Melissa Friedling

Princess and the Pee Stain (2003) 16mm, color, 4 min

Genre: Animation, Experimental, Installation

Keywords: biography, body, erotic, landscape/architecture

The film combines animation, live action, and found footage and recounts the story of what happened when I bought a new bed. Explores the consequences of stripping your sheets and revealing your naked mattress to strangers.

Rental: $30
16mm Rental: $30

Melissa Friedling

Garden Roll Bounce Parking Lot (2010) 16mm, color, 5 min

Genre: Documentary, Experimental

Keywords: children & youth, environment & nature, ethnic multicultural, family, films about film, found footage, landscape & architecture

Pop culture and land-use practices converge in Brooklyn, NY where a Bangladeshi family kept a thriving urban garden. In GARDEN ROLL BOUNCE PARKING LOT, a brother and sister share their memories of that garden which was recently leveled in order to make a parking space for their father's livery car. Prompted by the filmmaker (and neighbor), they recall the year that the overhead lattice support for the garden was woven out of a 35mm motion picture film. Bits of the film that were left lying in the street after the garden was cut down for the winter were optically printed. On inspection, it turned out that the found film holding up the garden was the retro black urban teen movie, Roll Bounce (2005) - the plot of which hinges around the closing of the protagonists' local roller rink, The Gardens. In addition to their recollections of the found film in the garden, the kids disclose their preoccupations with You Tube, Selena Gomez, and Urdu-language children's songs. The combination of pop-cultural references along with the 'misused' found film is revealing of the profound and creative merging of cultural practices that transforms the contemporary immigrant experience.

Rental: $35
16mm Rental: $35

Melissa Friedling

Let Your Hair Down (2003) 16mm, color, 6 min

Genre: Narrative, Animation, Experimental

Keywords: body, comedy, erotic, found footage

Combines animation with found footage and live action for a more personal reinterpretation of the Brothers Grimm's RAPUNZEL.

Rental: $30
16mm Rental: $30

Melissa Friedling

Urine My Bed (2003) 16mm, color, 3 min

Genre: Animation, Documentary, Experimental

Keywords: biography, body, environment and nature, erotic

When you are done with your mattress and put it out on the street for trash, the residual evidence of your very private history is on view for public appraisal. Composed of optically printed and hand-colored super 8mm footage of discarded mattresses collected over the years.

Rental: $30
16mm Rental: $30

Melissa Friedling

Mercedes, Here Lies the Heart (2002) 16mm, color, 35 min

Genre: Narrative, Animation, Documentary, Experimental

Keywords: art & artists, biography, body, films about film, found footage, history, literature & theater, personal/diary/journal, queer/bi/trans

Inspired by the hyperbolic prose of notorious celebrity fetishist, Mercedes de Acosta, this film poses questions about truth, identity, and desire.

Film Synopsis:
Mercedes, Here Lies the Heart is dedicated to the memory of poet, novelist, playwright, and Hollywood screenwriter, Mercedes de Acosta. Mercedes is inspired by De Acosta's own published memoirs, Here Lies the Heart (1960) in which De Acosta obsessively lists her impressive cache of celebrity acquaintances (including Elenora Duse, Isadora Duncan, Alice B. Toklas, Marlene Deitrich, and Greta Garbo, among others). The film borrows De Acosta's hyperbolic stylistics to move through archival footage, narrative fantasy sequences, and dramatic "reenactments" in manic combination of varied genre forms. While highlighting De Acosta's distinctive passions for celebrity and her own sexual, ethnic, and spiritual entanglements, Mercedes poses questions about biographical structure and autobiographical representation, history and fantasy, identity and desire.

"At once an insightful deconstruction of stardom and biography, and a wry camp appreciation of their value, Mercedes, Here Lies the Heart is witty, artful, and original."
--Steven Cohan, author of Masked Men: Masculinity and the Movies in the Fifties (1997)and editor of Hollywood Musicals: The Film Reader (2002).

"Mercedes, Here Lies the Heart is exhaustively researched and combines original as well as archival footage, mixing documentary, fiction and fantasy. Using idioms of fan culture and voyeurism, rendered in a polyvalent form, Friedling contributes to a rich tradition of filmmakers who have experimented with gender and personal narrative. What makes Friedling's work distinctive is her use of a marginal figure such as Mercedes (who nevertheless perceives herself as central to various historical events). The director does not permit us identification with this figure, but allows her to become the point from which to launch a series of mini-essays and vignettes at break-neck speed. Mercedes' story becomes as much about her as it is about the paucity of truth, the fertility of imagination, the charm of media images, the crisis of lesbian desire and a melancholic search for meaning. . . Mercedes lives her life as a tissue of lies which lead her to an equally flawed, highly Orientalizing, moment of truth . . . In subtle ways, the film makes her fabrications a mockery of the worlds inhabited by her glamorous ex-lovers Garbo and Dietrich; a world that remains inaccessible to Mercedes in any real terms. By turning the limitations of her (marginal) protagonists into a meditation on society at large, I would argue that Friedling goes further than a previous generation of feminist filmmakers who explored women's valorization of personal narrative when confronted with the impossibility of female self-expression within patriarchy. Friedling affectionately celebrates narratives of failure and error, which are compelling for their insistent, if doomed, alternative takes on reality."
-Priya Jaikumar, Assistant Professor of Film at the University of Southern California's School of Cinema-Television and author of Cinema at the End of Empire: Britain and India, 1927-1947 (2006).

Rental: $100
16mm Rental: $100

Melissa Friedling

Head in the Pickle Jar (1994) 16mm, color, 7 min

Genre: Narrative, Experimental

Keywords: body, psychology/mental health

A film about a woman who preserves fruits and vegetables all day, every day, trying to keep them from rotting. When she worries that she, too, may be rotting, she decides to pickle herself.

Rental: $30
16mm Rental: $30

Melissa Friedling

Slouch, The (1994) 16mm, color, 3 min

Genre: Narrative, Experimental

Keywords: body, children & youth, comedy

A film about a girl who walks around with her eyes towards the ground. One day, not looking where she's going, she gets hit by a car and lands flat on her back. For the first time she sees the sky and wishes she looked up long ago.

Rental: $30
16mm Rental: $30

Melissa Friedling

Fishlady (1998) 16mm, color, 5.5 min

Genre: Experimental

Keywords: body

She swam like a fish, she drank like a fish. The more she swam, the more she drank. Fishlady.

Rental: $30
16mm Rental: $30

back to homepage