Origins: Spring 2011
Rain from the West by Juliette Allen
"During Christmas break, I started reading Towards Another Summer while my family and I were staying in a wooden house in the middle of a rainy forest in the Bay Area. The first chapter stuck to me. The main character Grace Cleave, who has never felt at home in the human world, discovers that she is in fact a migratory bird. As we began our class about Origins, we raised many questions concerning sense of belonging, authenticity, and the importance of knowing one's origins. The story of Grace Cleave seemed to relate more and more to our topic. She does not identify with her biological origins at all, but rather with the life movement she has followed: that of a bird. I decided I would love to make a film about the story, since the writing was already so visual. We had spent time in the cornfield downtown, a sacred space for the native Tongva tribe which is a place of recognition of origins, Tongva origins. It seemed interesting to have Grace Cleave walking through it, admiring its beauty but being unable to connect with it. The second part shows her living in an egg-like small trailer, representing her nomadic desire, and foreshadowing her "hatching". She fully becomes a bird when she discovers feathers growing on her body, which we chose to illustrate with blank ink drawn on Chloe's skin; it seemed the most beautiful and abstract way of changing her from a human to a migratory bird."