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Kim Voynar

By Kim Voynar Voynar@moviecitynews.com

Social Satire, Dolls and a Magic Vibrator? I’m In.

Okay, people, I know I’ve been busy with weddings and whatnot, but why is it that up until now, NO ONE TOLD ME ABOUT THE WEB SERIES ABOUT THE BARBIE DOLLS AND THE MAGIC VIBRATOR? You had to know I would be all over this. Social satire, dolls and vibrators are totally my thing. And if you toss magic spells and power objects into the mix, that’s even better.

In case your friends, like mine, were keeping all the magical vibrators to themselves, here’s the scoop: There’s this web series called The Power Object, in which three custom-designed dolls/Berkeley grads in their early 30s whose lives are not going quite the way they planned stumble upon a spell that turns a vibrator into a power object that makes wishes come true. And of course, like in any good wish fulfillment story, things don’t quite work out the way our girls planned, because they never do in wish fulfillment stories.

This is pretty good social satire, touching on things like brains versus beauty and how even a Berkeley Phi Beta Kappa can’t get ahead in television without a magic vibrator makeover; there are ticking reproductive clocks, troll babies, and an object lesson on the perils of getting what you wish for in a man. I wouldn’t quite call it the level of satiric brilliance of, say, Todd Haynes’ Superstar, but this is still good stuff and worth checking out.

The series was created by Claire-Dee Lim, co-story by Mike Werb and Michael Colleary (the trio were also responsible for Firehouse Dog, but since they went on to make THIS we can sweep that under the rug and let bygones be bygones). There are some interesting interviews with Lim on the site, where you can learn about things like how people in Hollywood are maybe interested in your story … until they hear the word “vibrator” and freak out (but if you substituted, say, transforming robots that destroy major American cities with gratuitous violence and slaughter of innocent lives, hey, that’s cool).

More to the point, you can learn about how the project came about, why they made the decision to use customized dolls to tell the story, and pretty much the answers to whatever other burning questions you might have. P.S. I don’t think Lim knows an actual spell that will turn your own beloved vibrator into a power object, although I bet she gets asked that a lot at parties these days.

Here’s the first episode — excuse me, webisode — for your viewing pleasure. All the episodes up to number eight are on the site, with one more due up next week. Enjoy, and happy summer weekend to you.

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“Yes, yes, yes. Now I am also the producer on Jean-Luc’s films, so I need to raise the money. Yes, there are two projects in preparation with the pretext of virtual reality. We are beginning with two approaches: we can either do or undo VR. Maybe we will undo it more than we do VR, because thinking about VR leads to the opposite of VR. Is there concrete imagination in virtual reality? For me, cinema is concrete imagination because it’s made with the real and uses it. VR, virtual reality, is totally the opposite of that, but it might be interesting to use this and then to destroy it. No, we’ll see, we’ll see. First, it’s just an idea of a beginning. There is a forest to cross, and we are just at the beginning of the forest. The first step is development. As they say in business, first there is development and research. We have to develop somehow an idea for the film; I won’t say a script, but to see what we can do with this system, and what we can undo with this system.”
~ Fabrice Aragno On Godard’s Next Projects

“Why put it in a box? This is the number one problem I have—by the way it’s a fair question, I’m not saying that—with this kind of festival situation is that there’s always this temptation to classify the movie immediately and if you look at it—and I’ve tried to warn my fellow jurors of this—directors and movie critics are the worst people to judge movies! Directors are always thinking, “I could do that.” Critics are always saying, “This part of the movie is like the 1947 version and this part…” And it’s like, “Fuck! Just watch the movie and try and absorb it and not compare it to some other fucking movie and put it in a box!” So I think the answer’s both and maybe neither, I don’t know. That’s for you to see and criticize me for or not.”
~ James Gray