November 24, 2012
My Partner, My Provider
People have been asking how the video will be different from regular porn or like a porn and I wonder too as I’m 1/4 of the way editing. I want people to think about reproduction within an uncertain world in which resources are finite and certainly limited. Max and Hannah are a couple but you don’t know if they are in or out of love. They don’t know what caused their sudden circumstances.
I wanted someone to consider what you can offer your partner, how you might tire of your partner the same way you might tire of a food/emergency ration.
I guess my real anxieties in the video are not about some kind of disaster but the more ordinary disaster of being in a relationship and how you (as a couple) may feel separate from society but there is society—still— regulates your private/life/your relationship.
Hannah and Max have some skills and some supplies but mostly they have each other and we don’t know if it’s “enough” for them. Is “survival” just less— is it worth being alive to live this way? Isn’t that what we should ask about poverty but can’t?
I don’t know how “successful” it will be as pornography—it’s kind of like—melancholy porn for people who like to concentrate.
The video seems to be really separate from the CPR video or the other things I have planned. I’m glad there’s no like unifying thing. I am not sure how much I’ll actually learn about emergency management or wilderness survival or about science fiction or any of these new fields but I feel like it’s important that this is all really personal for me.
Gus said that someone here had told someone in his program about my project and it made me really proud, like I’m getting street cred of something. This project is having a really strange effect on the way people perceive me I think.
While I was having sex with C. and I wanted to stop to let him sleep, he asked if I was stopping because it was boring to fuck him or something and he seemed genuinely worried about it. He also has since told me like basically how great a lay I am or something and I think it’s really weird. First, I’m pretty sexually inexperienced and often lazy. Did the talk of porn make him think I was was some kind of wild sexual expert? haha.
I mean, I’m happy to gain—to like benefit from the porno in this way. But I think it’s funny given that the video is actually pretty normal. Like the sex is totally tame. And it’s a straight couple. It’s not even crazy formally. I feel like if I were really hardcore or something the video would be so different. Like I’m not making a daring porno—jeez! How can I benefit so much from such a modest gesture?
The actual survivalist stuff does fall to the periphery. But I think the other things I make will bring it out.
And I wonder what is a part of the work. Is the ad and the weird interviewing process a part of it? If I don’t use the C.’s song will our hook up not be a part of it, even if it’s the first thing I asked him when I met him? (If I could use the song.) And the men.com guy backed out. I also feel like it was a crazy experience to make it and work with Hannah and Max and EJ and Devin. We are not the same people—and we are not the same group. The project changed something real in me I think but our dynamic as a crew isn’t in the video.
Editing is super weird. I was only ever with one camera and now I’m seeing EJ and Devin’s contributions and decisions. They have really good instincts for the most part! Even shooting was super — sex was happening— I wasn’t actually all that aroused. But the footage we have is so good. The lighting is so good and it is really hot because without our direction it looks “natural” or something or not constructed.
It’s a totally different thing —it’s like rehydrating died food or diluting orange juice concentrate. I’m turning it into a consumable form and it’s really surprising me.
This morning I watched LET’S RUIN IT WITH BABIES, that you can see on Amazon Instant with a prime membership. Watch it, support it!
I’m so excited about movies like this: it tackles a subject so close to my heart and to the subject of my own work, it was written, directed and stars a talented Kestrin Pantera and it seems to be a part of a wave of indie movies (or at least, I hope it’s a wave) that feature empowered women making decisions about their lives and bodies— like OBVIOUS CHILD. Ok, two movies do not a wave make, but I’m optimistic. These are two fun, heartwarming, funny, woman-centered plot driven movies.
I think this movie was effective in conjuring up many sides to the issue of whether or not to have kids from a woman’s perspective. While I’m so happy to see a fun movie about a journey of this sort— I can’t help but think of my own agenda in relation to it. Here we get to see a few white women and one woman of color think these issues through. It’s such a narrowly focused story, you could almost forget that many women don’t have the luxury of choice. This story includes family members, friends, and even a stranger or two who feel like they should impart their wisdom about their own decisions to have children or not onto the main character during her time of emotional ambivalence. Advice comes from everywhere, but there seems to be any judgement, especially not from her charming husband, played by the writer/director/actor’s real-life husband. This ambivalence focuses on the woman’s lack of confidence about her professional decisions (which are not further explicated), and fear of the huge lifestyle changes that starting a family entails.
It would be so nice, in real life, if this decision were only based on resolving emotional ambivalence. I’m most interested in seeing one day is a work that opens up that ambivalence to include more societal pressures— for example, it is never a question whether or not these characters can afford to have children. I was intrigued by the protagonists’s sister’s story arc—she is portrayed as being desperate to have a child but struggles with infertility procedures in her late 30s. She is single but can afford IVF, even if it’s ultimately unsuccessful. It’s ok, she tells her sister over skype. She has a dog and that’s enough.
To open this conversation up, I’d like to share this excellent long form essay about the last abortion clinic in Mississippi from Esquire.
Also some coverage from Slate about Harvard’s study, aptly titled “Where is the Land of Opportunity?” that reveals some depressing information about families in America.
Of course, I can’t expect everything from even the best of movies. You should definitely see it!
SUPPORT the creation of a new work!
The project: A short video featuring a group of white men at a barbecue who spend the entire video congratulating each other.
Go to: Kickstarter.com/projects/689956256/circle-jerk for more information, including fun rewards for your contribution!!!