This post marks the beginning of “Indie Talk”, a new feature in which Cinema Train promotes new and exciting pieces of independent cinema. Today’s issue stars Nancy Andrews, director and co-writer of the upcoming feature film, The Strange Eyes of Dr. Myes. Nancy has been kind enough to answer all of my questions and her film looks wonderfully creative and original, so please check out her film’s Kickstarter campaign and consider backing her efforts. I really think that this is the kind of film that movie lovers and film bloggers need to get behind. Before I get to a Q&A, here’s a little background on Ms. Andrews and her work thus far, as well as the film’s storyline and a video about The Strange Eyes of Dr. Myes (bio, plot description, and video found on the movie’s Kickstarter page):
“Nancy Evelyn Andrews makes films, drawings, books and objects. She works in hybrid forms.
The Museum of Modern Art has collected six of her films; her work is in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, Bibliotheque Nationale and Franklin Furnace Archives. Andrews is a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellow in filmmaking.
The Museum of Modern Art, Pacific Film Archive, Anthology Film Archives, Flaherty Seminars, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Film on the Rocks- Thailand, and others have presented her work.
Andrews is on faculty at College of the Atlantic.”
“THE STRANGE EYES OF DR. MYES: After a near-death experience, Dr. Myes, researcher in the science of perception, attempts to graft animal senses to the brain in order to revolutionize human consciousness. She must face the consequences when she uses her own body and mind as a research tool and transforms herself into a creature with super-senses.”
Looking at your previous works, drawings and films alike, it is immediately apparent that you have a very distinct artistic style. Are there any artists or filmmakers who have significantly influenced you as an artist?
I first realized I loved film in 5th grade when my teacher showed us Marx Brothers films and the Phantom of the Opera (1925 silent), Charlie Chaplin was my next childhood discovery, and when I studied film in college it was John Waters’ Polyester; and Man with a Movie Camera (DzIga Vertov, 1929). There are so many films that inspire me. My favorite era is probably the 1930’s. People were just figuring out the genre thing and transitioning from silent to sound and from theater/vaudville to film…there are so many fun, funny, great films in that decade. Also, I love Georges Melies, Alfred Hitchcock, Agnes Varda, Yuri Norstein, Jan Svankmajer, Looney Tunes Cartoons, Fleischer Bros. cartoons, Jaques Tati, Ladislaw Starewicz, and film noir….. My favorite film I saw last week was Cat People (1942) . Jacques Tourneur is brilliant. I am in love with the look of his films, the shadow and light are so gorgeous. My favorite color is black! My drawing influences are Paul Klee, George Herriman, Louise Bourgeois..and, more!
Where were your films screened for the first time?
I think while in college, in Baltimore in people’s apartments, but as they were on super 8 they were often eaten by the projector and that put me off filmmaking for awhile.
What are you inspired by outside of film/music/art?
Books, things I observe in nature, neurology, mysteries of psychic phenomenon, history, outer space, new technologies that interface with humans.
What award/honor are you most proud of winning?
The Guggenheim, to be in the same pool with Carson McCullers…that is major!!!
Is there any film to which you would compare The Strange Eyes of Dr. Myes?
Maybe, Roger Corman’s Wasp Woman meets Hedwig and the Angry Inch? or James Whale’s Frankenstein meets Yellow Submarine?
In one of the videos, you mention the Thai film Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives. How does that film compare to your vision for Dr. Myes?
Uncle Boonmee is a wonderful film full of mystery and beauty; I hope The Strange Eyes of Dr. Myes will be mysterious, beautiful and funny, and hope it will give the audience something to enjoy, enter, and to think about.
What excites you most about the film? Is there a part of the filmmaking process which you are looking forward to most?
I am so excited about getting into production and making the ideas and images come to life. And of course, I am excited about digging into drawing the animation segments.
How can readers help?
We need the Kickstarter campaign to be successful in order to make the film. We are crowd source dependent! Kickstarter is ALL or NOTHING so if folks want to see this come to the screen, we need their support!
Alright, folks! That’s all for today. I hope you have enjoyed what you’ve seen and read about the film. Make sure you stop by the Dr. Myes Kickstarter page before you do anything else. Once there, you’ll be able to view more videos and find more information on the project, the cast, and the crew. Thank you to Ms. Andrews for participating and as always, thank you all for reading!