The House Is Empty, 2020, 09:50, iPhone, Super 8mm and 16mm film
2-minute trailer for "The House Is Empty"— finale of the "Catalogue" series: A cockroach, a woman, a dramatic encounter in a closet—from the roach's point of view.
Inspired by "The Passion According to G.H." (1964) by Clarice Lispector.
Festival international Signes de Nuit-Paris
Antimatter Film Festival, Vancouver
Fisura, International Experimental Film and Video Festival, Mexico City
On the “Roach-eye view”: the first section isn't actually cut, it's "scratched." That is, I shot a long pan around the room, a circle, which was quite dull—probably not how a cockroach would look around a room—I imagined it would be frenetic but contained. Once I had the shot in the editor, I did a screen recording while I scrubbed back and forth on the timeline to the beat of a waltz, just like a DJ.
The last section is inspired by Chick Strand’s 1986 film Artificial Paradise.
Clarice Lispector was a Brazilian novelist of the 60's, a favorite of the theorist Hélène Cixous, who was influential to me as a young artist. Lispector's novel, The Passion According to G.H., describes at its climax a moment of fellow-theorist and feminist Julia Kristeva's theory of abjection, where the inside crosses the boundary to the outside—the guts of the smashed roach ooze out—and cross another boundary when the woman puts the mess into her mouth.
I'd never used narrative fiction before, but I needed a structure for the empty house shoot. I remembered that the novel took place entirely in an empty maid's room, which worked with the empty house idea. I wasn't intending to illustrate the novel and that is evident, it's pretty loose in relationship to the story.