Dear Anne,

 

Once we exchanged real letters and you sent me an Easter card. The card was mostly about your health and the films stored in your closet. Instead of continuing our correspondence - and possibly sending you a version of this letter then - I stored them away like a keepsake, as an autograph, but never brought myself to reply.

 

I remember the thrill of programming your films in Baltimore and feeling that when I projected them something was unleashed. Their insistence and rawness stunned. They are films that snag on the incidental image; the eye drifts and the mind rolls on. They’re maniacal and droll. Having known so many polite women, having been shaped into a polite woman, your films felt monumentally anxious, honest, unmediated, radically feminine. The film as exorcism, the site for sorting oneself out, trying to hear oneself think. How essential! I’m thanking you for sharing the particular contours of your life, your depression, garden, and mind.

 

In Focus Please, you sit in the car saying, All my exposures have been too... done, and then train your camera on a coffee cup that counters, It’s our pleasure to serve you. Cinema is transportive; here we sink into an object.

 

 

With gratitude,

 

Mary Helena

 

 

March 20, 2016