Feb 21, 2011

the story behind the WILDNESS movie title

for those of you who are interested, here is a little more information about the evolution of the WILDNESS MOVIE title...

in a nutshell: the original title (from 2008) was LA BIENVENIDA. this past year, the working title has been DAMELO TODO (Give Me Everything), with WILDNESS as a potential alternate. Somewhere along the way during the process of editing, we discovered that the more appropriate title would be WILDNESS- but we are only finally announcing it now, because we just spent the past 6 months getting feedback from different community members, specifically about the title and the roughcut. when we felt like we had enough information to stand behind this decision, we announced it. i believe it's potentially a controversial title, because it raises important issues about representation that are at the heart of the film. so in other words, WILDNESS is: the same film, same issues, same story, new title.

a little more backstory about where DAMELO TODO (the title) comes from: in august '09 i approached writer/performer raquel guiterrez about writing a script for a narrative sequence of the movie. i gave her a description of a character, which was based on a recording of FLAWLESS SABRINA doing an "energy read" (channeling/remembering the past) at the Silver Platter.

Sabrina is one of our spiritual leaders ;) she has been performing and organizing shows and fighting in the streets since the late 1950s. she's a living work of art. you can read about her everywhere ;)

when Sabrina walked into the Silver Platter, she remembered meeting a regular there in 1965:
SABRINA: I think that she had the power to be understood, and I think that she was grounded, and I think that she not only had the integrity of knowing that things should be made better, as opposed to just being angry about it, like most of us were, and I think that she just you know took it on, and chewed her way through the problems. That's what I think... that's what it think. I think you know, somebody has to raise the fist first, and it seems to me like she was the gang leader. Yeah.
WU: And she was here?
SABRINA: She was a regular here. Yeah, she was a regular here.
WU: Do you remember her name?
SABRINA: That's what I'm trying to think of... “Blondie” comes to mind, but that's not right... She was blonde. Yeah, she was blonde, she was good lookin, she was tough as nails, steel trap mind. Very nice, wonderful person, I mean really nice person. But when she got her dander up, there was no stoppin' that chick. And she was very very good at making the other people understand... And there was a gal out of this bar that should be researched, should be documented. Yeah, one of the people who changed the world. Yeah. Yeah. And that’s where you get the power. You can feel the power in this space [gestures]. All those ghosts are still here.

so i gave raquel that transcript... and raquel wrote a GORGEOUS story that we eventually turned into a narrative film!

so here is our "blondie" character! 
raquel named her RUBIA and she is played by yasenia geitan, who is one of the geishas from the weekend show.

as time went on and the editing process really took over, i had to let go of all my preconceived notions of what i wanted the movie to be in order to find the story... and eventually the DAMELO TODO material kind of seceded, and is now its own short narrative film! we will hopefully be sharing it with the world very soon... ;)

i would also like to say more about the potential "controversy" of the wildness title - and how i've been thinking through that one - but i will save it for another day xx

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this news.

    I first heard about the production of Damelo Todo a couple months ago and thought it was a necessary work and vehicle to allow the voices of these women and community to be heard outside of the streets. It does seem like a lot of the footage I've seen from certain videos is heavy on "Wildness" the party/event/community of yesteryear, and so changing the working title from Damelo Todo to Wildness is probably a smart one.

    Also, it can be a rather touchy issue to do so in terms of promoting a work that on the surface seems to be about the party/event/community that was initially supposed to be based on the legend and history of the Silver Platter. Depending on how the work is presented I can see how folks could perceive it as a form of artistic gentrification.