An Interview with Filmmaker Marina Zurkow, Creator of the Web's Freaky, Fiesty Cerebelle du Jour, Braingirl
I met Marina Zurkow in 1986 on the set of a horror film called Matt Riker: Mutant Hunt. I was the art director. She was hired to be my assistant. It was an entirely inappropriate crewing decision, typical of the low-low budget B-movie genre. I'd never studied art, never been on a film set, and never cared much for horror; Marina had graduated from the School of Visual Arts, she'd propped several films, and she had a true affinity for the horror genre. Needless to say, she saved my ass.
“I never intended this book to be published,” writes Phoebe Gloeckner in the introduction to her new collection, A Child’s Lifeand Other Stories. Perusing these finely drawn, mostly autobiographical comic works, which span twenty years, it’s not difficult to see why its creator might be wary of foisting her stories on a public whose idea of an enjoyable narrative is Titanic. Gloeckner’s unsparing memory and painstakingly detailed pen-and-ink drawings of family dysfunction, childhood cruelty, and queasy sex make for seriously disquieting reading. The book takes us through the years with Gloeckner’s alter ego Minnie, whose childhood is dominated by her overbearing, ogling stepfather and whose adolescence is spent on the streets of San Francisco in a morass of unsavory drugs and even less savory men.
Like some grizzled old-timer sitting on the porch of the homestead talking about the good old days, I think back to the first time I saw MTV and pity the prepubescents of today who didn’t have the luck to see, as I did, the wonder of MTV when it first aired. I was eight years old, alone in my living room, and somehow I knew that I was witnessing a tremendous event: a connection with something that just wasn’t accessible through after-school cartoons or Gilligan’s Island reruns.