Logline: Emerging from the sea's dark folds, three lone figures are reborn into a post-apocalyptic world. The nurses – bearers of solace, fetish and sexual power – have been drawn back to the center, the vortex, to where it all began.
About the director and producer:
Kezia Barnett is an accomplished filmmaker, director and artist. Her short films have been shown in festivals around the world, and her music videos and international commercials have received numerous accolades. See www.keziabarnett.tv
Rebekah Kelly is a producer for films and TV commercials. She has produced a number of shorts, including Cold Snap, which premiered at Venice Orrizonti. She has an MA in film from Goldsmiths College, London. See www.inflagrante.co.nz
MaryJane has had a forty five year career in ballet and contemporary dance and choreography. She is currently the director / choreographer of her neo burlesque company In Flagrante.
She is touring (on invitation) excerpts from In Flagrante to the Australian Burlesque Festival, featuring on Germany’s Got Talent TV show and presenting a new season and new work in September at Auckland’s Q Theatre.
Looking for (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists):
Looking for: humans who dig the film, film festival directors, distributors, sales agents, buyers, journalists, producers, you …
Funders: Creative New Zealand
Production Company: Film Duende
Release date: May 2016
Congratulations! Why did you make a film called Nurse Me?
Nurse Me came about when, wanting to get an artistic response to her most recent dance work, MaryJane O’Reilly – a legendary NZ choreographer – approached me to collaborate on a film. With a love of shooting dance, of course I said yes.
The neo-burlesque stage show In Flagrante, the creation of MaryJane and her husband and collaborator Phil O’Reilly, was the source material for our film. I selected the dance ‘Nurses’ from the line up: it is hypnotic and beautiful, as well as strong and evocative – perfect for our filmic re-interpretation.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
Watch Nurse Me if you: want to be hypnotised by movement, love dance on screen, or want to experience visceral moments and allow the film to take you to unexpected places. Watch Nurse Me if you are a film lover.
We weave a tight connection between concept, narrative, and visual metaphor.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
MaryJane on the ‘Nurses’ dance:
“I wanted to repudiate some of the orthodoxies of burlesque female sexuality; that women are capable of being bad, not just coquettish avatars.”
“An excursion into deep fetish, from colonics to inoculations. A tribute to ‘Nurses’ as sex objects, Bond Girls and custodians of bodily functions.” MJ
The film's themes are woven within the mise en scène, inextricably embedded in the characters, location, concept and story.
The themes are both personal and universal, including:
- the relationship between human bodies and architecture, the curves and arches of
the silos echoing and emphasising the shapes of the dancers bodies and movements.
- looking at sexual power, we personalise the stereotypically de-personalised ‘sexy nurse’.
- our fleeting existence as conscious beings and our ultimate return to ‘dust’, leaving only the traces we have mapped onto the world.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development and production?
It was an interesting film, in that it seemed to have a mind of its own. Several times we went to add things in, and the film insisted we keep it simple, minimal: it liked breathing space. Strange thing to say perhaps, but it happened enough for it to be a thing.
I found the location when a friend invited me to a photographic exhibition in the Silos. I almost didn’t go as I was trying to crack our funding proposal for this film, but I’m glad I did: the location, along with the dance, then informed all of our film decisions.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
The short film corner is the first excursion of our film, and that of course is a film market. We haven’t had a premier screening yet. I’ll have to get back to you once audiences have seen it …
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
With a global audience it’s always great to put the film out into the online world and see what happens. Thanks We are moving stories!
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
All of the above: we would love to speak with film festival directors, sales agents and buyers as well as distributors and journalists – anyone who is interested in helping Nurse Me flicker into life, in cinemas near you. I am developing several future film projects and keen to connect with like minded investors and producers.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
Filmmaking can be many things, and there is a mainstream narrative format that is the well-accepted norm, but film can be so much more. Layered with visual metaphor, movement, story and concept we welcome the audience to view things from other perspectives, see other realities and dive in and feel the film.
We would love for the film to initially do a festival circuit. It would also fit in an art gallery setting.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
What traces do we leave on this world? I’d also like people to think about the possibilities of film, to express ideas and emotions, in unconventional ways.
Would you like to add anything else?
A big thankyou to everyone involved in making Nurse Me. We were incredibly lucky to have an A-list crew, a lot of whom I have known and worked alongside for 15-20 years. It was like playing with old friends, except we got to make a film together.
What are the key creatives developing or working on now?
Kezia is developing several film projects and is represented by Honor Society in New York for directing commercials. She is also excavating her sizable Daily Photo collection. For the last 19 years, since 1 February 1997, Kezia has been the subject of a daily photo. Daily Photos started in an analogue world: pre the widespread use of emails and the internet, and before facebook, instagram and digital cameras. Proto-selfies, if you will. See www.keziabarnett.tv
Follow @thekezialibrary on instagram.
MaryJane is touring excerpts from In Flagrante to the Australian Burlesque Festival, featuring on Germany’s Got Talent TV show and presenting a new season and new work in September at Auckland’s Q Theatre. See www.inflagrante.co.nz.
Rebekah is currently developing a feature film that reveals a great but unknown true story based on a well-known New Zealand subject.