Film of the Month: March Winners – Anna Biller

Posted April 25th, 2017 by Annabelle Amato

In March, Shooting People worked with filmmaker Anna Biller for our Film of the Month competition. Judge, Biller is known for her use of classic genre modes in her films as a means to talk about women’s roles within culture. Read more about Anna’s filmmaking career, and her two feature films here.

Anna shares her insightful view on the top three films from March’s competition below.

Funemployed by Sophie Ansell

Ansell’s Funemployed came in first for Biller, and focused on the story of a young woman struggling to find her place. Biller notes, “The first shot of this confection had me hooked, with it’s pink and blue little ponies and pink plastic alarm clock. Sophie Ansell creates a girl’s world – a mix of a baby world and a world of sexual awakening and aggression.”

“It’s a girl identity piece which both celebrates and mocks the shallow world of a young girl who is alternately charming and grotesque in her self-absorption and Lolita sexuality. It displays in a nauseous way through the exuberant personality of its deranged protagonist how young girls experience a total lack of power in their professional lives, combined with an unsettling real-world power in their youth and sexuality which they fantasize might even extend to being the mistresses of world leaders. This dichotomy that young girls experience creates a constant split between pleasure and pain, and the desire to never fully grow up.”

Venus and Mars by Siobhan Schwartzberg

Next, Biller praises Venus and Mars, the story of a young woman who overcomes her alienation after connecting with nature. “This is a quiet film that details certain moments in a young woman’s life, from her daily rituals, to a therapy session in which she expresses grief, to a date with a young man and her disillusionment with him, to her time alone in nature,” states Biller. “There is some nice naturalistic acting and some beautiful cinematography. It feels like the sketch for a longer piece where perhaps more time could be spent exploring the relationships in the film, and more meaning might be derived from the lovely shots of weeping faces, astronomy books, and sunsets.”

Listen to Me by Rob Ayling.

Biller commends director, Ayling’s short, Listen to Me, but wishes for more suspense at its climax. “A piece about voyeurism and listening, this film has an interesting premise, which is the dilemma an eavesdropper faces when confronted with domestic violence and struggles with whether or not to report it. All about its twist, the story calls for more suspense, which could be achieved by higher technical levels of sound recording, visual design, and editing choices.”


Comments are closed.