Photographer Laurie Simmons has a message for Hollywood about portraying artists: You’re doing all of it flawed.
“My mates and I all the time complain about how the art-making course of is so messed round with in motion pictures,” says Simmons, a fixture on the New York artwork scene because the mid-1970s. “It’s not wanting to chop off your ear, or ready for the muse to return wafting in. It’s getting up each day and doing all of your job. Assembling your provides, getting your collaborators collectively.”
Lena Dunham and her mom, Laurie Simmons.FilmMagicSimmons, 68, dismantles the crazy-artist cliché in her new film, “My Artwork,” which she wrote, directed and stars in as a fictionalized model of herself: A single lady, Ellie, spending a summer time house-sitting upstate whereas engaged on a brand new venture. And Simmons snagged a cameo from a well known actress: her daughter, Lena Dunham, who seems as a blithe former scholar of Ellie’s who has gone on to fame and fortune.
“I cherished the concept of Lena taking part in that character,” says Simmons. “I performed her mom in [Dunham’s 2010 debut film] ‘Tiny Furnishings,’ and in that closing scene she asks me if I believe she’s going to achieve success. And I say, ‘You’re going to be far more profitable than I’m.’ So since then, clearly, all of this stuff have occurred to Lena. I cherished the concept of her showing as this actually profitable, considerably insensitive former scholar. And she or he was all in.”
Simmons stored the movie within the household (her husband is painter Carroll Dunham and so they have a second daughter, 25-year-old Grace) in one other method: She shot most of it on the household’s Connecticut residence.
“It was actually insane, having the home taken over by a film crew. My daughters got here up a couple of times throughout capturing. It was a whole infestation, nevertheless it saved an unlimited amount of cash.”
Simmons in a scene that suggestions its hat to “Morocco,” starring Marlene Dietrich.Courtesy of Movie MovementIn the movie, Simmons re-creates scenes from traditional movies, together with “Badlands,” “Some Like It Scorching,” “Morocco” and “A Clockwork Orange.” Simmons discovered embodying Malcolm McDowell’s character a very heavy carry. “I used to be so nervous I may barely get that tumbler of milk as much as my lips!” she says.
The place Dunham’s present “Ladies” targeted on millennial girls, Simmons takes on stereotypes round older girls — significantly single ones. “Everybody I do know — artists, writers, curators — could be very concerned of their work. They’re not desirous about what the tip of their life goes to be, or that they’re single. These questions aren’t within the foreground.” What’s extra, she says, when she visits mates, their tolerance for hanging out is finite. “They need their work time again. And their privateness. They’re not depressing.”
Which is why, she says, Ellie’s purpose shouldn’t be discovering love — regardless of romantic overtures from two males — however a brand new exhibit. “The entire level of the film was that she’s going to maneuver her work ahead,” says Simmons, who shot the ultimate scene at her personal Manhattan gallery. “Ellie’s blissful ending was getting a present. I knew that from the second I began writing.”