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Emerging Film Artist: Milan
by Steven Middlestein
Muse Dreaming Cinema: A self-portrait by film artist Milan. photo: Milan design: D. Blair
When CineSource ran into a young woman, working the rewinds at a film library, we were curious about her dedication to cinema, which included a camera tat on her arm. We asked if we could shoot a portrait, but that turned out less than masterful. So we invited Milan (last name Collins, but she prefers the single monicker), to shoot a self-portrait, a la Frida Kahlo, albeit musing on 16mm and celluloid rather then Mexico and paint.
In her work, Milan hews to a classic avant-garde film aesthetic, and has made some dreamy hand-processed shorts, notably "Meet the Sea" (2010; 3:18 min), which beautifully balances abstraction, texture and realism.
"My reaction to movement on film is what turned me on [to becoming a filmmaker]," Milan said, specifying Maya Deren's second film "At Land" and "Gently Down the Stream" by Su Friedrich as influences. Currently, she is working on a collection of travelogues.
Originally from Michigan, Milan initially studied dance. At 18, she moved to Portland, Oregon, to attend the North-West Film Center, working primarily in Super 8. Later, in New York, she did projection art for musicians then returned west to attend SF's Academy of Art University. Although she went to Burlington College, Vermont, for a year, to learn hand processing, Milan is back in San Francisco, completing her film degree at the Academy.
Posted on Aug 13, 2010 - 01:16 PM