5Q's w/Marta Renzi "Her Magnum Opus" Director

FRIDAY | BLOCK C | 11:00 |
Her Magnum Opus (61 min) dir: Marta Renzi

MR Picture.smaller.jpeg

#1: Can you describe your movie and why somebody should see it in less than 280 characters? 

You’ll recognize, in the most gentle way, that everything we’ve made of our lives passes,, even as it’s passed on to those we love. 
What’s more, you'll sense this through the flow of seasons passing and through movement and music, not through dialog.

#2: What do you want the Borrego Springs Film Festival audience to know about your film that isn’t obvious from its title?

That the Her of the title is the teacher/mentor many have had in their lives, and that the Magnum Opus of the title refers not to some pretentious masterpiece, but to a life lived with playfulness, honesty and connection.

#3: What is your movie making background?  Tell us about yourself.

I’ve been a dancemaker for almost forty years, and a filmmaker for ten. 
Early in my career as a choreographer, I was commissioned to make two half-hour videodances for PBS, The first, You Little Wild Heart, was conceived and choreographed to Bruce Springsteen music in 1981 - pre MTV, mind you.
Eight years later, there was a PBS budget again to co-direct Mountainview with independent filmmaker John Sayles and a wonderful cast including Jane Alexander - and Jim Desmond who also appears in Opus, over 25 years later!

Starting in about 2006, when digital filmmaking became cheap and accessible, I self-produced short films, usually with lots of dance in them.
Since then I’ve directed over two dozen shorts, along with a few docs, which have been shown all over the world. 

In my films, as in my choreography, I’m not as interested in virtuosity as in shining a light on the way that human movement is basic to all of us: it’s how we communicate, build community and make sense of the world.

#4: What was the biggest lesson learned in getting your film made?

Only one? That I had to trust in the voice that is Her Magnum Opus.  It’s not a conventional movie: only an hour long, no dialog, no car chases, a central character who is way past 30-something, designed with a decidedly home-made feel. I’m still learning to make peace with the vision that had originally drawn Jonathan Demme to champion Opus - even now when the famous director is no longer present to give it his final approval.

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#5: What does the future hold for your film and you?

I’m always looking for communities where I can share Her Magnum Opus, and I plan to continue to do so once the “film festival circuit” is over.  Although I expect I’ll distribute it online eventually , it works best live, not so much because it demands a big screen, 
as because its particular magic works best when an audience experiences its pace as a group, recognizing themselves in the community on screen and feeling invited to imagine the dance of their own lives.  
I’ve made one short film since Opus was wrapped and have another in the works. By 2019 I figure I’ll be ready for the challenge of another feature.

OPUS dancing w Luna.JPG
Matthew NothelferComment