Manila Folder DUR:10:00 min/US 2019
Manila Folder is a short experimental film that cuts together a poem, a boxing match and a tattooing session.
When I was in graduate school it was known that I like to film everything and anything. My main technique at the time was making video collages from personal archives of distinct moments of simply living. One day a friend told me he was getting a new tattoo and asked if I wanted to film it. Of course, I wanted to, so we spent the day together recording and chatting with Scotty the tattoo artist. The tattoo was that of a Manilla Folder knife with the date of boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, Oct 1 1985, underneath it. My friend was a poet and he liked the connection between the name of the knife and the “Thrilla in Manila” name of the historical boxing match.
The footage of the day went into a folder and stayed there for years until one day I read a poem by Robyn Schiff called “the Eighty Blade Sportsman’s Knife, by Joseph Rogers and Sons” and it reminded me that this particular knife is also called a Butterfly Knife and it just so happened that I had a folder of footage from a Butterfly Garden I visited on a road trip. It sideways connected to the boxing match as well “Fly like a butterfly, sting like a bee”. Things were clicking into place and once I added all these elements to a timeline in my editing software it was it wasn’t very long before I hit the export button (with enthusiastic permissions from all participants).