If You Liked “Tiny Furniture” See “Felt”
In the week or so following Fantastic Fest, the film that’s been living in my head is “Felt.”
Directed by Jason Banker (“Toad Road“) “Felt” is the movie I can’t stop turning over in my mind. It’s held onto me the way Lena Dunham’s debut feature “Tiny Furniture” has held onto me, claiming permanent space in my brain the way that few other films have done.
That feels special to me, because this is the week that at least a certain segment of our culture seems to be obsessed with Dunham’s new memoir, “Not That Kind of Girl.”
Of course, pick any week and our country seems to be talking about the 27 year-old Dunham. Dunham discussion topics include: any episode of her HBO television show “Girls,” the $3.7 million she was paid for her memoir and Dunham’s decision to go ahead and pay the opening acts for her book tour—a tour where tickets were being scalped for 900 bucks each in NYC.
In contrast, “Felt” is a small mumblecore-ish film featuring a women who collects and fabricates multiple depictions of genitalia. In her bedroom, these representations are collected and displayed the way that someone else might obsess over Mickey Mouse charms or china birds. She also makes and wears a homemade “naked man” suit throughout much of the film, which is sometimes replaced by a “naked woman” suit.
The film stars performance artist Amy Everson (who won the “Next Wave” Spotlight Competition best actress award at Fantastic Fest this year for her performance), who made all of the costumes, and the film was created around her experiences. It’s sort of a quasi-documentary, semi-fictionalized film. Read this fabulous interview about the process of making the film.
I’ll admit that at Fantastic Fest I was motived to watch the film by the passionate insistence of my film critic friend Alex White, who wrote a moving personal testimony of what the film meant to him, along with a plea for it to find distribution.
The film explores gender, patriarchy and male privilege in a way that I wasn’t expecting.
Felt is a powerful piece of art, and it needs to be seen by more people.