Oct 28, 2010

positive and negative images

after much ado, our DAMELO TODO rough cut is finally starting to see the light of day! yay!! we just launched a series of community screenings to get feedback on the cut while there's still time to make changes... so far it's been encouraging and SO INTERESTING. yesterday, i did a screening with Mariana at Bienestar for a group of about 30 trans women, mostly Latina, many of whom frequent the Silver Platter. i was of course super nervous because this group is one of my main constituencies. particularly nervous about the subject of Wildness (as Nicol calls it "parties for gueros") and this whole question of gentrification. to my surprise the presence of the "gueros" Wildness kids was a total non-issue- basically not seen as much of a conflict at all. if anything, Yasenia (who was in the audience and also is one of the main actors in the film) was complaining that I portray the Silver Platter as too much of a unified, supportive place, because in her opinion there is a lot of animosity between the girls. this was echoed by a general sentiment amongst the other women that within our community we don't support each other enough, or like one of our biggest struggles is that we tear each other down.

it was profound to realize that for so long i have been preoccupied with the idea of wildness as an "outsider" community who threatened the inside community of the bar, whereas FOR this community the primary conflict is internal.

and also that this community is not fragile. in actuality it seems that the wildness community is/was way more fragile. the contingency and mobility of our class, and our cultural/career/identities, make it hard for people like us to commit to doing anything for a very long. doing wildness every week for 2 years, in actual labor/hours was the biggest commitment i've ever made to a group project. and of course people do it for way longer. but 22 years is unfathomable.

there was also a lot of talk at the Bienestar screening about positive and negative images, which also caught me off-gaurd. 2 obvious examples would be that people saw my portrayal of the bar as positive and the LA Weekly article as negative - but in the sense that both representations were true. which kind of shocked me because 1) i feel so uncomfortable with the idea that my film creates positive images of my community - like that feels like way too much of a resposibility and woah IMPOSSIBILITY!! and 2) i think the LA Weekly article is just plain wack - like not true at all. but one girl here said that she saw the article as being just "focused on the dark side" of her community... but like meaning there was truth to it.



basically i feel more and more convinced that there is this really important subject out there, that the movie touches upon, which could be described as maybe something like "liberal desire" a phrase that came out of the other community screening, which i did with a group of artists and intelllectuals... but i'll save that for another dayyyyyy.......

we are still editing and making major changes. but i feel like i can finally see the film, and finally being able to have these discussions in an interactive way feels like DEFINITELY THEE most important part of the process. i am so excited to finally reach this point! major milestone. maybe someday the movie will actully even be done ;)

my boss just gave me this insane burberry trench - it's like cropped - perfect for shorts and a sweater and heels...
all fall baby all fall

1 comment:

  1. I Love this idea of a strong community that is not only positive in the sense that it provides caring support but negative in the sense that it is a source of conflict as well. In my own experiences with moments of strong communities, this is definitely the case, it's an all around intensification of relationships that creates this perpetual soap opera, which of course is totally magic. Most people would say that's a bad thing, being gossipy and back biting etc, but I think it might actually be a very good thing, it makes community Real. Not really related to the Silver Platter but from my experience with this sort of infighting/support situation it seems to turn the rest of the world into a pale shadow and ultimately it becomes laughable watching this system try to pass off these safe mediated situations as community when the real thing is right in front of you. Looking forward to seeing the film!