If a kids' Halloween parade accidentally paraded right into the filthy depths of purgatory, the result might look something like "The Night of Forevermore," the latest film from LA-based artist Marnie Weber.
Weber stars as a crone who has sold her soul to the devil; her daughter, Colette Rose Shaw, plays a young witch in the film, which takes heavy cues from Hieronymus Bosch's "Garden of Earthly Delights."
The artist is the force behind the album cover of Sonic Youth's "A Thousand Leaves" and the creator of conceptual art rock group the Spirit Girls. We reached out to her to discuss her film's European debut. (See a clip from the film below and scroll down for a slideshow.)
The Huffington Post: How did you get started on "The Day After Forevermore"?
Marnie Weber: It all started when I all thought to myself: I am just not going to do anything I don't want to do anymore. When you get to a certain stage in your life you don't have to kiss ass anymore. Then I looked up the origins of kissing ass. The Christians believed that witches kissed the devil's ass and I thought, well, that's an interesting thing. I've had a lifelong interest in witches. But really the witches were the bohemians. [My friends and I] probably would have been burned at the stake for the work we were doing, [so] I thought it would be interesting to explore the ideas of good and evil through the eyes of a witch.
HP: The film has a stunning set and costumes. What is the backstory?
MW: It is an elaborate tableau vivant inspired by Hieronymus Bosch and also the old tradition of the tableaux vivant where actors would dress up and perform for the wealthy in Europe, posing as living paintings. I thought it would be nice to pose in this living painting and use some of these masks I got in Oaxaca I got for Day of the Dead. It took about nine months to put the actual tableau together.
There is a crack den where the young girl goes to sit with these other creatures that seem to be lost and need help and she is a bit like the leader. The old witch imparts all this evilness onto her and the girl becomes possessed by the devil -- that part is inspired by the Fuseli painting "The Nightmare." I am always inspired by art history, especially because my father was an art historian.
HP: Speaking of your father, you've mentioned that you rejected art in favor of rock-n-roll because of his artistic background. Do you see your daughter doing something similar with acting?
MW: She is looking for a niche that her family was not involved in so she got into acting, which we do not do. In my movies when I so-called act it is basically moving through space with a mask on. You can rebel without being rebellious, I think.
HP: Recently DIY and camp aesthetics seem to be getting trendier. Does this bother you? Excite you?
MW: Oh! I didnt realize that! I don't watch television so I am not really connected, but that is really good to hear! What solidified my commitment to DIY originally, back when I was making handmade records, was just that I wanted people to feel like they had something unique that belonged special to them, only in their hand. Everything in the world became so throw away. The whole DIY thing came with me when I was making the films and the costumes and I liked that it looked like a teenager who was obsessed with the project had worked on it. Now it has become a symbol and an inspiration to younger artists.
HP: Innocence and childhood fantasy clearly play a huge role in your works. How old do you feel?
MW: I feel in my 20s still. It is also a personality thing because I tend to be an optimist. I space out a lot and LA is great to space a lot and drive. Many of my ideas come when I am driving. You have to leave yourself room to space out.
HP: What do you think is one of the biggest misconceptions about LA?
MW: That we're isolated out here. In many ways it feels like we are a hub to me. The crossover with the film industry also is very exciting. It is not at all regional or isolated, especially with the internet and the art fairs. People don't even know where artists are coming from anymore. But my favorite thing about LA is year-round costume shops.
"The Day After Forevermore" will show until May 25 at Cardi Black Box in Milan.
See film stills from Weber's film and paintings from her exhibition in the slideshow below:
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