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Playroom (2019, 3 min)

Somewhere between waking and sleep is our most lively, truly fantastic, existence, a motion, an edge, a beam of joy. Embracing the purpose of waking and the mission of sleep, Xander journeys to an adjacent fragment of a literal closet, where his identity is centralized, where his desire is embodied.

Assorted cameras allowed for multiple entry points to the imaginary. Super 8 because the painterly surface forces a break, some ventilation of the bright, flat crispness of our everyday where we are inundated by the moving image to the point where we often can’t distinguish between what’s real and what’s digital. In Playroom, we see Catherine filming Arielle filming Xander and the super 8 camera becomes a character in Xander’s marvelous auburn dream.

The footage becomes a refraction of his inventiveness. There are no distinct layers but rather an escape from narrative tiers of meaning, a story not told but lived in, not seen, but recorded, presented as a portal to the not-inside of “real life.” With a hip switch and some high heeled black shoes, Xander claims a space of no binary, a space of engagement, celebration of no identity, instead a space of feeling. How does it feel to be draped in that flowy, sequined jumpsuit, that form- fitting pencil skirt, that flippy cropped wig, those tights? When no one and everyone is looking. Not for the viewer or the voyeur but generously manifest in case anyone else needs a reminder of the spirit, the sway, the magnificence.

In case anyone else needs a reminder to make room for play.

An Aubin Pictures Production. Made for Film Forum Lobby Movies.

Directors: Catherine Gund, Arielle Knight

Producer: Catherine Gund

Editor: Arielle Knight

Starring: Xander Wilkins