Beheading Holofernes

I didn’t get into Berlin. Bah! I’m applying to Outfest next, who actually likes me, but I’m not sure if they will take me. The deadline is at the end of January. Toronto’s deadline is in the middle of January. And I need a grant soon to work on something, but I don’t want a bunch of money to make a short. I know, maybe that is bad. But maybe I also just want to keep writing.

I do have an idea for a story that is REALLY dark, creepy, and terribly violent, with the climactic scene referencing Judith Beheading Holofernes by Artemesia Gentileschi. There’s also a scene where a woman comes screaming out of the bushes with a knife in her head. People are going to think I’m seriously fucked. It’s a take on missing/murdered Aboriginal women, but with an I Spit On Your Grave approach to it. Hence the Gentileschi reference. No cutesy funny Thirza, I’m sorry, it will happen again someday. If this doesn’t creep you out, the film I want to do after this WILL end up giving you nightmares.

Anyway, for those who haven’t seen Judith Beheading Holofernes, here it is:

There are some who say this painting was created to deal with Artemesia’s rape by Tassi, who offered to marry her so that she would not have a damaged reputation or be considered damaged goods. When she charged him with rape she was tortured to make sure she was telling the truth. Tassi was a serial rapist and had also raped his sister. Oh, go google it, it’s an interesting story. Anyway, he was found guilty but got a slap on the wrist. Some things never change. Artemesia went on to have a running theme in her work of rape as seen from a female perspective. Of course this was all buggered up in a film made about her where Tassi is her passionate lover who mentors her in painting. That’s fucked up, ugh, I could go on and on about the sickness of a filmmaker who would glorify and romantize rape even admist copious evidence of Artemesia’s thoughts on Tassi. ANYWAY, as you can see, she painted Judith being totally unafraid and determined to behead Holofernes, which was a far cry from other Judith paintings where she turns her head away to avoid seeing the horrors of being an assassin. And this is a good example of why therapy as art is relevant.

This was probably my favorite painting in Art History. If it’s not Baroque, don’t fix it. Oh never mind, that’s a terrible joke.

I don’t know if it will get funded. Native women beheading a white man on screen might push too many people’s buttons, even though Native women are killed on screen all the time. It would be such an excellent image though. So yeah, I want to write that story while I wait for funding on my other film’s production to come through. I would apply to the Canada Council for production funds, but sadly 60 000 is not nearly enough. A screenwriting grant on the other hand would give me a year to write this next script. A year of writing, what a dream!

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