ISOLATED EXPERIMENTS-cherry BRICE, JR.
During this period of global public health-sanctioned isolation, Millennium Film Workshop, like many other organizations has sadly had to postpone many of our planned events for the Spring season. We’ve decided to continue to showcase in the meantime, great work from great artists here on our own website, in a new weekly series we’re calling “Isolated Experiments,” accompanied by comments from the artists themselves. Sign up for our mailing list via our contact page to get email updates about new films as we post them weekly.
This week, we are featuring “sweet pie—or,goodbyetoLoathing (—or,goodbyetoMetrograph)“ a nine minute video piece made by artist cherry brice, jr.
MFW: Ok, so let’s talk first about this film as you say, “a series of daydreams”, care to elaborate on that idea?
CBJ: Yes! I like to think of sweet pie as a romantic docu-fantasy–there were a few guys who I’d met at Metrograph who I found attractive–and who I would find myself often daydreaming about–but I was always too scared to act on my interest in them. So I made this short as an exorcism–to put the daydreams themselves out into the world as a way to free myself from some of the shame and self-loathing that originally got me stuck in those daydreams.
MFW: Obviously the first thing that grabs you with this piece is the sound design-more the kind of thing that would wake you up from a dream than induce them, (though it shifts a few times. What were your thoughts on that layer?
CBJ: I don’t know that I could express my thoughts better than you just did? The dreams aren’t altogether pleasant, but I’m still sleeping through the wake-up calls.
MFW: Well, sleeping through the wake-up call is definitely in these days. Are you producing in isolation, new work or daydreams?
CBJ: All the above and some new nightmares too I’m working on a poetry collection, a feature film script, and a couple more little experimental shorts.
MFW: Speaking of the quarantine, does the title, “goodbyetoMetrograph” have any new meaning to you, viewing the film in this context (vs. its original meaning)?
CBJ: Absolutely. I visited Metrograph right before the start of the quarantine–they played a film about the apocalypse, and then it rained my whole way home.
MFW: What movie?
CBJ: Red Desert!
MFW: I hope that’s not an omen! Lastly, what do you imagine the future beyond the pandemic holds for cinemas like Metrograph? What would you like to see happen?
CBJ: I have no clue what the economic landscape looks like 2-17 months from now, but I’m donating to Criterion’s Art-House America Campaign, and I’m actively interested in other concrete ways to help independent cinemas and cinema-workers survive quarantine and thrive afterwards, It would be great to see economic legislation that recognizes and protects the value that arthouse theaters and other arts organizations provide–both directly and through externalities–to their communities. It’d be great for their doors to stay open even when that value doesn’t translate into profit. It’d be great for AMC to actually go bankrupt and for everyone to go Anthology, or Film Forum, or Water Reade or BAM, or Spectacle or Film Noir, or wherever instead.
cherry brice jr. is a Brooklyn-born and Port-au-Prince raised writer, visual artist, and filmmaker. In xyr art, cherry explores the everyday world through the feverish and the fantastic.