While I am trying to chart my own course forward on Gravity From Above (update coming soon), allow me to direct your attention to the project of a good friend of mine Genevieve Anderson who is at this moment trying to finish her Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for European inspired puppet film Too Loud A Solitude based on a novel by Czech writer Bohumil Hrabal.
I have appreciated Genevieve’s work since at least 2008. And her live puppet films certainly have Central European roots. Back in 2007 Genevieve made a 17 minute segment of Too Loud A Solitude about love and a man responsible for crushing books in the totalitarian era. It’s interesting that works from behind the old Iron Curtain still hold up as tributes to the exploration of truth and freedom, while works since that age are hardly discussed. Is it that we no longer are exploring?
Her film segment reveals a depth of thought and feeling that immediately connected me to her as a fellow traveler. In 2009 I stopped in to actually meet her on my way through Southern California with our Reckoning Motions puppet show entitled The Great Ziggurat. Since then we have remained in touch as friends. And I kept prodding her to continue with Too Loud A Solitude. After a period of personal upheaval and transition Genevieve finally decided it was time to return to the project. And I breathed a sigh of joy.
And we, you and I, need her making her deep little puppet films.
How much do I respect her work? I’d easily say that her meditation on her grandmother’s life, Ola’s Box Of Clovers (which does not appear anywhere on line) is one of the ten best puppet films I’ve ever seen.
Too Loud A Solitude, which is being made over from scratch, will also be worth every dollar she is trying to raise. Her crowdfunder will last about a month and end on midnight October 31st 2016. At the moment she is doing well. But she is still nearly $10,000 away from her goal of $35,000. And I know from experience that that is a very tough slog. This is a pledge drive, meaning no money is extracted from your bank account until she raises the funds. At this moment she has done well enough that it would be a crying shame if she didn’t get there and lost that money. Crowdfunding is always stressful. And often surprising.
Jan Švankmajer recently had a fundraiser on Indiegogo for what is to be his last film Insects. He made over $280,000, which sounds great and certainly will help. But this was Jan Švankmajer!! As the Quays pointed out to me, if everyone who had ever appreciated a Švankmajer film had contributed a few dollars he would have had far more. Nice as $280,000 sounds. For a feature film by Švankmajer that’s a really stingy budget.
So when an artist as worthy as Genevieve Anderson comes along you’ll have to trust me on this: Just donate something. There are perks. There are updates to read. Blah blah blah. If you are any sort of reader of Gravity From Above? If puppetry means anything to you? If you care about real cinema and not genre pablum. If the fact that the world is getting trashier as time slips through our fingers? Then by all means you MUST go now to the link here and support Genevieve’s Too Loud A Solitude. And don’t think someone else is going to do it. (It’s much easier to do this for someone else than it is to do this for myself.)
Will puppetry save our culture? No. And yet maybe.