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Matt McCormick On Vanessa Renwick

April 19th, 2013 by Anne Richardson · No Comments · Interviews

Matt McCormick came to Portland as a musician. He still is a musician, but you might know more about his career as a filmmaker. Last year, the year Vanessa showed her work in Le Pompidou Centre in Paris, Matt was showing his work at the New Directors Series in New York. I asked Matt for a commemorative Oregon Department Of Kickass Retrospective interview.
Anne: Matt, do you remember when you first met Vanessa?
Matt: Jon Raymond introduced us, I think they came to an early Peripheral Produce show.
Anne: Did you first meet her, or first see her work?
Matt: I knew she was a filmmaker and was excited to meet her.
Anne: I love the footage of Vanessa winning the audience award at the PDX Film Festival at the Hollywood. I remember how packed her first retrospective was, at the 5th Avenue Cinema. What is it, in your opinion, about Vanessa’s work which provokes such vociferous love and support?
Matt: I think with Vanessa’s films you encounter an interesting situation where she is such an amazing character and her work is so auto-biographical that her being and her filmic work become a sort of packaged deal.  I am not suggesting she is a performance artist, but in a sense she is a performance artist in that she is living a life that I think a lot of us fantasize living, and we can sort of vicariously achieve that through her and her work.
Anne: People influence each other. Do you think you were influenced by Vanessa, as an artist?
Matt: I think I have been influenced by Vanessa both as an artist and a human being.  Inspiration is probably a better word then influence – Vanessa has inspired me to be brave in my filmmaking practice.  (If it is not obvious by now I hold Vanessa in very high regard!)
Anne: Here’s a bonus question. Vanessa told me that the deadlines you imposed on her for Peripheral Produce screenings were crucial to her developing awareness that she was a serious artist. Peripheral Produce included both Vanessa Renwick and Miranda July. Film is notoriously low on female directors. I wonder if it occurred to you at the time you were curating Vanessa’s and Miranda’s work that Portland’s experimental film scene was unusually gender diverse.
Matt: Maybe a little bit, but I was just excited about the work they were making.  I am happy that Peripheral Produce shows were “unusually gender diverse,” but that was simply a result of the amazingly talented people around me making films and not a conscious issue on my part.
Anne: Thank you Matt!

What: Raw, Raucous and Sublime: 33 1/3 Years Of  Vanessa Renwick, An Oregon Department Of Kickass Retrospective, presented by Oregon Movies, A to Z.

Where: Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy Blvd, Portland, OR (503) 281 -4215

When: April 25 & 26, 7:30 PM.

Plus: Filmmaker in attendance!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/513729408679513/

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