Directed by Amir Motlagh
The film-essay “my break ups into a million pieces” is about Bose’s migration to Southern California after her artist-father’s death. Directed by Amir Motlagh, this 16-minute film, shot in digital video and super 8, is an exploration of personal and spiritual identity, death, romantic relationships and myth of Americana from an Asian perspective.
Its creation was brought about by coincidence: Bose was impressed by Motlagh’s previous works (including “Dino Adino” and “Still Lover”), asked him for filmmaking advice. She had written “Break-up Stories,” a series of vignettes about the disintegration of my personal relationships, and wanted to translate it into film.
After showing award-winning director Motlagh her father Santiago Bose’s paintings, he felt a spiritual connection to Santiago’s works and agreed to direct the film.
They co-produced the piece in 2004. Punctuated with original music from various Orange County bands such as Bose’s old band, The Velvet Ash, it also features many artists (painter Reza PorMansor, producer Alex Xenophon) from the Santa Ana underground. With its gorgeous shots of Los Angeles freeways and endless blue skies, “my break ups into a million pieces” marks the transition to new country and a new life, the rush of a brave, sunshiney new world.
Screenings (selected screenings)
2005 Vancouver Asian American Film Festival
2005 Pinoy Visions, Los Angeles
2005 Pusod, Center for Culture, Berkley
2005 Sol Arte Gallery,Santa Ana(film work by Amir Motlagh)
2005 Capitol City MicroCinema, DC (east to west coast)
2006 San Francisco International Asian American Film Fest
2006 Visual Communications Film Festival
2006 Chicago Asian American Film Showcase
2007 Monterey Women's Film Festival
_ones that i remember anyway_
An addendum from Lille: Please read after if interested.
Written by Lilledshan on her blog on 10/18/08, several years after the film was released.
How apt, that while I am preparing for a lengthy trip back to the Philippines, Amir calls me with news that he produced (edit) "a web" version of the film we made four years ago, “my break ups into a million pieces.” (He directed/edited/produced, I wrote/produced/was in it.)
Parts of it — stuff I said and thought, my clothes, my hair, who I was with, what I felt about race relations — make me cringe now. I feel so far removed from it, and yet at the same time it kind of feels like I’m watching my high school diary. I always did maintain that moving to the U.S. induced a second (cultural?) adolescence for me.
Other parts — the music, shots of the Bassland studio, the memory of shooting it with a group of people who’ve since then gone crazy, killed themselves, stopped talking to each other or fought drug addictions — make me nostalgic. And proud, at the same time. Like, I lived through this.
Like a high school diary, the short is a flashback of what my life in Orange County was like when my life was 180 degrees different from my life today. I had a band, I lived with a group of musicians, I lived in California, I lived in a community where the minority was the majority, surrounded by art and music. I had never owned a coat, barely drank beer, and had no idea what it was like to work in a newspaper. And now that my life is changing again, maybe I should say I’m 270 degrees different — I’m already on my way back to a full circle.
A film can easily be looked at retrospectively, and commented on. Maybe directors need a bit more time? I will refrain from commenting, but say that i still find Lille's unfiltered writing courageous, especially as it relates to her father. It is a pleasure to work with people who are as unguarded as this.
Super 8mm, DV
trt: 16 min.