MILK IN THE LAND
Director: Ariana Gerstein & Monteith McCollum
United States, 2008, 75 min
Crew:Producers : Ariana Gerstein, Monteith McCollum - Original Score: Monteith McCollum - Cinematographer: Christian Carson, Ariana Gerstein, Mike Jarmon, Monteith McCollum - Editor: Ariana Gerstein, Monteith McCollum - Animation: Ariana Gerstein, Monteith McCollum - Photos Courtesy of Icarus Films
Sales:Lori Fried - Icarus Films, 32 Court Street, #2107, Brooklyn, NY 11201 - T: 718.488.8900 - F: 718.488.8642
Milk has long been considered a staple of the American diet, the perfect food, a pure gift of nature. This quirky and entertaining documentary examines the relationship between the popular drink and culture, revealing how milk became America's staple beverage as well as a powerful symbol of American patriotism and progress. MILK IN THE LAND surveys the role of milk throughout American history, politics and popular culture-from government price support programs, links with eugenics and political scandals, to infant feeder collector conventions and cow beauty contests. The film imaginatively blends archival footage, period graphics, animation, stop-motion and time-lapse photography, commercials, cartoons, WWII propaganda films, newspaper clippings, and apposite quotations (from Al Capone, Richard Nixon and Groucho Marx to Martin Luther and Gilbert and Sullivan), interspersed between idyllic scenes of mist-shrouded pastoral landscapes with grazing cows.
About the director
Ariana Gerstein has made many short experimental films, which have won awards and screened internationally. Her most recent short "Alice Sees The Light" is making the festival rounds this year, including recent showings at Images Festival in Toronto, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, SXSW, SilverDocs and the New York Film Festival. Her first collaboration with Monteith McCollum was on the documentary "Hybrid". Which won awards at International Film Festival in Amsterdam, Slamdance, and The Truer Than Fiction / Independent Spirit Award. Monteith and Ariana are very independent filmmakers. They complete all aspects of the work themselves, from start to finish. Ariana is also an artist who constructs beautifully glowing light box collages with any film frames that don't make the final cut. She teaches film and video production in the Cinema Department Binghamton University. Monteith McCollum is an inter-media artist working in film, sound, and sculpture. His films have screened at Festivals and Museums including The Museum of Modern Art, Hirshhorn, Wexner Center for the Arts and Festivals including SXSW, Slamdance, Hot Docs, Amsterdam & Osnabruck European Media Arts Festival. His films have garnered dozens of festival awards including an IFP Truer than Fiction Spirit Award. In addition to making films Monteith has consistently been creating unique compositions for films and performances. Compositions are included on the NYFA Current Fellow CD compilation curated and put together by Innova. His film and sound work has received support from organizations including New York Foundation for the Arts, Rockefeller Foundation, NEA, Jerome Foundation and Kodak.