Mini MUFF Profile: Emily Carmichael

Mini MUFF Profile: Emily Carmichael

Mini MUFF Profile: Emily Carmichael
Film: Stryka

Ever since we first saw Emily Carmichael’s comedy/sci-fi Stryka, we’ve wanted to screen it. MUFF Society NYC is thrilled to be showing it with Tank Girl since both films offer a glimpse of the future with fresh and interesting female characters.

Stryka is a funny, ambitious, and sweet reptile alien.  Get to know the woman behind her, New York-based filmmaker Emily Carmichael!

Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got involved with filmmaking. 

EC: I actually, consciously in my mind, decided to try and be a feature film director because I thought I was incredibly talented and should pick the literal hardest field to succeed in. So I remember that thought sometimes when I am facing professional struggles, that I literally picked this field because it would be hard. I did NOT realize the extent to which it would be hard BECAUSE of my gender—like seriously five times harder or some insane multiple like that—so that's been a bit of a heartbreak to discover.

Can you tell us a little about Stryka and how it highlights your feminist perspective?

EC: I love genre, and the many beloved tropes that come with different genres [removes helmet, reveals self to be beautiful long-haired woman] but genre can also be very constraining. It tends to lay a course for us based on our gender, our skin color, whether or not we wear glasses or even have any beautiful long hair to shake. A stoic alien warrior character like Stryka is expected to be left of spotlight, unwavering in her loyalty, but this film invites us to hear her desires and anxieties, and to for once conceptualize the action in terms of her life and her journey.

I think a playful questioning of accepted story archetypes can have broad-reaching effect on how we encounter stories, ourselves and each other, and that this kind of surreptitiously social filmmaking has a place alongside more overtly issue-driven projects around serious subjects. There’s an ideological war afoot between those who believe the voices of all people everywhere should be heard, and those who think that’s somehow ‘asking too much,’ or ‘going too far.’ And this is how we will win–by committing ourselves to exposing the untold story, wherever we find it, in our reality or an alternate one.

If a movie about your life was cast/created, who would star as you and what genre would it be?

EC: Greta Gerwig, hopefully homemade sci-fi musical western in the vein of Cory McAbee.

What's the best advice about filmmaking you've ever received?

EC: From Carol Dysinger, who was my editing teacher: “Even when someone appears to be critiquing your film as a whole, like that it’s too long, or lacks a moment of crisis, there is probably a particular, localizable moment of the movie that caused them to have that critique.”

Who is the best/superior Batman?

EC: Hugh Jackman. The superior Batman is Wolverine.

Recommend one #MUFFApproved film for our blog readers.

ECChicken Run (2000) [Editor's Note: it's a true chick flick.]

Make sure to stay up to date with Stryka via the official website for its production company Kid Can Drive. Emily can also be found on Twitter and Instagram.

The Mini MUFF Society is our short film program. We aim to screen at least one local short film at each of our monthly events. You know, because we have a lot of amazing female talent in NYC and we want to celebrate it! Learn more here!

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