They have a name for girls like me.

videoart, writing, gender, remix, archives




 
Format: digital video Duration: 38 minutes & 44 seconds and growing Year: 2007 - ongoing

I began They have a name for girls like me. in 2006 when I lived in Buffalo, New York. I had long loved the film Valley Girl and wanted to make a video with it, since the main character was, like me, named Julie. Another film I loved at the time, Chantal Akerman’s Je Tu Il Elle, also starred a Julie character. Some quick research brought to my attention the 1956 film Julie, starring Doris Day, and the 1975 Bollywood film Julie. I worked with these four films, thinking I might make a new video weaving all of these stories about Julie together, or make a new video intercut with my own performances. Eventually I decided to cut the films down to just the parts where someone utters the word “Julie,” creating an exhausting repetition of the word.

I researched Julie films and discovered an array of typical and also atypical female roles: wanton women, slutty teens, rebellious housewives, and more. For the next decade, whenever I screened the video at a festival or gallery, I cut and added another Julie film. In 2016, I decided to do a big push. I tracked down as many films as I could find that had a main character named Julie. The result is this most recent 2017 edit, containing thirty-five films total from around the world and throughout cinema history. It’s been an emotional journey: some films ignite my fury against hetero-patriarchy and white supremacy, while other make me fall in love with the movies all over again. It’s been a joy both to destroy certain films and to spend time with other films that teach me about humanity and imagination.