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“How Are We Not Going Insane?”: Director Sandi Tan | Shirkers

Shirkers

As you made your film during the increasingly chaotic backdrop of the last year, how did you as a filmmaker control, ignore, give in to or, conversely, perhaps creatively exploit the wild and unpredictable? What roles did chaos and order play in your films?

It’s been my fortune to have been submerged in the sticky, sometimes pungent, always time-warping swamp of personal documentary filmmaking these past three years. My own narcissism (often in the form of horror at seeing/hearing myself on camera) has helped to blot out much of the real-life cataclysms the world has been experiencing since November 8, 2016. I’m only really starting to catch up now and my mind is buckling: How are we not going insane? Are we all already mad?? Because chaos in filmmaking is a given and because I was making a film that danced on the manic fumes of my teenage girlhood and involved 16mm, Super8, Video8, 4K digital, mini-DV, plus a few thousand photos and a thousand hand-written letters and journals and zine pages, I was exceedingly organized and boringly mindful of deadlines at all times. This means, of course, that I have Dorian Gray portraits scattered throughout my non-film life: My computer desktop looks like a grenade exploded confetti across the known world (I never file away anything), my Siamese cat Nico had a hairball the size of a Twix bar that kept her in the hospital for weeks (she’s OK now, thx for asking!), and in my larder resides quite the alarming panoply of expired ramen. And then there’s my Google Drive. You won’t want to plumb the deep dark that is my Google Drive…

[PREMIERE SCREENING: Sunday, January 21 at 11:30am — Egyptian]

Sundance 2018 Responses

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