Coco’s journey in Margaret Haines’ art film

“The rings of Saturn start to look like one cosmic noose,” so proclaims Coco as she loops a nameplate necklace.

Margaret Haines’ film Coco

Margaret Haines’ film Coco

Coco is the lead of Margaret V. Haines’ film Coco, which tells the story of a girl, as played by four different actresses, from childhood to adulthood. The multiple actresses mirror the multiplicity of the film and its narrative. Very much an artist’s film Coco is not exactly video art, in a standard sense, but is far from cinema. Dealing with issues of girlhood and adolescent angst emotions and engagement with pop culture. Following the life of the protagonist in a fractured way the film explores her relationship with her mother, her teenage friends and her high school experience, in which her older self appear like a Dickensian ghost. Accented by animation the film crosses between childlike and avant-garde. The naiveté and playfulness of childhood is paired with reference to and exploration of the trauma and angst that are so often apart of becoming an adult. Again in a Dickensian and mystical way the symbolism and ‘spirits’ of horses suggest emotional sensitivity, wildness and the obsession of many little girls. The reference to Saturn and astrology also reveal the mystic yet pop quality so engrained in the film.

Margaret Haines’ film Coco

Margaret Haines’ film Coco

Accompanied by the “trailer,” the publication “Coco x Love With Stranger” (New Byzantium, 2012) by Margaret Haines, Coco has recently been screened by Sex Magazine at Anthology Film Archives in New York City and is set to be screened at FIAC in Paris with LTD gallery at Les Jardins Tuileries in October 2014.

Margaret Haines’ film Coco

Margaret V. Haines’ film Coco

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by Robin Newman
in Focus on the West Coast

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