FILM

FRINGE! Queer Film Festival 2018
Jeff Page 
39 FACEPALMS
USA
SHORTS: THAT'S HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN
SUN NOV 18, 15:00 HACKNEY HOUSE | 3 min | FREE

Aloof otter, unapproachable, intriguing and shallow, kinda damaged, over-sharer… 39 shame-filled, self-deprecating catty statements (for the filmmakers 39th birthday) that flicker in and out of legibility in silence, using shame as tool or material for transformation.

 

Hey Jeff, thanks for talking to TNC, your short film 39 FACEPALMS will be screened at Fringe! Queer Film Fest this November, what does it mean for you to be at the festival?

Being in the Fringe Fest is enormously exciting for me.  It's a great thing to get your work in front of new audiences.  I'm also, very excited to show this film outside of the gallery context.  

How important is it for LGBTQ+ films like yours to have a platform like Fringe! Queer Film Fest to be screened?
 

A Festival like Fringe is great because the audience is part of my global queer family and will be appreciated in ways it wouldn't at other festivals.  
 

Do you think these types of film festivals open up LGBTQ+ lives and stories to a wider, perhaps mainstream audience?
 

Yes!  My film is a wonderfully strange queer little animal and Fringe is a great platform for helping this film step into the light.
 

Tell me a little bit about 39 FACEPALMS, how did this film come about?

This film is the second film in my FACEPALM series.  On my 37th birthday, I made the first film, 37 FACEPALMS, which was an inventory of everything I was ashamed of at that point in my life- from minor to major things.  For this second iteration of the film, I again made an inventory of my shame on my 39th Birthday.  I then take that inventory list of shame and create this stop-motion film.  My sense of humour is self-deprecating and cynical...but very upbeat and fun.  It is my hope that this film has that same sensibility. 

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This was inspired by my fascination and interest in how artist's, comedians and drag queens use the shame they have carried in their lives and play with it as if it were a material... turning it into jokes, artworks, stories etc.  I am particularly interested in screening this film at Fringe because queer people experience shame more than most other social groups.

What was it about the 39th birthday that inspired you to make this film?
 

After making the first film, 37 FACEPALMS (which screened at Fringe two years ago), I realized I wanted to make this an ongoing series where I would continuously take a shame inventory and transform that into an artwork.  I won't do it every year, but my 39th birthday seemed appropriate since I was doing a lot of introspections and reflection since "40" was now so near on the horizon.

What were the biggest challenges you faced making 39 FACEPALMS?
 

Editing was far more complicated with this film than the first one. I wanted to challenge myself in adding more layering, transparency and colour effects.  I'm very happy with the finished product

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Have you always wanted to be a filmmaker?

I've always wanted to be an artist since I was a kid.  Filmmaker, painter, performance artist, etc.  
 

As a filmmaker how important is the collaborative process for you?

Collaboration is very important to me in many parts of my creative life but not so much as a filmmaker since I make the entire film, from beginning to end, by myself in my studio.
 

Can you tell me a little bit about The New Genres Collective, how did this project come about?
 

The New Genres Collective is a project I founded alongside artist, Tobias Fike and myself. Tobias and I both teach at the same Art school. This Collective was born out of a desire to collaborate with eager students and inject more challenging work into the local art scene here in Denver, Colorado. The New Genres Collective creates new-media performances playing with sound and video....often in unconventional exhibition spaces like lecture halls, inflatable structures and abandoned warehouses.  

"The art world can be an exclusive club and I want to break out of that a bit."

What does art mean to you?

Art is a way of processing the world around you.  It is another language that I am constantly working on speaking more fluently. It is a way of life.
 

How much has your approach to your work changed since you started out?

Over the past few years, I have begun working on more collaborative projects.  The art world can be an exclusive club and I want to break out of that a bit. This is also why screening my films at festivals like Fringe is SO EXCITING.
 
Do you have any advice or tips for any fellow filmmaker?

Follow your gut.  Make a mess.  Take risks.  
 
And finally, what do you hope people will take away from 39 FACEPALMS?
 

It's OK if they are a little confused as long as they are intrigued and full of feeling. I also do really hope that at least one person gets inspired about using shame as a tool to generate art....it is so therapeutic and FUN.