you need a subscription to view this film: subscribe - education only

MM Serra : (Art)Core

by MM Serra

Year: 2011, 113 mins
Code: RV-SerraPt13

  • Description
  • About the Artists
  • Reviews
  • Embed / Share


Darling International 1999, 16mm, b&w, 22 min
Bitch Beauty 2011, 16mm, color, 7 min
enduring ornament 2015, 16mm on digital, color, 14 min
Mary Magdalene 2017, Super8/16mm/video, color, 5 min
real to reel Mama 1982, 16mm, color, 20 min
Chop off 2008, Super8/16mm/ video, color, 6 min
Jack Smith's apartment 1990, VHS on digital, color, 8 min
L'amour Fou 1992, 16mm, color, 17 min
eye etc 1982, 16mm, color, silent, 5 min
Turner 1987, 16mm, color, 3 min
Framed 1984, 16mm, color, 1:30 min
Nightfall 1984, 16mm, color & b/w, 1:30 min
NYC 1985, 16mm, color & b/w, 1 min
PPII 1986, 16mm, color, 1 min

MM Serra is an experimental filmmaker, curator, author, educator and the Executive Director of Film-Makers' Cooperative, the world's oldest and largest archive of independent media. Her first five films (NYC, 1985, Nightfall, 1984, Framed, 1984, PPI, 1986, Turner, 1987) were preserved and digitized by Anthology Film Archives Preservation series Re-Visions: American Experimental Film 1975-1990. The series “spotlights…the generation of experimental film artists who emerged after the final formation in 1975 of AFA’s Essential Cinema repertory screening cycle.” Anthology describes Serra’s five films as a “DIY Lower East Side spirit, but introduces a distinctive of lyrical eroticism.” In 2015, Serra was awarded a New York Foundation for the Arts for Enduring Ornament and in 2016 Serra received a New York Council on the Arts for a new film titled Mary Magdalene that was exhibited at the NY Media Center in August 2017.

In 2019 the Soho House profiled MM Serra as one of their artist selection as part of their "My Creative Space" series.

In 2018 MM Serra presented the 9th Annual Experimental Lecture at NYU’s Cinema Studies Department and Undergraduate Film & TV Department entitled  "Art(core) and the Explicit Body: The Films of MM Serra". The Lecture will profiled by the Criterion Collection "What They Found: Our Contributors Share Their 2018 Discoveries" by Fábio Andrade.

In 2018 Framework Volume 59, Number 2, Fall 2018 published MM Serra's article The Films of MM Serra: Art(core) and the Explicit Body, in a profile of artist writing about their work.

On July 27, 2017, MM Serra “Early Film 1982-1987” – six titles screened the Cineinfinito #19 in Spain.

MM Serra was an artist-in-residence at the MVD Cinema Experimental in Montevideo, Uruguay in November 2016.

On June 6th, 2013 MM Serra was a recipient of the Kathy Acker Award for Lifetime Achievement of Excellence in Avant-Garde Art.

In 2015, her film titled Enduring Ornament (with Josh Lewis) premiered at the Onion City Film Festival, The Berlin Biennale Short Film Cloud, XPOSED Queer Film Festival Berlin, including festivals in Mexico, Paris and Canada.

Serra’s film Breathe Deep (2012) was awarded the Directors’ Choice prize at the Black Maria Film Festival.  In June 2012, Serra had a retrospective of her film work at Anthology Film Archives.  Serra was invited to the International School of Cinema and Television (EICTV) of San Antonio de los Baños, Cuba to present and discuss her film Bitch-Beauty in a Cinema as Death program. Bitch-Beauty premiered at the New York Film Festival on October 3rd, 2011 in the “Views of the Avant-Garde” screening series.

Her film, Chop Off, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and screened at the Tribeca Film Festival and the Museum of Modern Art’s Documentary Fortnight Series in 2009. In Fall 2010, Serra curated, Counter Culture, Counter Cinema: An Avant Garde Film Festival, a seven program, three day event at the Pacific Design Center with the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. In 2007 - 2008, Serra was the curator of a six-part experimental film series titled “Cinema of the Unusual” at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center. Serra also curated and traveled with the show “New York Experimental” in Warsaw and Paznan, Poland. Serra was also invited by the Office of Contemporary Art in Oslo, Norway to lecture at and curate a two hour program titled “Art (core): Avant Garde and the Cinematic Body”. Her chapter on the work of Carolee Schneemann, titled “Eye/Body: The Cinematic Paintings of Carolee Schneemann”, was published in Anthology of Experimental Filmmakers by Duke University Press in 2007, and a second printing in 2008.

MM Serra teaches in the Media Studies program at the New School for Social Research on topics such as horror films, sex and gender (until 2016) as well as Avant-Garde and the Moving Image.   Serra presented a lecture at Columbia University Seminar on Cinema and Interdisciplinary Interpretations her lecture/screening was titled “The New American Visions Series in September 2012.

A curious meditation on the pleasures and terrors of S/M, in which interviews with enthusiasts collide with choice porn clips, Fleisher cartoons, Hans Bellmer poupees... The results are compelling, this film lingers, never once slipping into hype or deadly cool.
-Manohla Dargis on L'Amour Fou, Village Voice

Please please show this film! It's unique, it's real, it's not like any other film. What one sees in it, can not be seen anywhere else. It will shock some, but the fact is that there are shocking things in this world and we should know it and see it, nothing human should be hidden from knowledge. You made a very REAL film about REAL people. One of the most difficult things to do in cinema. I congratulate you.
-Jonas Mekas on Chop Off


Her cinema is marked by a lush sensuality, a concern for light, play and artfully woven soundtrack.
-Barbara Hammer

Share this video

Start at (H:MM:SS) and end at (H:MM:SS)


Embed this video

Start at (H:MM:SS) and end at (H:MM:SS)