charismatic, on the third
floor of the Centro de Cine in Costa Rica, while one of her films is being projected
below. On this premise, the Memphis-born director conversed with “La Nación”
about how these two films have marked her life.
are your thoughts about the films selected for your retrospective at CRFIC?
Honestly, I feel honored that my films are
alongside Memoria, Drive My Car…
films that make me feel like I’m on a film adventure. I feel grateful on so
many levels to the Costa Rican community for giving me this space. I think the
film selection speaks to my interest in looking at reality’s textures.
your latest film, Film about a Father
Who, what was your primary interest?
It took me 30 years to make this film, so even
if I could tell you what my first interest was when I started, it definitely
changed and evolved. Let me tell you that this film is a testimony to the
belief that certain projects should not be made in a hurry, they should be gestated
like a baby, but making a film is more difficult than gestating a baby
(laughs). I have two daughters (laughs) but with a film you have to decide when
it’s ready. Regarding this film, I wanted to do it because I was intrigued by
my father and I loved that, at that moment, he was such an iconoclast; a
classic rule breaking person, who always created his own cosmos, but at the
same time had to deal with a lot of changes in our lives at that time, and the
film could give me that perspective.
I wanted to explore what it was like to be his
daughter and always having that door open for him. I couldn’t finish the film
because I didn’t know how to put all those things together. I felt I was ready
to film his life but not to confront all the footage afterwards. I made a lot
of movies while shooting this one, but this film was always breathing down my
did you feel it was the moment to stop?
A couple years before I stopped filming, I
realized that I wasn’t making a film about a father and daughter; it’s a film
about a family that makes you ask what is the soul of a family. What connects a
family? Blood? What happens when suddenly someone who seems like a “stranger” to
that family arrives? How do you deal with that? So I needed to listen to the
rest of my siblings to know and decide when the appropriate moment would be.
And to not only understand my father but also my
siblings and their experiences. My brother is gay, and there is a scene in the
film where you can see how alienated he is feeling. The rest of my siblings
have had other lives that also give a lot to think about.
people that I know that have seen your film loved it. Where do you think
resides the emotional component that achieves that?
Oh, thank you so much. I am moved to hear you
say that because my family thought that I was doing this for myself and not for
them. They saw that I only talked
about the movie and how I did things in order to have more profound
conversations, and at the end of the day the film was a ticket to having these
moments that I think all families want to have. Even my
mom said: “Will anyone be interested in this movie?” (laughs) and well, I told
her that most of us think our families are abnormal, that they’re weird. That
we want to be like other families because sometimes we feel ashamed of our own.
But this is natural and the film allows us to feel vulnerable about everything
that being part of a family entails. There is a catharsis there.
end, how did you find the courage to confront all that footage?
It was very difficult. My initial fear was seeing
how old I had become (laughs), but I leaned on an ex-student of mine who worked
with me as an assistant. She helped me confront all that footage in the studio.
We wanted to open those boxes containing 30 year’s worth of material and decide
what to do with it, if we were going to digitize it or what other possibilities
there were. She gave me the courage to watch it all.
In one of the workshops I gave here in San
José, I told them how she helped me understand that I did not have to explain
my family tree, because the story is not about who is who but about emotions.
This helped so much: to determine that this is about emotions.
the most exciting thing about filming nonfiction?
For me, the term “nonfiction” is complicated
because I like to think about how we see the world beyond a label. Fiction and
nonfiction are terms that make the world seem binary, when it isn’t. I know I
don’t do fiction but I prefer to say I work with reality, that I confront
reality because I give myself the opportunity to play with the people that
appear in front of the camera. I like to explore the real world, but I don’t
try to explain it. For me, if a
film is successful, it is because the public questions things about the world
that they had not questioned before.
now see this from another perspective. In your film Con el pelo en el viento (Wind in Our Hair) you introduce yourself
to fiction. What brought you to make that film?
