Thursday, May 29, 2014

Documentary Review: Meet the Fokkens (2011)

This documentary about Amsterdam's oldest prostitutes was utterly charming, and a sweet look at the relationship of these twin sisters.

Louise and Martine Fokkens have been red light workers for over 50 years, with an estimated 355,000 men serviced between the two of them.  

I liked this film because it is quirky, and about the sex industry, a topic that probably bothers most people but one that I am fascinated by.  Louise and Martine retired at 70 years of age, due mainly to arthritis, but also due to some difficulty in attracting new clients.  These sisters spend much time reminiscing about what they refer to as the "golden age" of being a prostitute, growing up, raising families, and musings on life.  They're utterly charming.  I encourage you to give this a watch, there is a wee bit of nudity here and there, but the girls will win you over with their adorable banter.

Clippings from the Studio Floor...

I feel that I begin many posts with; "It's been a while, but I'm not dead..."  Haha.  Life has been full since graduating.  There was a "Senior Portfolio Zoo" as we affectionately call it, where the year's graduating seniors present their portfolios to the invited public, most of which consists of the local theatre representatives.  I had spent the night with my friend Dani and after we got coffee, set up, and ready, waited nervously for the first people to come look at our work.  It was a good moment for me, personally, because I was stuck in the mindset that I wouldn't be designing any more, I should only amount to a stitcher, and that Neverwhere was a disappointment.  While most of it was, I shouldn't be leaving with that bad of a taste in my mouth, so to speak.  Several dear professors came to look through my work and I was admonished lovingly as to why I wasn't representing myself better.  Jennifer Lupton was the crux of my mind change, she was my scenic paint instructor, and a zany, vivacious, wonderful woman.  She looked through my portfolio, telling me in her lovingly stern way that I was shortchanging myself.  Why wasn't I listed as costume designer?  Why wasn't I giving myself credit for this or that?  It made me ask myself exactly those questions.  Why?  Because I didn't feel worthy of the titles.  I am owning up to them now.  My head is high, and I am aiming for the moon, even if you miss you will land among the stars.

 I went through Cornish Commencement and I am very glad that I did because it brought the whole process around full circle for me and provided a closing ceremony to the experience.

Tony Kushner, (American playwright who wrote Angels in America) was one of our commencement speakers, along with the incredible Mary Lambert.  I filmed Tony's speech but not Mary's and of course I was more impacted by what Mary Lambert had to say than Tony Kushner.  Go figure.  I've been spoilt listening to Neil Gaiman's HS commencement speech so many times and I badly wish I had Mary's.  So good.

Shortly after commencement I was approached to put together an Amish costume for a one woman show about the shooting at Nickel Mines in 2006.  A beautiful show, poignant and tender, called The Amish Project.  It was written from interviews, news clippings, and youtube clips.  One woman, Terri Weagant performs over 10 characters, distinguishing one from the other by change in physicality, voice, and accent.  It was amazing to be able to be a part of this show, and so much fun to work with Terri. 

6 year old Velda tells about Amish martyrs,

America works as a checker at the Big Foods on Route 33,

Anna realises she is dead,

gazing at the evening through the schoolhouse windows.

Now life is setting back into wedding planning, work, and summer!  Yay Summer!  I adore the Fall the most, but after long, grey Winters I can't wait for the sun-drenched days of Summer.  I have a few posts lined up, so stay tuned!