NFMLA: DocuSlate Q&A with director Ellie Wen
With finals week at USC (mercifully) behind me, at last, I have the free time to share these photographs from NewFilmmakers Los Angeles: DocuSlate. Earlier this month, I was honored to share the screen with director Ellie Wen's Single Mother Only Daughter, a lovingly-crafted portrait of her relationship with her mother. Stitching new connections between analog memories culled from a collection of VHS tapes, diaries and photographs, Wen traces the synchronous orbits of two lives circling closer together with age. The film's foundation sourced from a recorded phone conversation between the two, Wen's husband, Greg Katz, auspiciously began filming her end of the line, capturing her moments of realization & revelation with their shared past.
Naturally, I found a kinship with Wen's work, as many of my directorial efforts are traced along similar lines of connecting the past with the present, and the web of dreams/memories that form between its many points. Both The Duel and Single Mother Only Daughter attempt to reconcile childhood mysteries with an adult life that refuses to shake them free, perhaps motivated by a duty to forgive or better understand their parents. Film is one of the rare art forms in that respect, as it grants the artist the ability to fold time in on itself, summoning new strength in re-examining the power of memories and the role they continue to play in shaping their future.