Where is She Now?

Chainletter Filmmakers:

The M.I.A. Chainletter

Lex Gjurasic and the Blackheart Gang, Tequila Annunciation
March 20, 2013

How did you find out about Joanie 4 Jackie and how old were you at the time?
Our film was made in 1995 but our chainletter is dated 1999. In 1995 I would have been 16 or 17 years old. From 1994-2001 we made a variety of films. I’m not sure how we found out about Joanie 4 Jackie…a zine? Riot Grrrl community hear say? Gossip at the Velvet Elvis club in Seattle? Directly from Calvin Johnson?

What interested you about the project?
To participate in anything Ms. July was/is apart of was/is still massively cool. To have had exposure to an audience for our film was awesome. Back in the day before the Internet you couldn’t just upload a film to be seen by millions. It took elbow grease and stamps to get exposure!

At the time you participated in Joanie 4 Jackie did you consider yourself a filmmaker? What was your relationship to making movies?
Of course we did! The alternative high school we attended have us an environment to pursue anything creative that struck our fancy. I’m sure at least one of us got high school credit or our film.

Do you have any specific anecdotes or memories associated with the project?
The “set” was my teenage bedroom. Our “costumes” were our everyday clothes perhaps pilfered from our high school’s Free Store. The car in the film was my actual ’72 Nova hatch back. In one of the final scenes we needed a guy to play the boyfriend. Having no dudes on hand we took creative liberties. One of us voiced the boyfriend from behind a closed door. It seemed to play well for what we needed in front of the camera.

What did you think/feel about the Joanie 4 Jackie at the time? And now, in retrospect?
J4J was fully empowering! We knew anything Ms. July was a part of would be cool, authentic and as girls our work would be respected.

What institutions, groups, people, publications and movements were inspiring you at the time of your participation in J4J?
Riot Grrrl was the foundation for all of our zines, films and shenanigans. If we had any musical talent, The Blackheart Gang would have been a band. For me personally, Miranda July was a big inspiration to me as an visual artist. I remember when she got accepted into the Whitney Biannual. That gave me a goal for what I could reach for as an artist. It was highly inspiring to me.

What do you do now – professionally and otherwise? Are you still involved in filmmaking?
Currently I am making paintings and objects as an artist and designer. View my art here: alexandragjurasic.com. Recently I launched Pyragraph.com as Creative Director. Pyragraph is an online how-to business publication for career minded artists and other creatives. I’d love to interview Miranda for Pyragraph! Please!! When the Blackhearts get together we are still making films in much the same spontaneous and subversive fashion. Only now we have children to use as props. Here is a link to one of our more recent films. Written by the Blackhearts. Directed by Zarya Rowland Bintz of Zeroand Productions.

Anything you would like to see on the J4J site?
Perhaps links to our current pursuits. I’d like to be able to watch my film. Perhaps awesome Riot Grrrl throw back merchandise? I’m still down to wear a silk screened baby T-shirt!