Oh, in that one reality is out of focus. In
2007 there was a retrospective in Argentina and I wanted to go back and make a
film there because I met so many talented people. I have two daughters and
wanted to find more girls to make this story about growing up. We knew we
wanted to reinterpret some of Julio Cortázar’s short stories, so we chose the
story El fin del juego (The end of the
game) which refers precisely
to that end of childhood and what comes after with your body, with your
sexuality and with your mind. I wanted to portray it,
thinking about my daughters and all the social changes that they might face. In
fact, I find it curious to watch this film now, because the girls in the film
are already 25 years old. It’s very sweet to see the passage of time like this.
The magnificent thing about making films is feeling connected to different
very powerful story. Since we are talking about this, what do you think about
Well, I love him (laughs). I love how perceptive
he is and playful with language. Of course, there is the tremendous experiment
that he did with Rayuela (Hopscotch), a
book that is very liberating and has definitely inspired my filmmaking. But I’m
even more fascinated by his short stories, even though they seem more
traditional. For this film, I tried to portray that sensitivity of seeing girls
confronting a period of their life and wanting to deal with it.
I love the short story Casa Tomada (House Taken Over), a two-page text. In fact, the first
part of the film was inspired by that story, with that almost Cold War fear of
feeling being watched. I am thinking that now it feels so current with the
Alexas that live in our homes and listen to everything we say. Cortázar,
without a doubt, was a visionary because the girls actually feel that the walls
are listening, a very contemporary feeling.
Costa Rican book could inspire your next film…
I would love to! I’ve been given an anthology
that I am very excited to start reading and I definitely would like to learn
more. I love to explore traditions that can inspire my work.
moment in your life, what is your main interest around making movies?
It has a lot to do with my next film, Every Contact Leaves a Trace (Cada contacto
deja un rastro). It is a feature film that is about expressing, using
forensics theory, how there is a footprint in everything we do, like criminals
who are chased using their traces. My film does not have anything to do with
crime but with how people whom we meet leave us with a perception for the rest
of our lives. Over many years, I’ve
collected thousands of contact cards. Most of their owners I never see again,
but they leave their fingerprints on those cards. It’s as if their trail
follows me forever.
It is an allegory for how I can reconnect and
reflect on what people leave to me after a lifetime. It is not the same as a
family relationship – their memories may stay with you for longer – but about
people you meet in stores, your first psychologist, a journalist, like you… It’s
a reflection that I’m very excited to explore.
filmmaker Lynne Sachs’ latest outing, “Swerve,” begins with a shot of a street
in Queens, followed shortly by a voiceover spoken in Tagalog. As the next shot
features the famed Hong Kong Food Court in Elmhurst, the voiceover continues.
Ultimo Adios‘, ayon kay Original Brown Boy” (“‘Mi Ultimo Adios’,
according to the Original Brown Boy”).
This nod to one
of the most famous poems written by Philippine national hero Jose Rizal before
his death makes sense. Rizal was, after all, lamenting the need for his
countrymen to learn from the past to see how to move forward. And Sachs’ source
for this film, Philippine-born poet Paolo Javier, yearns for those same tenets.
Based on the
words by Javier from his book “OBB” (acronym for ‘Original Brown Boy’);
“Swerve” sees filmmaker Lynne Sachs on a regular Tuesday directing this
7-minute short. Equal parts experimental, incisive, and introspective; the film
works as a quick examination of one’s identity—and how it stacks up to their
In 2015, The New Yorker featured a profile on Paolo Javier, who
served as poet laureate of Queens from 2010 to 2014. It, however, prefaced the
profile with an interesting piece of information: More languages are spoken in
Queens than in any place of comparable size on earth.
“Swerve’s” unconventional structure. Then again, With Sachs behind the camera,
this should surprise no one. What’s interesting to note is the filmmaker’s
reaction upon reading Javier’s book for the first time. Sachs had stated that
she began hearing the lines in her head; some of the verses, she said, played
out with people walking through a food court full of distinct restaurant kiosks
and stalls. And to support The New Yorker’s observation, the Hong Kong Food
Court in Elmhurst has long served as a gathering spot for immigrant and working
class people from the neighborhood.
Javier, for his
part, knew that poetry is an artistic expression to be shared as a gift. He
himself believed that being a poet laureate does not involve any monetary
compensation at all; on the contrary, it’s a privilege for one to be able
impart poetry to others.
to translate Javier’s attempt to deconstruct the modern Filipinx identity; and
through the latter’s words, the expressions of passion, ambition, and the
search for identity overflow.
