Maria Irene Fornes is one of America's
greatest playwrights and most influential teachers, but many know her
only as the ex-lover of writer and social critic Susan Sontag. The
visionary Cuban-American dramatist constructed astonishing worlds
onstage, writing over 40 plays and winning nine Obie Awards. At the
vanguard of the nascent Off-Off Broadway experimental theater movement
in NYC, Fornes is often referred to as American theater's "Mother
Avant-Garde." When she gradually stops writing due to dementia, an
unexpected friendship with filmmaker Michelle Memran reignites her
spontaneous creative spirit and triggers a decade-long collaboration
that picks up where the pen left off.
The duo travels from New York to Havana,
Miami to Seattle, exploring the playwright's remembered past and their
shared present. Theater luminaries such as Edward Albee, Ellen Stewart,
Lanford Wilson, and others weigh in on Fornes's important contributions.
What began as an accidental collaboration becomes a story of love,
creativity, and connection that persists even in the face of forgetting.
The Rest I Make Up in
One of "The Best Movies of 2018" - Richard
The New Yorker
lyrical and lovingly made documentary."
The New York
and exhilarating...Fornes exerts a hypnotic force of stardom, while her
offhanded yet urgent remarks resound with life-tested literary
The New Yorker
profound, tragic, yet joyful vision of art. It’s more than the portrait
of an artist (or even of two); it’s a revelation and exaltation of the
artistic essence, of the very nature of an artist’s life as an unending
act of creation in itself."
The New Yorker
"A story of spontaneity, creativity,
genius and madness. It showcases the life, inspiration and virtuosity of
"Memran’s documentary is as
untraditional and unpredictable as the woman herself. In it, Memran
manages to take us through Irene’s extraordinary life, while capturing
the essence of what made it extraordinary - all while transitioning into
an impressive artist in her own right."
NBC News Latino
exploration of Fornes’ life and the meaning of memory."
Conde Nast’s them
"Fabulous. 'The Rest
I Make Up' is as inspiring as its subject."
San Francisco Bay Times
"A touching portrait of an unheralded
"An exquisite documentary portrait. While the movie doesn’t flinch
from the sadness of Fornes’s decline…it nonetheless leaves the viewer
feeling exhilarated, bringing us into the creative aura of a lively,
Michelle Memran is a
journalist, illustrator, and filmmaker. For nearly twenty years she's
worked as a reporter and researcher in New York City and has written for
numerous publications. THE REST I MAKE UP is her first film, for which she
has received funding from the New York State Council on the Arts, the
Frameline Completion Fund, the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice,
piece by piece productions, and numerous individual donors. The film had
its World Premiere at MoMA's Doc Fortnight in February 2018.