Laurie Simmons presents her film My Art (2016) followed by conversation with the artist, Giuliana Bruno, Emmet Blakeney Gleason Professor of Visual and Environmental Studies, and Andrew Fierberg, producer.
Single, New York City artist Ellie (Laurie Simmons) hopes to gain inspiration in tranquility as she housesits for a friend in Upstate New York. Accompanied by her lovable handicapped dog, Bing, Ellie comes of age—middle age—in her new surroundings. She turns the home’s adjoining barn into her new workplace, staging elaborate recreations of classic movies scenes, ranging from Some Like it Hot to A Clockwork Orange. Business unexpectedly evolves into possible pleasure when Ellie invites three local men—two gardeners (Robert Clohessy, Josh Safdie) and a lawyer (John Rothman)—to participate in her art. Soon all three men are becoming romantically interested in Ellie. Even so, she remains determined to resist anything that could interrupt her work.
My Art star/writer/director Laurie Simmons is an acclaimed photographer, who has made moving-image art, including 2006’s Meryl Streep-led The Music of Regret. Here, she takes cues from her daughter Lena Dunham’s (who co-stars) brand of acerbic wit and acutely feminist point-of-view for this comedy of self-realization. Featuring the great Parker Posey, Barbara Sukowa and Broadway legend Blair Brown, My Art is ultimately Simmons’ show, repurposing familiar rom-com tropes with an endearing female protagonist.
This Screening + Conversation with Laurie Simmons is presented in collaboration with the Harvard Film Archive.