From Signe Baumane, director of Rocks in My Pockets, comes a new award-winning animated feature about a spirited young woman determined to find love in the bewildering world. MY LOVE AFFAIR WITH MARRIAGE follows Zelma on her 23-year quest for perfect love and lasting marriage set against a backdrop of historic events in Eastern Europe. From an early age, songs and fairy tales convince Zelma that Love would solve all her problems as long as she abides by societal expectations of how a girl should act. But as she grows older, something doesn’t seem right with this concept of love: the more she tries to conform, the more her body resists. A story of inner-female rebellion. Told from a woman’s point of view, the film blends historical, biological, societal, and emotional arcs with a lively sense of humor and musical numbers. This animated film for adults tackles the issues of love, gender norms, domestic violence, fantasies and toxic relationships to propel a woman’s journey toward independence and liberation. Director Signe Baumane (Rocks in My Pockets) joins us for a lively conversation on love, identity, marriage, her unique journey to becoming an artist / animator and the joy of having artistic and commercial control over her work.
My Love Affair with Marriage screens at Laemmle Royal on Oct 12 (she’ll be there for Q&A), and then film opens for a full week run at Laemmle Glendale on Oct 13 (Signe will do Q&A Oct 13-15).
About the filmmaker – Signe Baumane was born and raised in Latvia when it was still part of the Soviet Union. At age 14, she began publishing short stories. At 16 she won poetry reciting competitions. At 18 she was singing and dancing with the folk group Skandenieki. Signe received a BA in Philosophy from Moscow State University. After graduating she started to work at Riga’s Animated Film Studio as a cel painter and later as a writer, director and designer. Signe directed three animated shorts in Latvia before moving to New York. There she worked for independent animator Bill Plympton as art director and production manager. In 1998, Signe received her U.S. green card as an ‘extraordinary ability alien’ and began making films at her own studio. In 2005 she became a U.S. citizen. As a former philosophy student, Signe is not afraid to reach behind the surface in her stories. As a former performer she enjoys connecting with an audience through surprise and humor. Signe has written, directed and animated 16 shorts and one feature film, many of them with a strong female point of view. She passionately believes that animation is a perfect medium for adult storytelling. Her films collectively have screened at over 560 film festivals including Sundance, Berlin, Venice and Karlovy Vary. Rocks In My Pockets (2014), Signe’s first animated feature film, is based on true events involving five women of Signe’s family, including herself, and their battles with suicide and depression. It played internationally at 150 film festivals, was distributed in the U.S. by Zeitgeist Films, and has been screened by many colleges and mental health organizations. Signe is a Guggenheim Fellow and a New York Foundation of the Arts Fellow in Film.
“Funny, moving, and visually stunning throughout” – RogerEbert.com
“One of the best female resistance films of the year” – HuffPost
“A joyfully exuberant piece of work that manages to conduct some serious examination of human behavior whilst always being nothing less than gloriously entertaining.” – Cineuropa
“A masterclass in human behavior” – Cartoon Brew
“My Love Affair With Marriage is an incredibly detailed animated feature chronicling the life of one young woman, and it also just so happens to be one of the best films of the year.” – Caillou Pettis Movie Reviews
“Both poignant and deeply funny in the way only the best films can be. This animated feature film is a must watch” – Animation for Adults
“An outstanding feminist film that will undoubtedly win over audiences everywhere.“ – ReelNewsDail
“Un voyage fantastique au centre du corps humain” – Le Monde