Miranda July - Nest of Tens
27:30 min, English, DVD - R, 4:3 pal, Region Code: All
Nest of Tens is comprised of four alternating stories which reveal mundane yet personal methods of control. These systems are derived from intuitive sources. Children and a developmentally disabled adult operate control panels made out of paper, lists, monsters and their own bodies.
Nest of Tens is full of strange substitutions, where the expected is replaced by something surprising, yet rich with emotional resonance. This is the quality that has often left July's audiences feeling as though she has seen into their most personal fears and dreams." - The Oregonian
This 27-minute video is her most ambitious to date. It weaves together four scenarios, which include the machinations of a sexually dysfunctional family, a developmentally disabled performance artist lecturing an audience on phobias, and a young boy´s surreal experimentation on a naked infant. The latter provides one of the more startling sequences: the boy places the infant on her back on the living room table, and, using cotton balls, Q-Tips, liquid soap, and bubble gum, performs, for lack of better words, a cleansing ritual. Cut to a bedroom interior. The baby is now lying on a bed. The boy scribbles a series of ones and zeros on a piece of paper. It resembles binary code. He tears the paper in half and affixes the pieces to the arms of the chair he sits in. His fingers punch away at the numbers as if they were the controls of a video game. His face turns sinister as heavy metal guitar riffs flood the soundtrack. The infant twitches in distress. After watching that, and the other three sequences in which seemingly everyday people go about acting completely normal while demonstrating distinct abnormality, one gets the sense that these things go on all the time. Patterns of behavior are systems, July would call them arbitrary, but upon closer examination that same arbitrariness opens up worlds of possibility. That´s where artistic freedom comes from. - Chris Chang in film comment magazine
When we first saw Nest of Tens at a shortfilm festival we were not really sure what the film was all about. At the same time we were very enthusiastic about it. We felt like watching it again and organized a screening at "Raum für Projektion". Since then we watched Nest of Tens many times - something a DVD is perfect for. Now we have a better notion why we feel it is the best shortfilm ever made - Graw Boeckler