Girl With Black Balloons Opens Thom Powers’ Documentary Series Stranger Than Fiction At IFC Center


photo: Courtesy of the Artist

Tuesday, January 31, 2012 at 8:00PM
IFC Center – New York, NY

After its world premiere at the 2010 Edinburgh International Film Festival, GIRL WITH BLACK BALLOONS will have its US premiere in New York, where the film was shot about a very New York subject. Director Corinne van der Borch discovers artist Bettina (in her 80’s), who has lived and worked in the Chelsea Hotel since the 60s. As the hotel has literally closed its doors for renovation, GIRL WITH BLACK BALLOONS is an ode to one of New York’s most fascinating citizens and to the city’s adventurous spirit in decades gone by. Director Corinne van der Borch is currently shooting additional footage of Bettina in the almost-deserted hotel – which she hopes to include in the Doc NYC screenings.

GIRL WITH BLACK BALLOONS is a multi-faceted portrait of Bettina – a reclusive, artist living within the confines of Manhattan’s legendary lodgings. Said to be the most beautiful woman to have ever lived in the Chelsea Hotel, Bettina has hidden away in her studio for over forty years. She sleeps on a lawn-chair and surrounds herself with boxes stacked from floor to ceiling, filled with works of her art of which a fraction has been shown only once, in a 1980 exhibition in the OK Harris Gallery, whose owner Ivan Karp launched the careers of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. Filmed over two years, Bettina lets down her guard and reveals a treasure trove of her artwork- boxes filled with constructivist-inspired multi media pieces. But it’s come at a huge cost.

Dutch filmmaker Corinne van der Borch (Wimbledon, 1977) is based in New York where she graduated from the School of Visual Arts in 2009. She established Wondertime Films in order to create ‘ordinary magic’, by collecting intimate stories and visuals, which can easily go unseen by using her camera as a notebook. Albert Maysles was a mentor during the two-year shoot of GIRL WITH BLACK BALLOONS, with Alan Berliner committed as consulting editor and producer. Corinne’s new documentary project, “The Twin Moms”  – currently in development – was chosen to participate in the highly selective Summer School of the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam earlier this year.

Praise for GIRL WITH BLACK BALLOONS: “You captured her soul.” Academy-award winning director Barbara Kopple.

I can’t wait to see the next work from the directors of The Mouth of the Wolf and Girl with Black Balloons, to name just two.” Creative Director Edinburgh Film Festival Hannah Mc Gill (EIFF newsletter August 2010)

Twitter: @wondertimefilms

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January 26th, 2012 by

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