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Experimenta Special Presentation

Make Me Up

Rachel Maclean follows her Venice Biennale piece Spite Your Face with a daring new film that incisively deconstructs art history’s myth of feminine beauty with a savage, satirical blade.

Dir-Scr Rachel Maclean
Prod John Archer, Angus Farquhar
With Rachel Maclean, Christina Gordon, Colette Dalal Tchantcho
UK
2018
84min
Prod Co Hopscotch Films

Truly iconoclastic and alluding to the Suffragette attack on the Rokeby Venus in the National Gallery, Maclean’s most ambitious film to date is a feminist science fiction on a mission to destroy the patronising exploitative tradition of patriarchal art criticism. Siri and Alexa are among two fortunate young women to have been made over at a pastel-coloured hyperreal beauty clinic. It’s presided over by Figurehead, a demonic pedagogue who is intent on educating her girls on art’s construction of female beauty and taking it to the next level with her high-tech remodelling of all feminine imperfection. Initially willing to please, including eating from empty plates, Siri discovers something is amiss. Why are the rebellious ones disappearing? What are they becoming? Maclean is the irrepressible creative force behind the entire spectacular production and delivers a virtuoso performance as Figurehead, splendidly attired in the highest of haute couture. Cleverly referencing a range of films about transformation and rebellion, Make Me Up is both a hugely enjoyable satire and a richly imaginative work.

Helen de Witt

Additional information

The screening on Fri 12 Oct has an audio-description soundtrack for customers who are blind or partially-sighted. Headphones are available on request at the venue.

The screening on Sun 14 Oct has an audio-description soundtrack for customers who are blind or partially-sighted. Headphones are available on request at the venue. It also has English language subtitles, including descriptions of non-dialogue audio, for customers who are D/deaf or hard of hearing.

16-25 year olds can book special £5 tickets in advance. Find out more!

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