Natalie Gravenor | Wednesday February 23rd, 2011
The saying goes that there are a maximum of six degrees of separation between any two given people or groups, anywhere in the world. There are even less degrees separating filmmaker/artist/author/musician Miranda July and Tex Clark, director of RADICAL ACT. How’s that? Clark’s DIY documentary about feminist, riot grrl and queer rock and indie music was included on the Break My Chainletter compilation in Miranda July’s pioneering Joanie4Jackie video chainletter series. Starting in 1995, July sent out regular calls to female filmmakers and video artists, mostly students, amateurs and emerging talents, to send her their work. In return, they would receive a tape (”chainletter”) including their own and other films. July screened these tapes at rock clubs, festivals, art events and universities, giving the works national exposure. Sure, July was at the center of the project and it certainly was a stepping stone on the path to her current career. But the participating filmmakers found it a very empowering experience, and the 19 chainletters really contributed to creating a distribution network for indie and no budget films by women. Not to mention the sense of camaradie and collaboration.
This short video gives a succinct overview of the project.