A kitschy 60′s cooking show for housewives becomes the catalyst which hurls the host into a private world of tangential madness and repressed memories of her grandmother. The simple act of boiling an egg forces her to publicly contemplate a succession of images from the vaginal opening of a hen, to slaves working in salt mines, to the virgin-devouring snake god of Ghana. The seemingly non-sequitur imagery comes together as she remembers the horror and heartbreak of her grandmother being forced to assemble hundreds of deviled eggs for a Hollywood dinner party. Against this surreal backdrop, we are reminded that all food is ultimately an act of violence. Based on Robertson’s 2007 Pushcart Prize-nominated poem, “How to Boil an Egg.”
VIEW PRESSKIT HERE.
The Body Show Benefit, Someday Lounge, Portland, OR, Nov. 6th, 2010
Short Film Night, Someday Lounge, Portland, OR, December 15th, 2010
Arts in Bushwick Site Fest, Brooklyn, New York, March 5-6th, 2011
Q&A with Nora Robertson
Q: I’m a chicken farmer and see hens lay eggs all the time. What do the eggs symbolize?
A: I’ve known a lot of people who were wierded out by eggs. Maybe they had an unfortunate experience at a natural history museum, or working at a diner. It seems like it’s because they’re unable to ignore that an egg is a baby. I think it’s almost impossible to talk about how we go about getting and eating food without talking about violence. I’m really fascinated by the idea of the housewife who can keep her family safe through hygiene and home cooking, because I think it’s a lie.
Q: Where is this desert?
A: The desert was filmed on location in the Oregon dunes, which look amazingly like the Sahara if you just cut the Douglas fir trees out of the frame.
Q: What inspired all this?
A: A major inspiration for this piece was my grandmother, who was the wife of the president of Capitol Records during a time when they were producing the Beatles. She had George Harrison over for dinner once. She regularly had to host large dinner parties, and she had a lot of techniques for entertaining. She was a big fan of making things ahead and freezing them so that a big spread would still be homemade. The pressure to get things right must have been overwhelming.
ABOUT THE FILM
The poem that the Body Show: The Humble Egg is based on, “How to Boil an Egg,” is taken from a larger poetry collection, Body-making Cookery, that explores the many associations food has for us: personal history, politics, mythology, body image, desire. Gender, that reification. Food is almost never just food. It’s almost never just a way to keep our physical bodies going. Food, especially particular dishes, always has many connotations, and it’s my belief that when we take food into our bodies, we take all of those associations into the bodies of our selves. This is why people get offended when you don’t like the food where they come from, who they come from. By adapting this poem into a film, we explored certain iconic images of food and eating, our shared cultural notions of what is a wholesome way to feed ourselves.
I WOULD LIKE TO OWN THIS FILM
We are very happy about that. Please feel free to view our etsy listing, or you can buy directly from us.
LIVE FROM THE PREMIERE
Our benefit cabaret and premiere screening was held at Someday Lounge in Portland, Oregon on November 3rd. Performers included Arthur Bradford, B. Frayn Masters, Nathaniel Boggess, Margaret Malone, Gigi Little, and singer/songwriter Danielle Fish. A Voodoo doughnut-eating contest was judged by Shannon Wheeler, Tres Shannon, and Tiffany Lee Brown. Contestants included Brad Fortier, Matt Bors, Danielle Fish and Karl Kling. Sponsors included Voodoo Doughnuts, Bad Monkey Productions, Blackbird Wines, New Oregon Arts & Letters, She Bop, The Meadows and Pistils Nursery.
Tags: B. Frayn Masters, Body Show, Body-Making Cookery, experimental, fiction, film, Gigi Little, Margaret Malone, Matt Bors, Nathaniel Boggess, poetry, Portland artists, Portland writers, Shannon Wheeler, Tres Shannon | 2 Comments