FILM 024

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7:30 to 9:30pm


When Djuna Barnes arrives in Paris in 1926, she becomes enmeshed in the literary salon of Natalie Clifford Barney, an American heiress who does not believe in God or monogamy. Natalie becomes the central character in Barnes’ novel, The Ladies Almanack, the story-within-the story. Natalie’s is a world where friendship reigns supreme while romances and jealousies between rivals come and go. The Almanack is a liberated narrative, where time slides backward and forward and surreal sequences illustrate the entanglements of Paris’s finest authors and artists. The film explores what it means to write as a woman, to make a mark and to exist in defiance. Welcome to the lush lesbian landscape that gave rise to some of literature’s most treasured writing.

Original collages by Sarah Patten

Original collages by Sarah Patten

Director’s Statement
The Ladies Almanack is a reflection of a multi-generational community seeped in a lesbian politic: the love of women, (selflove) and a refusal of patriarchal structures that would have us go silent or conform. Heroines like writer and philosopher Hélène Cixous, poet Eileen Myles, and filmmaker/ actor Guinevere Turner, help build a chain of culture extending from Djuna Barnes through the present. We engage a meaningful dialogue with the dead as we follow their examples by investing in the contemporary work of our peers. Blending archaic language, super 8 film-as-capture, psychedelic colorscapes and a raw 21st century soundtrack, I pay homage without giving in to nostalgia. I revive and revise old stories in order to craft a new a lesbian syntax for my own time.

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Caitlin Murray