Politically Active Filmmaking: A Conversation with Director Jy-Ah Min
Filmmaker Jy-Ah Min grew up in Southern California. In college she got involved with politics ““ registering students to vote, organizing young Korean Americans, and putting together peace marches”“and had planned to be a lawyer.
But while studying at the University of San Diego she met Jean-Pierre Gorin, a leftist who worked with the French New Wave filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard. Gorin suggested Min watch Godard’s revolutionary 1966 movie, Masculin FÃ©minin.
When Min saw the film about “the children of Marx and Coca-Cola,” as Godard notoriously described it, she was fascinated by his use of text as images and rapid sound cuts, and she saw parallels between ’60s youth in France and her contemporary peers in San Diego.
She wanted to explore this idea with her camera, and ended up making her first feature film, M/F Remix, about roommates Mimi and Philip. M/F Remix ““”“ which is not a remake of Masculin FÃ©minin, but, like the title says, a remix ““”“ made its U.S. premiere at the International Asian American Film Festival in San Francisco in March, and will screen at the Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival from April 6-17th, with more screening dates viewable here.
AlterNet spoke with Min about reinventing a classic, infusing art with politics, and filmmaking as activism.