Yesterday's winners of the "Miriam" sample and DVD are a.k.a. Warum and Zerami! Get in touch with me at the email address to the left and I'll send them.
(To all commenters: the Grand Prize winner will be announced tomorrow, Monday Sept. 19th, at 9:00a.m. US Eastern Daylight Time.)
“For me, serialization means a story keeps on deepening and expanding over time.” -- Brian Pera, Writer and Director
“Woman’s Picture,” the film, is a beginning. Filmmaker Brian Pera plans to continue exploring these characters in an open-ended series of short, web-based films over the next ten years or so.
The segments, while at first view may seem unrelated as stories, do relate on “subterranean levels of mood and theme,” according to Pera. This is a process he likens to perfumes from a long established house like Chanel. Compare two of them, and the differences are obvious. But, when looking at the line through time, the differences become more muted, while the parallels become more apparent, and more complex.
Visit the other participating blogs for different angles. They’re listed at the end of this (and subsequent) posts. And stop by Evelyn Avenue for all sorts of interesting stuff. “Miriam,” which is to be released in early October, will be sold there, and through Lucky Scent.
For a look at Brian Pera’s short film “Melissa,” which was featured here yesterday, go here.
Have you ever known anyone like Miriam?
Pera: “I'm a lot like Miriam myself. Because creating a character is a form of impersonation for me, a lot of who I am goes into it. I try to understand what I would do in the situations that (the) character is in. I've been frustrated and placed in positions of paranoia like Miriam, and I empathize. She handles it about how I imagine I would. She's in a situation where she doesn't know whom to trust and can't evaluate other people's motivations properly, or her own judgment, and she's faced with what for me is the ultimate test of endurance, the gradual loss of a loved one.
Miriam is also me trying to understand, drawing from my own experience, how the women I've admired (particularly my grandmothers) coped with adversity or their ambitions and the people who generated resistance to them. Miriam is a hard working, driven person who wants to see the good in things rather than focus on the bad. I appreciate that in people.
A lot of my experience found its way into all of the Woman's Picture stories we've filmed so far, but nowhere more than MIRIAM, because of all the characters, she was closest to my memories of my grandmothers and the frustrations I felt they faced in life. Miriam is ambitious and a creative soul, and she doesn't always know what to do with that.
Like her, I try to make something productive out of my frustrations, and sometimes that means living partially in a fantasy world. You create the world you wish you lived in (for me, that's film; for her, it's a TV show and a TV persona) and you can find pretty quickly that you prefer the fantasy to reality, because in the fantasy you can work things out to your advantage and resolve things which can't be resolved in any other way. You can imagine that your perceptions of people and their motives are exact rather than ambiguous and opaque. Most of the people I know are like Miriam in that respect. We all have imaginations and visualize things before we do them. We want the best for ourselves and to think the best of others. And fantasy permits that.
I've known many women who, like Miriam, give a lot to a relationship, trying to keep it going, and suffer for it. They're trying to be the best they can be, even when it goes against self interests. They lose themselves somewhere in the process. I watched some of the women in my family do that, sometimes repeatedly.
I think it's easy to blame women for things. I wanted to put a character you want to blame in a situation where you gradually see how ridiculous your judgment of her is. I always disliked the way the men in my family judged women. I had nowhere to put those feelings, and MIRIAM offered me the opportunity to address them and deal with them constructively, and to bring my grandmothers back in some way. I felt like they were on the set with me.”
This post concludes the five-day interview serialization. Thanks for reading, everybody!
Visit the other participating blogs for more exploration of “Woman’s Picture,” reviews and short films in which women talk about their memories of perfumes. Links appear at the end of this post.
Andy Tauer has provided a very generous allotment of sample prize packages for the drawing, too. Details appear below.
The drawing: Each day, I’ll pick two winners at random from that day’s comments, who will each win a package from Tauer Perfumes. This includes a sample of the fragrance “Miriam” and a DVD version of the “Miriam” short film, which opens in October. I’ll announce the names of the previous day’s winners with each day’s post.
Previous winners of the “Miriam” package won’t be eligible to win again until the drawing for the Grand Prize, a purse-sized sprayer of “Miriam,” which all commenters are eligible to win. That random drawing will be held at the end of the five-day series, and announced at 9:00 a.m. US Eastern Daylight Time, Monday, Sept. 19th.
All winners must contact me with postal details at the email listed to the left, by midnight US Eastern Daylight Time, Friday, Sept. 30th. Otherwise, I’ll do a random drawing to select alternates.
Other participating blogs are:
The photo is a still from the film, of Ann Magnuson as “Miriam.”