By Sika Wheeler
Lull (2011; 5:33)
directed/edited/filmed by Sika Wheeler
music by Sika Wheeler and Anna Frate
I made Lull over about two weeks at the end of 2011 after two seasons of daydreaming about the idea and but feeling as though I wouldn’t be able to share it with anyone. After a disheartening attempt at collaboration with a classmate, I decided to go back to the concept and take the risk for the sake of solidarity which I felt desperately in need of at the time.
From its inception, I knew I didn’t want to see any faces on screen for the sake of anonymity and an increased sense of universalism. Now, both of those concepts seem both false and restricting to me where they once represented freedom of expression and unity. I struggled with how to go about making an honest portrayal of “female sexuality” while remaining responsible and accountable for what this would imply about gender and about sexual confession, and I’m still not sure how successful I was at that–or even how possible a goal it is for any artist at any point in their life.
Watching this now makes me think a lot about idealism and the illusion of privacy/intimacy. I can hear/see my naiveté, my desire to talk back to silencing forces in my life by being anonymous, my tendency to cling to vague romantic notions of the so-called liberated Self. In one sense, it makes me uncomfortable, it makes me want to create a new version of this film to perfectly match my current values, one that would be more upfront and emphasize individualism over blanket experience. On the other hand, it’s interesting and it’s useful and it’s something I want to keep by my side and leave exactly how it is just so I can see how my interpretation will change again in another year.
In the mean time, I encourage anyone who watches it to think about the way the privilege works with confession and intimacy and how both of those define as shameful or empowering experiences.
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Sika Wheeler is a recent graduate with a BA in Media Studies. She also minored in Women’s and Gender Studies and took an internship doing election work with Planned Parenthood out of college. She’s currently in between jobs so she spends the majority of her time contemplating the worth of her degree, reacquainting herself with music she listened to in high school, and trying to convince people how important fanfiction secretly is to changing our society for the better. Sika is in the process of trying to get her writing muscles back in shape in between applying to grad school for next year and learning how to use a leaf blower.