How did the project Get Pushy come about? ^ I got a masters degree in film directing from AFI, but meanwhile Madonna had come into the world of entertainment and redefined pop art, sexuality and womanhood for girls everywhere. I lost interest in just being the female Woody Allen slash Lucille Ball; I wanted to take off where Madonna left off–i.e. become the next socio-political cultural sexio icon of a generation. The problem was, she didn’t leave off anywhere. I still can’t figure out what to do that she hasn’t or isn’t doing already. ^ But I have to do something. And since I’m terrible at holding a job, in my spare time I am trying to become a pop star. I perform with my band PUSHY. I record cool dance tracks. I started documenting PUSHY with a digital camera when we first went to SXSW Music Festival. The first year, we didn’t even get into the festival. We just went and pushed our way into all the coolest parties, and all the shmooziest hotels. There was a certain magic and we got tons of media attention. We were on the Austin news coverage of SXSW (though at that time we hadn’t even performed there), we got on Paris radio’s OUI FM coverage of SXSW, and we even did a motorcade through the streets of Austin to promote our presidential campaign (“Pushy for President and First Lady”). ^ The footage was cool, and I decided to keep filming the saga of getting PUSHY, until one day it really came together when I went to visit my mom in Michigan. She infused the project with a credible and dramatic conflict. She is so convinced that my journey to push my way into the forefront of pop culture has marked my failure as an artist and a human being, that it lends a good deal of drama not to mention some great laughs to the project.
What is the film really about? ^ A neurotic Jewish girl who was a reject in high school wants desperately to infiltrate the mainstream, sleep with Madonna, and become a pop American icon. It’s the ultimate Jewish dilemma. We want to be accepted by the mainstream. We want to be accepted by a club that won’t have us. And yet we don’t want to be a member of a club that will have us. We want to fit in, but we don’t want to lose or identity, our weirdness, our eccentricity, or our socialist, communist left-wing, pornographic leanings… So we figure we’ll hide who we really are, and infiltrate by fooling everybody into thinking we’re normal. Then when we make it big, we’ll reveal who we really are, and push the mainstream over to the left. Or maybe that’s just me.
How does one go about making an autobiographical documentary? ^ By having a nervous breakdown and filming it. Only to discover you missed the money shot. Because you were so busy thinking how brilliant you were for having the clarity of mind to be crying and at the same time filming, that you forget to get the context of the crying–the setup–the why was I crying and what were the events and emotions that led me to cry and have a nervous breakdown in the first place. But as luck would have it, I always have another nervous breakdown when I least expect it, and so I get another chance to redeem myself. Recently, I realized that the nervous breakdowns were actually not nearly as interesting as the funny, more up moments. So I’m now focusing on fleshing out my character and capturing the fully three-dimensional me. Which is really hard to do, since I operate the camera almost at all times, there’s an inability to get outside the ‘third wall’. I guess I’m realizing my strength is comedy, whether I like it or not. If a dark, brooding kind of comedy.
Are there moments in your life you would NOT consider filming? ^ Not really. My family gets so annoyed with me, they scream and swear at me (which means we’re having a normal interaction), so I start filming even more. But eventually they really get mad and slam doors. That’s when I know I’ve pushed the limit. I don’t blame them really. I’m annoyed at me. I mean who wants to live like reality TV? It’s become so overdone, so stupid, so cliche. The only thing separating me from the rest of the reality turds out there is that my material is actually interesting. ^ There actually is something I won’t film I don’t think I’ll ever film my relationship with a boyfriend again. Because I’ve ruined too many of those by bringing them into my art. Besides, I never have the foresight to film the truly great ‘relationship’ moments anyway. For example, I tried to run over my ex-boyfriend in my Ford Escort. I was too seriously deranged and PMS-ing to even consider taking my camera out. Hopefully, Paxil will help with that. ^ Another thing I won’t film is my bankruptcy proceeding. It’s just too truly depressing and stressful. Plus it’s tomorrow. I don’t think I’ll find a cameraperson in time. And I’m too demoralized by the way my condescending, asshole lawyer treats me to show up alone filming myself. He already acts like I’m a moron because it makes no sense to him that I’m poor because I insist on doing art. To him, it’s a bizarre dilemma to be in.
What draws you to fame? ^ Looking hot in a music video and finding a wife. I mean, a husband — but one who cooks and pampers me. I’m too distracted to do normal things and I think I’ll have to be famous for a guy to have the incentive to marry me and cater to my various neurotic needs. I’m high maintenance, as they say. ^ Honestly, I can’t explain that deep-seeded longing since I was a kid to create cool things and have people respond to them on the international stage. I’m not ashamed to say I’m artist with integrity and a part of that means I want a lot of fuckin’ hotties adoring me and chasing me around the globe with big cameras.
Do you think some people might think your pursuit of fame is kind of sad and pathetic? Please be honest… ^ Yes. And I really don’t blame them. I feel sorry for myself too. I like to whine a lot about how hard it is to be cursed to want fame at the expense of a lot of cool things. It’s not glamorous to live your whole life struggling for the sake of art and mainstream acceptance. It ain’t Sex in the City, that’s for sure. It’s Bankruptcy and Eviction in an Overpriced, Provincial town (San Francisco) that used to have a music scene, never had a film industry, and certainly doesn’t have a powerful, straight or good-looking man in sight to sleep with for the betterment of my career. ^ Trust me, I’m still at it after years of struggle. The poser filmmakers and musicians gave up after they made one student film or album on their daddy’s credit card and it didn’t go anywhere. I’m here for the long haul. And I’ve suffered for it: money, stability, a boyfriend, money, stability, a boyfriend, money, a boyfriend, a boyfriend, a boyfriend.
Get the rest of the interview in part three of NOEMI GETS PUSHY>>>
Posted on March 26, 2002 in Interviews by Chris Gore
If you liked this article then you may also like the following Film Threat articles:
- NOEMI GETS PUSHY (part 4)
- SF DOCFEST WILL “GET PUSHY”
- NOEMI GETS PUSHY
- NOEMI GETS PUSHY (part 3)
- GET PUSHY
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