In a world—all
the more compounded by the global pandemic—where people still repress their
self-expression for fear of ridicule, “Swerve” gets its message across loud and
clear. As it nears its end, the film exhorts the audience: “Give. Love. Want.
your endless monologue.”
If that call to
action isn’t enough encouragement, then I don’t know what is.
Directed by Lynne Sachs, “Swerve” will have its world premiere on June 26th at BAMcinemaFest.
While Eden may
at first appear as an image book, to be devoured with the eyes with the freedom
of a journey without plan, engaging with the book in this way will cause you to
miss its immersive, linear construction of meaning. The pages of
images with occasional text are not numbered per se, but this is a book that,
like a film, moves forward in time. I started with Kenter’s introductory text,
one that claims that the art within the book was found, like flora in “wetlands
or between clover and lace umbrellas discarded”. The ambiguity of a
made object and a found object had begun. We will be asked to parse
a “ventriloquism of dots” in the next few pages, words that become images and
images that morph into words. Next, I discovered a series of
overlaid, Cubist-esque faces, confronting me directly and in profile. This
multiplicity of perspectives accentuates a human countenance that speaks to me,
even with closed lips. A ventriloquist for the author perhaps?
Turn page to
another face, this time in the darkness, like the moon’s face but in negative.
Here, I am already wondering what we find in any face. Aren’t they
all the same, really? Soon, a two-page combination that reminds me that we are
in what Kenter calls a “menagerie of planned and found” when I see collaged
images of educational treatises and abstracted line
drawings. Detritus or culture? It matters not. Immediately after,
nature reveals its own spontaneous culture, what appears to me as ephemeral
prints in the snow are here documented, and that is enough. Next, we say
goodbye to everything made, just observing the slightest crevice of light in
the dark — suggested by white on black, black on white, the optics give us such
liberty to see things as we want to see them.
Each pairing in
this book is critical. Together they create suggestions of trompe
l’oeil, make us play with what we think we should see and what we see at first
glance. I relish these shifts in perception. In a later image, a
slit of light, like a key hole becomes explicitly a little angel, not because I
saw this but because the words on the page told me. I am seeing with Kenter,
transporting abstraction into a spirit. This is what art can do, and I am
grateful for the guidance.
Soon, I see a
musically inspired page and another sense is sparked, I hear culture in my
mind, I am aware of the work of writing notes and having them read by a person
with an instrument. I am a musician without instruments, reading and
reproducing soundless sounds. What a journey I have taken, already.
What is left in my hands are a series of word/ image engagements that stretch
and expand upon the place of poetry in all frames of culture – signage,
information tech, children’s tales. If a book is a toy, here I hold
“six toys” and I will continue to play with them when and if I
wish. Now they are mine.
Film by Lynne Sachs,
Poem by Paolo Javier
watches film. Film reads poetry. Paolo Javier’s text is a catalyst for the
digital sculpting of an 8mm Kodachrome canvas. Syntactical ruptures and the
celebration of nouns illuminate twenty-five years of rediscovered film
Lynne Sachs. Filmmaker & Poet
Lynne Sachs is
an American experimental filmmaker and poet based in Brooklyn, New York.
Strongly committed to a dialogue between cinematic theory and practice, she
searches for a rigorous play between image and sound, pushing the visual and
aural textures in each new project. Over the course of her career, Lynne has
worked closely with fellow filmmakers Craig Baldwin, Bruce Conner, Barbara
Hammer, Chris Marker, Gunvor Nelson, Carolee Schneemann, and Trinh T. Min-ha.
produced over 40 films as well as numerous live performances, installations and
web projects. She has tackled topics near and far, often addressing the
challenge of translation — from one language to another or from spoken work to
image. These tensions were investigated most explicitly between 1994 and 2006,
when Lynne produced five essay films that took her to Vietnam, Bosnia,
Israel/Palestine, Italy and Germany — sites affected by international war —
where she looked at the space between a community’s collective memory and her
own subjective perceptions.
Lynne is also
deeply engaged with poetry. In 2019, Tender Buttons Press
published her first book “Year by Year Poems”.