MA: The Haunting, Happy films of Celia Rowlson-Hall

Celia Rowlson-Hall’s surreal short films seduce. They manage, most notably in Prom Night and The Audition, to transform the custom into the uncanny. Bizarre costumes are set against natural backdrops, feminist theories are summoned via single shots, and dialogue, frequently, is replaced with dance. The latter is often the most striking quality in the shorts. Celia’s ability for carnal communication—erraticism the camera does not shy away from either—is akin, dare I say, to Chaplin’s. Similarly, much of Rowlson-Hall’s work recalls the allure of the circus—an unfamiliar and yet somehow recognizable nostalgia sets in as you watch.

celia rowlson-hall the wild mag

The artist has a repertoire worthy of her talent. She’s choreographed music videos for the likes of MGMT and Sleigh Bells and directed fashion videos for Aritzia and Kate Spade. Her films have been screened at SXSW, in 2010 she received a Bessie award for her performance in 837 Venice Blvd., and this year, the matriarch of alternative filmmaking begins work on her first feature, a movie aptly titled MA.

In true form, Rowlson-Hall’s story is lofty—though that may be an understatement. The film follows a virgin mother on her pilgrimage to Las Vegas to give birth to our savior. On the way, Celia describes on her Kickstarter page, we visit more of her eldritch dreamscapes: tumbledown hotels, a cowboy in the desert, and a penthouse suite of prostitutes. It sounds a fitting niche for Rowlson-Hall’s signature meld of verve and woe. The 29-year-old, who spent two years writing the script, will also star in and direct the film. Support her. Against the sprawl of western drylands, the project will triumph.


Prom Night

The Audition


Be sure to check to support Celia’s Kickstarter here!

text by: Bianca Ozeri

Don't yet have an account? now!

Order The Radiant Issue Today

Order The Radiant Issue Today

Order The Radiant Issue Today

Order The Radiant Issue Today