Films

Pamela Beere Briggs, one of our explorers, has been a filmmaker for 30 years. With her husband/filmmaking partner, UCLA professor of cinematography William McDonald, she has produced and directed the following films.

Something Like a Sabbatical

Runtime: 25 minutes

Long ago, Sue Mitchell wanted to be an artist. But she decided she didn’t have enough talent. Instead, she became a businesswoman. Thirty-five years went by. She took art classes in whatever spare time she had. Then the economy slumped. Seriously slumped. Business was slow. There was no sign of recovery. But, there was time…  She would do the thing she thought she could not do. Little did Sue know that a city park would become her classroom and 52 Montezuma Cypress trees her teachers. This story resonates now when we are all finding our lives turned upside down by COVID-19 and seeking ways to deal with uncertainty. The choices we make about how to spend this time can make all of the difference.

Something Like a Sabbatical is available for purchase in the Two in the World shop. The first 20 DVD buyers will receive a free gift of a notebook—much like the one Sue Mitchell used to write down her thoughts and questions—featuring a photo of Tree #44.

Women of Mystery

Three Writers Who Forever Changed Detective Fiction

Runtime: 52 minutes
 
Women of Mystery explores the writing lives of three authors (Sara Paretsky, Sue Grafton, Marcia Muller) who started a literary revolution and, in the process, captured readers’ imaginations around the world. Their novels told a new story about crime and justice—and continue to do so today. In 2020, Paretsky published her 20th V.I. Warshawski novel (see newly completed film DEAD LAND/Sara Paretsky: A Reflection below) as well as Love & Other Crimes, a collection of short stories that “run deep with aching sketches of love and loss” and “haunting versions of possible futures” (Library Journal). Women of Mystery spends captivating time with each author on her heroine’s home turf and investigates the question: Why is the female private eye a hero? Because she did not believe the old story. The official story. The repeated story. The lie, police cover-up, or millionaire’s power play. Her job is to seek justice when society turns a blind eye. And she will not give up until the whole truth is told.
 
For public performance rights, visit NewDay.com (use promo code NEW080 for 10% off your order). Public performance rights include use within educational institutions, libraries, and community groups.
For individual streaming rental, visit Vimeo.

Dead Land

Sara Paretsky: A Reflection

Runtime: 9 minutes
 
A brand new update to WOMEN OF MYSTERY upon the completion of Sara Paretsky’s 20th V.I. Warshawski novel in 2020. Paretsky (hailed by P. D. James as “the most remarkable” of modern crime writers) reflects on 40 years of writing crime novels and how the death of her husband shaped the most recent installment in her series.

Watch for free on Vimeo. Visit Sara Paretsky’s website: www.SaraParetsky.com

Funny Ladies

A Portrait of Women Cartoonists

Runtime: 46 minutes
 
In Funny Ladies, we watch four smart and witty role models — Cathy Guisewite, Nicole Hollander, Lynda Barry and “Brenda Starr’s” Dale Messick — share their creative process. Viewers will find themselves looking at the comics, and the world, in a new way.
 
This film would make an ideal companion to MacArthur Fellow Lynda Barry’s new book Making Comics (2019) — the bestselling, creative curriculum that teaches us how to draw and write our own story — especially during this time of remote learning. Barry believes everyone and anyone can be creative and that creativity is vital to processing the world around us.
 
For public performance streaming rights, visit to NewDay.com (use promo code NEW080 for 10% off your order). Public performance rights include use within education institutions, libraries and community groups.
For individual streaming rental: Vimeo link coming August 15, 2020. Or purchase the DVD in the shop.

Life Jackets

Runtime: 8 minutes

Twenty-one years ago, a very bundled up baby was thrust into the arms of her adoptive parents in a tiny hotel room in Chengdu. After the Chinese adoption contingent left, her parents started to unbundle her because she seemed too warm. Garment after garment came off until they reached the last one: a beautiful, humbly-made, and somewhat fragile jacket. Her mother, artist Suzanne DeCuir, recently came across it and was inspired to create a project exploring ideas about lost potential, fate, and randomness. DeCuir has sewn over 100 “life jackets,” all smaller than the original.

Watch for free on Vimeo. Visit Suzanne DeCuir’s website: suzannedecuirfineart.com

Pamela Beere Briggs is a writer and filmmaker who never forgot her joyful time in a Japanese kindergarten. It led her to believe that every child should have the opportunity to love learning. She will be sending missives from her home and backyard. Reading, writing and creating (films, stories, food & field-trips) are her favorite pursuits.