"Lonesome Cowgirls" will get some company when it debuts tonight at the Loft Cinema.
Directed by French songstress Marianne Dissard, the movie is an experimental, music-heavy reimagining of Andy Warhol's subversive 1968 Western "Lonesome Cowboys," which was shot north of Tucson. Dissard's "Lonesome Cowgirls" is a send-up of B-movie conventions as well as a tribute to Warhol's work.
Dissard, a 41-year-old Tucsonan, worked with the performance collective Parasol Project to make the 52-minute film to accompany Dissard's album, "L'Abandon." They shot the film in a 24-hour period at Cowtown Keeylocko, a ranch 37 miles southwest of town.
Dissard became obsessed with Warhol's film after she bought it on eBay. She watched the movie several times before shooting her own version.
What was the inspiration for the film?
"My new album is the inspiration for the film I directed last June in Tucson. The album, 'L'Abandon,' and the film, 'L'Abandon,' aka 'Lonesome Cowgirls,' are meant as companion pieces. I'd always wanted to play at Cowtown Keeylocko, this working ranch and saloon an hour west of Tucson. Some memorable shows had happened there."
How does your music relate to the movie, either thematically or visually?
"Lots of friends, very Tucson but also very French, full of life yet at times quiet and maybe even melancholy. An album and a film full of contradictions. French with a twist.
"The film has a few running jokes about France, being French, the language. Visually, the album cover, the rear projection during my upcoming tour in Europe, the music videos, the stills and artwork are taken from the film shoot. It's a mood; it's a Tucson thing. "
What's next for the movie after the Loft screening?
"Since this is a companion piece to my new album - was conceptualized as such - I will release the film alongside the album, as a DVD piece, with extra behind-the-scene footage, interviews, music videos, still photographs taken during production of both the album and the film."
What would you like to accomplish as a filmmaker?
"I had sworn off making movies, which I did for 10 years after film school - directing mostly documentaries - to concentrate fully on first writing lyrics for people such as my ex-husband Naïm Amor, and then to sing fill time, pressed by Joey Burns of Calexico, who co-wrote and produced my first album, 'L'Entredeux.'
"It is only now, with the 'Abandon' film, a film that has, in a way, just creeped up on me, almost by surprise, in the joy of making music and art, that I feel now confident that I can use all the tools I've acquired throughout my life - film, performance art, writing, singing. It's a good feeling."
IF YOU GO
• What: Premiere of "Lonesome Cowgirls," a film by Marianne Dissard.
• Where: The Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway.
• When: 7 p.m. tonight.
• Admission: $8.
• Etc.: Marianne Dissard and friends will perform at 9 p.m. Friday at Solar Culture Gallery, 31 E. Toole Ave. Admission $7.
If you're involved in filmmaking and would like to be featured in a Q&A, write to email@example.com