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ON YOUR RADAR: Laurel Parmet

Tuesday, Oct 11, 2016

Laurel Parmet

“ON YOUR RADAR” IS A WEEKLY GRAD FILM NEWS SEGMENT THAT FEATURES A STUDENT PICKED AT RANDOM.

LAUREL PARMET IS CURRENTLY A 2ND YEAR STUDENT AT GRAD FILM.  WE ASKED HER A FEW QUESTIONS AND HERE’S WHAT SHE HAD TO SAY:

Where are you from and what is it like there?

I grew up in Los Angeles. It's warm, sprawling, not the most pretty. It's full of weirdos. It has amazing food. Tacos. I can swim laps outside all year. It's such a big city, there are so many different neighborhoods, I always discover something new when I go back. I guess that something new is usually food.

I miss the ocean. I miss KCRW, the public radio station. I don't miss the driving. Or the "Hollywood" aspect of the city. This is a generalization, but there's an unhealthy fixation with physical image there, that I think influences the stories I'm interested in telling.

What or who is inspiring you right now and why?

I think I'm most influenced by photography.  I'm constantly returning to Lauren Greenfield's images for inspiration. She's my number one, for her fascination with female culture, sexuality, body image.  Also the photography of Bieke Depoorter, Nydia Blas, Alec Soth, and Larry Sultan for their portrayals of "everyday life" in America.  Paintings by Eric Fischl -- they bring me back to Southern California.  And Films by Lynn Ramsay, and my latest obsession Ulrich Seidl. 

I'm inspired by my parents, both artists and filmmakers. I'm in awe of their insatiable need to create, at whatever cost.  And their determination to continue, even in moments of self-doubt or financial insecurity, no matter what.  I hope they passed down their perseverance to me. 

On a less sentimental note, I'm particularly intrigued by the fetish of "cake-sitting," right now.  There was a recent scandal involving a priest caught on camera while becoming sexually aroused by a woman sitting on a slice of cake wrapped in plastic... I'm going to make a film about it. One day.

What has been your most rewarding experience at NYU Tisch Grad Film so far?

Just being a part of the whole thing!  It's a crazy trip.  I'm so grateful for this time and space to explore and try to find confidence in myself as a filmmaker. I've found incredible collaborators and mentors.  My experiences with my classmates -- I've never been a part of a group like this. I learn so much from them. I'm surprised and shown new things all the time, even in simple directing exercises.  

Maybe most importantly, while studying here, it's becoming more and more clear to me the stories that I want to tell. I think for a while I doubted that I had a real voice of my own, but I don't anymore.