5 items from 2017
Laurie Simmons’ debut feature premiered at last year’s Venice Film Festival.
The film centres on New York City artist Ellie, who is looking to gain inspiration and 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 adjoining barn into her new workplace, staging elaborate recreations of classic movie scenes.
Simmons commented: “Film Movement is the perfect fit for us »
There’s no question that photographer and artist Laurie Simmons has an eye for images, and while her feature directorial debut “My Art” relies heavily on a series of homages to some of cinema’s most beloved features, the newbie narrative filmmaker really impresses in an unexpected arena. Simmons pulls triple duty on the film, writing, directing and starring in the feature, and although she knows how to compose lovely shots and her insight into the art world is keen, it’s her performance as artist Ellie that stands out in an otherwise predictable feature about growing up, no matter your age.
Mashing up mid-life crisis narratives (the film is heavy on the Nancy Meyers influence, down to the shades of “Baby Boom” and an attention to great interior design) with various recreations of classic films that run the gamut from “Some Like It Hot” to “Jules and Jim” and plenty of pictures in between, »
- Kate Erbland
A trailer has landed for “My Art,” Laurie Simmons’ feature directorial debut. The spot for the drama kicks off with a scene all-too-familiar to those who have chosen to pursue a career in the arts. Ellie Shine (Simmons), a struggling artist, is shown catching up with another artist significantly younger and more accomplished than she. Meryl, played by Simmons’ daughter, Lena Dunham, says, “I have to be in Europe between my two installations. Then I’ve got the fall show at my New York gallery. I wouldn’t schedule a fall show again. I think it’s brutal.” “Oh, that sounds brutal,” Ellie unconvincingly agrees, clearly envious of the opportunities Meryl is getting.
And Ellie doesn’t just have to hear about Meryl’s successes — she has to tell the wunderkind what she’s up to. While Meryl travels around the world showing her art, Ellie will be housesitting. She’s been offered the summer home of a famous friend and “seizes the opportunity to hit the reset button on her life and work,” the film’s official synopsis details. “She unwittingly finds inspiration in two out-of-work actors who maintain the gardens at her summer retreat: Frank (Robert Clohessy), a recent widower trying to reassemble his life, and Tom (Josh Safdie), a hungry young actor whose wife (Parker Posey) has a less ambitious vision for their idyllic country life. Joining them is John (John Rothman), a divorced lawyer looking for a summer distraction. This unlikely trio accompanies Ellie on an odd and delightful journey toward finding her late-blooming artistic momentum.”
The trailer shows Ellie pursuing a new project. She and her pals re-create iconic film scenes. “You can never be Clark Gable,” Ellie tells Frank. “I can never be Marilyn Monroe. I just want to see what it looks like.”
“My Art” premiered at the 2016 Venice Film Festival and will make its North American debut at the Tribeca Film Festival April 22.
“I’d imagined the character of Ellie for a long time and at a certain point I would say she started telling me her story,” Simmons told us in a soon-to-be published interview. She explained, “I’ve spent a lot of time observing both portrayals of artists and representations of women my age on-screen and feel that both often fall short of what I feel to be accurate and true to the life I’ve experienced.”
Simmons previously helmed the 2006 short “The Music of Regret,” a musical starring Meryl Streep. Her career as a photographer and artist spans over 40 years.
No word on when “My Art” will hit theaters or VOD. Check out the trailer below.
Trailer Watch: Laurie Simmons Revisits Hollywood’s Past in “My Art” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Laura Berger
Film features director’s daughter, Lena Dunham.
Simmons plays a single New York artist who finds a new joie de vivre when she house-sits for a friend upstate and becomes romantically entangled. Andrew Fierberg served as producer.
“We’re so delighted to be involved with My Art,” Mongrel acquisitions and sales executive Caroline Habib said. “The movie spoke very strongly to our all women team – it’s funny, it’s warm and it’s extremely smart. Laurie gave us, with grace and humor, an honest glimpse into the artistic process.”
“I could not be more excited having Caroline, Charlotte [Mickie, Mongrel International president] and the entire team at Mongrel stand behind our film,” Simmons said.
“To be included »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
Acclaimed photographer Laurie Simmons’ debut feature film “My Art” is headed to this month’s Tribeca Film Festival for its North American premiere, after bowing at Venice last year. Mongrel International will be repping the film at the fest, as it recently acquired international sales rights, including U.S., for the feature.
“We’re so delighted to be involved with ‘My Art,'” said Mongrel Acquisitions & Sales executive, Caroline Habib in an exclusive statement. “The movie spoke very strongly to our all women team — it’s funny, it’s warm and it’s extremely smart. Laurie gave us, with grace and humor, an honest glimpse into the artistic process.”
Simmons added, “I could not be more excited having Caroline, Charlotte and the entire team at Mongrel stand behind our film. To be »
- Kerry Levielle
5 items from 2017
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