Salutations, all. I bring you the next episode of Indie Beat!
Our guest for this current installment is filmmaker and actor Joanna Arnow. Her first released work “Eiko & Koma: The Retrospective Project” (watch here) follows the work of the titular dancers, sort of a small slice primer for those unfamiliar with the Japanese-born artists. In 2013 Joanna turned the camera on her then-boyfriend (and herself) with “i hate myself 🙂” which our own Katie Walsh reviewed for its Rooftop Films premiere, saying “It’s refreshing to see a filmmaker embrace this honesty with such gusto.”
And she’s right! This multi-layered diary doc is much more audacious than most of its ilk, which says something given the nature of this niche genre. It’s deeply personal and resonant, and yes, it will make you uncomfortable, but the humanity on display here is incredibly rare and absolutely essential. (You can rent or buy the film here)
Arnow’s following project remained personal but found form in fiction. She cast herself and Eleanore Pienta (“See You Next Tuesday,” “Google Ambien“) and Keith Poulson (“Little Sister,” “Stinking Heaven“) in the black-and-white dark comedy “Bad At Dancing.” The film is about two friends constantly pushing the boundaries of their friendship, exploring jealousy and communication through an unsparing lens. The film went on to win the Silver Bear at Berlin Film Festival and tour around the world, and it now lives on Vimeo. She is working on a feature script now, as well as acting here and there — you can see her in Sarah Salovaara’s “Google Ambien” and Zach Fleming’s “Staycation.” (watch here)
Joanna and I chatted about her films, the New York Times, promoting your film (and staying positive despite the lack of help), and… the Patrick Swayze film “Ghost.” Check out the podcast below!