Woman's Picture: Miriam

Woman’s Picture, filmmaker Brian Pera’s ten-year anthology film series, is an expansive short film showcase of cinematic portraits inspired by classic women’s films of the thirties, forties, and fifties. The first episode, Miriam, featuring Ann Magnuson in the lead role, is the first cinematic portrait to premiere on VOD at www.evelynavenue.com startting November 14.

Ann Magnuson (Making Mr. Right, Panic Room, A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon, Clear and Present Danger) plays Miriam Masterson, a home shopping channel host at QET Shopping Network. Her viewers see her as the personification of a successful working woman, but Miriam’s ability to juggle the pressures of work and family is showing signs of strain, that would shock her loyal fans. When her director of programming calls a meeting to discuss the format of her long running show, Miriam fears for her security at the station. Things aren’t going well at home, either. Her deadbeat boyfriend, Russell, checked out of the relationship some time ago and Rose, her mother, was recently institutionalized. As the pieces of her life start falling at once around her, Miriam re-examines the paths she’s chosen for herself.

The two other initial portraits of the Woman’s Picture Series, star award-winning actress and activist Calpernia Addams (Trans-American Love Story) as INGRID and Memphis musician Amy Lavere (Walk the Line, Black Snake Moan) as LORETTA. Those episodes will be released in 2012.

Director and Writer Brian Pera (The Way I See Things) intends to continue working for the next decade with this group of performers and filmmakers to develop stories, characters and the film together, with a real reference to where the artists are at in their lives. “I want to build characters I feel like we know and can keep getting to know, and to look at characters in ways movies are often too promiscuous and flighty to see. I want to create a narrative universe, or neighborhood, where all these people might live.”

New Distribution Model:

One of the interesting parts of the Woman’s Picture project is the new model for distribution online. Pera has partnered with renowned perfume designer Andy Tauer, who has created a new line, Tableau de Parfums, olfactory portraits inspired by themes and stories Woman’s Picture. Tauer has collaborated with Pera to create scents that recall some of the characters of the series as well as childhood memories of perfumes Tauer’s and Pera’s mothers and grandmothers have worn, and what they represent to the artists emotionally and culturally. Tauer’s first custom fragrance is ‘Miriam,” after Magnuson’s character. Each 50 ml bottle is packaged with a Miriam DVD and a novelette related to the character. Available at www.luckyscent.com/shop/section/1/item/55100/brand/Tableau_de_Parfums/Miriam.html

Price 160.00.

As well as series of interviews about memories and perfume which feature women discussing their memories of the scents the women in their families wore. The interviews will broadcast in the video section at evelynavenue.com

DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT:

“Woman’s Picture is an homage to my grandmothers. They seemed so powerful to me, and often so trapped; and to some of the films which remind me of them. Movies presented them with fantasy role models, making the traps they were in seem more comfortable, glamorous, or noble. Actresses like Joan Crawford and Barbara Stanwyck played people in those older women’s films, the “weepies,” who were a lot like my grandmothers, partly because my grandmothers saw so many of those films and imitated them in their own lives. I wanted to get lost in those narrative fantasies and possibilities, mixing and matching memories of my grandmothers with the movies I’ve seen.”

DIRECTOR’S BIO:

Writer, Director and Actor Brian Pera lives in Memphis Tennessee, where he has directed his most recent films: The Way I See Things (2008) and Woman’s Picture (2011). He is the creator of Evelyn Avenue, a founding member of the Wahpeton Film Collective, has published a novel (Troublemaker, St. Martin’s Press) and co-edited a collection of film writing called Life As We Show It (City Lights).

SNEAK PEEK ONLINE SERIES:

In advance of the launch, Evelyn Avenue is presenting a special 20 minute prequel entitled ROSE, also starring Magnuson, which is available for FREE for press. Please email for url and password.

FILM INFO:

Suggested Retail Price: DVD PRICE $10.00

VOD price: $2.99

WOMAN’S PICTURE, 104 mins. Stereo, DigiBeta, 2011

Cast:

Calpernia Addams (Ingrid); Amy Lavere (Loretta); Ann Magnuson (Miriam); Angela Dee (Joan); Brian Pera (Mackie); Corey Parker (Janitor/John); Paul Provenza (Russell), Gerald L’Ecuyer (Grant); Sally Stover (Gladys); Paprika Steel (Gloria); Special Appearances by: Rosanna Arquette; Kim Howard; Paprika Steen, Kacky Walton