Zoetrope is a short film inspired by the work of the Surrealist writer, photographer, and activist Claude Cahun (1894 - 1954).
The film is the product of a collaboration between directors Margaret Singer and Max Freeman, music ensemble Alarm Will Sound (artists-in-residence at the Metropolitan Museum), costume designer Amanda Harlech (of Fendi and Chanel), artist Casey Legler, and cinematographer Shane Sigler. The score for the silent film is Charlie Piper’s “Zoetrope,” performed by Alarm Will Sound:
Like the song, the film is haunting and disconcerting. But it’s also a celebration of a fearless, avant garde artist and her enduring influence.
The film draws on the life and work of Claude Cahun (neé Lucy Schwob), author of Aveux non avenus and a groundbreaking visual artist.
Along with her lover, Suzanne Malherbe, she made a series of photograph self-portraits, using make-up and costumes to transform herself into a weightlifter, the devil, a buddha, and other personae. In the film, several of these characters come to life inside a spinning zoetrope. In another segment of the film, Casey Legler wrestles to assemble an enormous collage inspired by several of Cahun’s collages.
Max Freeman & Margaret Singer are a filmmaking duo based in Brooklyn. They are in post-production on their short film, Zoetrope, and are the creators of a popular web series, The 3 Bits.
* November 2014: We are very pleased to be the recipient of a grant from WIF!