Author Archives: myloveliest

Scrappers – Mary Robnett












Set inside Chicago’s labyrinth of alleyways, Scrappers tells the stories of three men who support their families scavenging discarded metal with brains, brawn and battered pickup trucks. The film will be a feature length documentary that situates scrapping within the global marketplace through a verite style and a deep sense of emotional immediacy.

The filmmakers met while studying at the University of Chicago, and were key crew members on two other feature length films now in distribution: Thax, which premiered at the 2007 Chicago Underground Film Festival and is available through Golden Age Gallery, and Crime Fiction, which premiered at the 2007 Slamdance Film Festival and is available through Anthem DVD.

I attended a benefit for Scrappers earlier this year, and got a chance to watch some clips from the film (which I believe is still in post-production). You can read more about the film and find resources for scrap metal enthusiasts here.


Objects for Lonely Men – Mary Robnett

Noam Toran’s short film Objects for Lonely Men (2001), tells the story of a man obsessed with Jean-Luc Godard’s 1959 film A Bout de Souffle (where the main character is obsessed with Hollywood gangster films). The protagonist in Objects for Lonely Men designs a tray to house a collection of  physical representations of the film. The tray is made from a single sheet of vacuum formed plastic with slight recesses to fit the objects, including: small steering wheel, female mannequin head, cut-out gun, hat, telephone, Herald Tribune Newspaper, sunglasses, ash tray, rear-view mirror, pack of Gitanes non-filtered cigarettes. Toran looks to explore our relationship with electronic objects and the fantasies they create. As a collection, this could serve as a product one could borrow when you rent the video. 



Toran continues to explore this relationship in, Accessories for Lonely Men (2001), a collection of eight fictional products designed to help alleviate the loss of a woman. The objects include: (1) a steel finger designed to curl chest hair, (2) a device to “share a smoke” by placing a cigarette in one hole while exhaling smoke from the other, (3) a rapid plate thrower, (4) a plastic tube that is attached to the side of the bed and winds of sheets in the middle of the night, (5) a hair alarm clock that wakes you up by flicking strands of hair in your face, (6) the silhouette of a woman that can be placed in front of a light to cast a shadow, (7) a machine that blows warm, breath-like bursts of air on you while you sleep, (8) cold, feet-like objects to be placed at the end of the bed. Toran attempts to understand loneliness, asking whether we miss the physical individual or the idea of someone.

Toran is collecting the physical manifestations of a particular fantasy. These products are not meant for production, but for reflection. In an interview, Toran explains he had just ended a five-year relationship and began thinking more about loneliness as a theme. At the end of a relationship, a person often collects romanticized versions of moments and objects. Here, Toran presents a collection of physical objects to create an imaginary relationship. Similarly in his film, Objects for Lonely Men, Toran has created objects to help become a fictional character who (in the film) was mimicking fictional gangster characters. 

Please visit:

I’m building a birdhouse – Mary Robnett

I found these birdhouses on the side of an apartment building at Lyndale and Sacramento. Most the collections I found were either an amassment of Halloween decorations…

via camera phone

or quasi abandoned storefronts.

Busted – Mary Robnett

… collecting busts from the likes of Lincoln to Barbie … at Wolf’s Flea Market, Allstate Arena.

Sideshow – Picture Collection – Mary Robnett

* I made a few revisions to my collection based on our discussion in class.

Land O’ Lincoln – Mary Robnett

Honest Abe was a heck of a lot more than just the 16th president of the United States… Among the many representations… he was a body builder, warrior, zombie hunter, and pirate… just to name a few.