"There isn't really anybody who occupies the lens to the extent that Lindsay Lohan does," says Richard Phillips, who cast the actress in his latest short film, First Point (2012), which will premiere at Art Unlimited, part of Art Basel 2012. "Something happens when she steps in front of the camera. There is this magnetic energy."
The 5-minute, 34-second film, co-directed by legendary surf filmmaker Taylor Steele, depicts Lohan first during the day—running across the water in a gray wetsuit, lying in repose on the sand in a white bikini—and then at night, in flashes of light that light up her freckled face against a pitch-black background. Modeled on classic surf films such as The Endless Summer (1966), and Free and Easy, an underground documentary filmed in the late 1960s, as well as Lost Highway (1997), a modern take on noir by David Lynch, the footage has something of the feel of a color-saturated screen test by Andy Warhol, or a sequence from The Rape of the Sabine Women by Eve Sussman. "It begins in the tradition of surf films—there is music, and the ocean—and then it goes into this very dark, noir nocturnal dimension," Phillips explained. "I was exploring the tropes of both forms."
Shot on both public and private beaches in Malibu, the film also features surfing shots using Kassia Meador, a world-class surfer, as a body double for Lindsay, as well as a score by Thomas Bangalter, one-half of Daft Punk. "It's not quite film, and it's not quite video art, and it's not quite action," Phillips said. "Thankfully, art has the room for that."
First Point is not Phillip's first collaboration with Lohan, who reached out to him after she saw an unauthorized portrait he did of her. Soon after, they began texting about making more paintings together. When a friend asked him to make a film for "Commercial Break," a series presented by the Garage Center for Contemporary Culture at the 54th Venice Biennale, he asked Lohan to be his subject. The resulting work, Lindsay Lohan (2011), a 90-second clip also shot in Malibu with Steele, is a precursor to First Point.
One of the most striking things about the film is how ethereally beautiful Lohan appears on the screen. Frequently derided by the media, the actress's unique good looks often become obscured by her public persona.
But with his camera, Phillips somehow makes a claim that despite all of Lohan's public troubles, she is one of contemporary culture's great icons. "She's embodied Marilyn Monroe, and now she's embodying Elizabeth Taylor, but she's arguably more beautiful than both of them," Phillips said. "She is very aware of the way that an icon is constructed, and that's something that is unique."
"She's still alive, and she's more powerful than ever."
source - interviewmagazine
Thank you. Now we can fast forward to your latest work. Did you call Lindsay Lohan and say, "Hey, LiLo, I have an idea!" The movie was our idea, together! For the first one, we only had one day to work together. It was so productive and so much fun that we both agreed - with my co-director Taylor Steele - we should definitely continue to work together. Our schedules worked out in August, and we met up in LA and got a location sorted out and commenced.
But how did it start? Did you send her a note, saying, "Dear Lindsay, I am a famous artist and you should work with me." [Laughter.] I couldn't tell Lindsay Lohan I was [famous], I mean our fame levels relatively... honestly. It's a whole other world. What happened was, I was in the midst of making a White Cube [gallery] exhibition in London with a number of her acting peers in it. I was asked to do a painting for 2x2 in Dallas for AmFar and the Dallas Museum of Fine Art. I was interested in Lindsay [as a portrait subject], but she didn't fit in the London show. So I made a painting of her for 2x2, and a friend - the film's creative director, Dominic Sidhu - was with Lindsay in LA. He had the image of my painting on his iPhone. She said, "Wow that's great, who made that?" And Dominic told Lindsay, "You guys should work together on a painting." So we were put in touch, and we started texting. Then [curator] Neville Wakefield asked if I'd make a short film for him... I'd never even made an iPhone movie! No art school movies, nothing. But I said yes, and I thought, "Well, maybe Lindsay will be in it." I texted her and she agreed.
This film has a lot of surfing in it. How did Lindsay do on the waves? She was fantastic, because she's surfed a few times before. But then we had [pro surfer and artist] Kassia Meador on set as Lindsay's body double. Having both of them together was just amazing. They became fast friends, and I think anybody would be inspired to be in the water with Kassia because she has such a great vibe.
So anytime we see surfing, it's Kassia? No, a lot of it is Lindsay. She paddled right out there. She's very athletic and got super into it.
And how's your surfing? It's good! I've been surfing for about 12 years. But my co-director, Taylor Steele, is one the most famous surf filmographers of all time - we met because I was one of the judges of the New York Surf Film Festival! So when I had no idea how to make a film, I said, "Taylor, would you be interested in collaborating with me and Lindsay Lohan in Malibu?"
That's hard to turn down. What will this movie be like?We added this kind of noir, nighttime component to the film, which is about 50% of the movie. So that takes the idealism of surf culture in a dark place.
Lindsay is wearing Cynthia Rowley for Roxy wetsuits in the movie, isn't she? Yes, Cynthia gave us her brand new line, and I think there's some iconic imagery in the movie because of it. I don't know who would wear the suits better than Lindsay, honestly. She's a knockout.
You seem very focused. Do you ever get the painting equivalent of Writer's Block? That's a very interesting question. What happened with making film, what I realized is, the demands of making film from storyboard to conception to filming - all the post production and color mastering and soundtrack - getting all these elements together was very demanding. It made the balance between that work and painting quite intense. So it's not so much Painter's Block, but it's about maintaining energy levels at the highest possible level and still being healthy.
Last question: You're the only two-time returning judge on Work Of Art. Do you think new artists can benefit from being on Reality TV? I do think it's an interesting platform for emerging artists. i dont know if that means there will be high levels of success in the longterm for them, but I think art is changing and expanding so much that any opportunity to address the public about one's art ideas is a good thing. Ultimately, it all depends what you bring to it, whether you're on TV or in the middle of nowhere by yourself. But I think ultimately, it's a good thing.
Richard Phillips premieres 'First Point', presented by Gagosian Gallery at Art Unlimited, the curated part of Art Basel, June 11th.
source - nylonmag