Editor's View: 'Girls' Power
If you’re paying attention, you’re familiar by now with some of my obsessions: time-lapse videos captured in Iceland and Norway, images from the International Space Station, experimental video installations, Werner Herzog, Morgan Spurlock, PBS miniseries with a lot of velvet and Louis C.K.
(From left) Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke, Lena Dunham, Zosia Mamet
Photo by Mark Seliger
I have a new obsession to add to the list: Lena Dunham. Like I consider Louis C.K. “one of us”—because he directs and edits his shows and bought his own RED EPIC and learned how lenses work—I think Lena Dunham can count as one of us, too. Her determined, indefatigable DIY spirit is much like that of our Digital Video readers, and she most definitely lives for video production.
Lena has been creating—writing, directing, performing in—videos since college and has directed two features: Creative Nonfiction and Tiny Furniture. We covered Tiny Furniture in the magazine originally because it was shot (by Jody Lipes) with a Canon EOS 7D—and then I learned I really admired her personal, honest, awkward approach to storytelling. Naturally this led me to watch every video she’d ever produced, and let me tell you, this girl has been busy… and she’s only 26. (I know, I know.) But think about it—hers is the first generation to have access to inexpensive production tools, so it’s really possible to be that young and have directed two features.
Lena has a distinct and unmistakable voice and vision, and a lot of people responded to Tiny Furniture the way I did. “After I made Tiny Furniture, my fantasy was that it would have a DVD release, or at most a week of theatrical play,” she says. “When people saw it, I was shocked, and when it resonated with them, I was even more shocked because it was so personal to me. That gave me the realization that the personal is actually very universal—the more personal you make something, the more possible it is to hit home with an audience.”
Since Tiny Furniture, she’s been working on a series for HBO, Girls, that debuts this month, and it has that same thoughtful, honest—possibly too honest—approach to visual storytelling. I’ve compiled some Lena Dunham-related articles, interviews and videos for you here; I think you might like them and you might like her.