T2, Theater 2
Introduced by Molly Lowe
*Redwood.* 2016. USA. Directed by Molly Lowe. Courtesy of the filmmaker

Molly Lowe, a New York–based filmmaker, sculptor, painter, and performance artist, presents the theatrical premieres of her recent films Redwood (2016), originally commissioned by Pioneer Works, and Formed (2013), followed by a conversation with Josh Siegel, Curator, Department of Film. Formed (2013) is a Surrealist grotesquerie involving squishy eggs, Spandex, and a wayward computer mouse; protuberant sticky tongues and cavernous orifices; cries of joy and sadness; and bodies groping, yearning, and pratfalling in the limelight. Redwood (2016) is Lowe’s sensuous intermingling of sci-fi conjecture and family portraiture. The masks and ritualistic movements in the film, like those of Japanese Noh theater and the films of Maya Deren, are a stylized rictus of pleasure, fear, and pain. This affect-display becomes a poignant and poetic metaphor for her grandmother’s life of deferred dreams—years of caring for young children and an alcoholic husband that stifled her aspirations to become an artist—as well as her inexorable decline into dementia, with its disorienting blur of time and narrative, self and other. What endures, Lowe asks, when our bodies age and our minds become a tangle of memory and desire? What do we pass on to our daughters and granddaughters through our genes and through the stories we tell?

This film accompanies Modern Mondays.