In order to uncover the life of the Baroness Elsa Von Freytag Loringhoven, a marginalized artist of the early 1900s, several feminist artists and filmmakers in the NY area (including myself!) have begun in the construction and creation of an exquisite-corpse feature length film, in which each artist makes a short piece based on a specific point of her life.
The Baroness led a magnificent, though difficult, life. With a singular strength and vision, she moved between Berlin, Munich, and New York, infiltrating and exposing the still-patriarchal structure of avant garde and Dada circles through her role as painter, poet, sculptor, model, proto-performance artist, and often, lover. She published poems in The Little Review at the time that Ulysses was also serialized by the publication and sued for obscenities. Marcel Duchamp said of her: "the Baroness is the future!"; and yet, despite her extreme radicalism, she remains very unknown and uncredited, her acts and contributions dismissed as amusing stories. (for more information about her: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elsa_von_Freytag-Loringhoven )
After many years of obscurity, a book of her collected poems was published in 2011, and a biography (so far the only one) was compiled (Djuna Barnes had tried, in the past, to create one as well but gave up after several attempts. The Baroness does remain in many of her stories, for example, she is half the inspiration for the character Robin in Nightwood). Perhaps more scholarship will ensue, but in the spirit of her own fractured/anti-narrative life, we offer this collective biodrama, which also serves as an embodiment of today's identity politics.
I would like to raise some money in order to film in Germany. The part of the film which we would depict takes place in 1923. The Baroness, at this point, moves to Berlin, after her husband in NY has died, and finds only a devastated Germany. Her father dies at this point too, and she finds out that he has disinherited her. During this point of living in poverty, Elsa writes many letters to her friends while keeping a job selling newspapers. She eventually moves to Paris - I would show part of her life in Berlin (though not necessarily filmed in Berlin, but a part of Germany where there is appropriate architecture and where all of my team can go).
Which brings me to Emily Gasda, who lives in Dresden, and who has agreed to be my actress! The people who would comprise the rest of my crew are all ready to be in Germany in mid-November too, which is when I would plan to shoot. We just need the money to buy one more ticket to and from Germany, the film (16mm, b&w reversal), and for processing of the film ( I will hand process, so I just need to get chemicals/lab access). The rest is ready to go!
Please help us!
Risks and challenges
One challenge is work with such a diverse group of people, some who are in Germany already and some who are not. However, I have worked with my main collaborator and friend in this project before, and know we both have the creativity to work with whatever constraints we might find ourselves with. On a larger scale, the exquisite corpse full length feature may take some time to edit and put together. There may be some delay, if for example one of the filmmakers cannot complete her project piece by the deadline, but we are asked to notify the two coordinators and they are for this reason being very organized. I will notify you of any delays, but there will definitely be a finished product of the Baroness film within a few months.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (22 days)