Staff Picks: Tiffany Parker

Tiffany Parker Staff Picks

Quality control expert and certified cinéaste Tiffany Parker picks her Fandor favorites.

Tiffany Parker has been working in the Fandor content department practically since the beginning. As a quality control expert, she watches films before they make their way into the Fandor library, ensuring they pass her exacting standards so our members can enjoy the highest quality viewing experience possible. No irregularity makes it past her desk, which is why she’s earned the nickname Eagle Eye Parker around these parts.

Tiffany has an affinity for films that are whimsical without being overly sentimental. She especially enjoys American independent cinema but also has a soft spot for classic and silent films. Having earned a BFA in filmmaking from the San Francisco Art Institute, she knows the effort it takes to make a successful film and values filmmakers who create works of art that are unique and thought-provoking. Tiffany has superb taste and a natural curiosity that has rewarded her with great finds, so do yourself a favor and take a chance on her recommendations.

1. Lovers and Lollipops (1955) directed by Morris Engel and Ruth Orkin

Lovers and Lollipops directed by Morris Engel and Ruth Orkin

“I’ve always found myself drawn to films centered around children (this will probably become increasingly obvious), so this film from the beginnings of American independent cinema seems an appropriate starting point. Directed by professional photographer Morris Engel, the film’s beautiful black and white cinematography and use of non-professional actors play almost like an American New Wave film (and in fact Engel was an influence on Truffaut, among others). Lovers and Lollipops tells the story of a widow’s budding romance with her longtime friend, and how it is perceived by her 8-year-old daughter whose approval is necessary and not at all guaranteed. The film is entirely charming without ever feeling overly cloying or precious.”

2. We’re Going to the Zoo (2005) directed by Josh Safdie

We're Going to the Zoo directed by Josh Safdie

“A brother and sister accidentally pick up a hitchhiker en route to the zoo. Made when Josh Safdie was still a student at Boston University, We’re Going to the Zoo, though contemporary, feels out of time (shot on film and devoid of cultural signifiers). It’s the sort of short thats simplicity and unexpectedly poetic imagery makes me miss film school and the spontaneity of project based filmmaking.”

3. Dottie Gets Spanked (1994) directed by Todd Haynes

Dottie Gets Spanked directed by Todd Haynes

“As someone who is obsessed with “I Love Lucy”, this early work by acclaimed director Todd Haynes immediately grabbed my attention. An homage to 1950s sitcom suburbia, Dottie Gets Spanked tells the story of “sissy” boy Steven Gale, whose fixation with Lucy-like program “The Dottie Show” worries his father and makes him the subject of ridicule among his classmates. Much like Haynes’ later film, Far From Heaven, this short explores the theme of suppressed sexuality and otherness in a world of mid-century suburban conformity.”

4. Windows (1974) directed by Peter Greenaway

Windows directed by Peter Greenaway

“Have you ever wondered how many people died falling out of windows in the year 1973 in the parish of “W”? One of Peter Greenaway’s early short films (and my very first introduction into his deadpan and humorous body of work), Windows is both morbid and absurd in its detailing of defenestration statistics. Grigory Sokolov Rameau’s “La Poule” plays in the background while the camera glimpses out of different windows onto the beautiful rural landscapes of England.”

5. Slitch (2003) directed by Dianne Bellino

Slitch directed by Dianne Bellino

Slitch (an amalgam of “slut” and “bitch”; a nickname assigned to the protagonist by her older sister) follows an an unapologetically promiscuous teenage girl as she tries to gain the attention of her dense and socially evasive surfer-dude neighbor (played by Will Oldham). She wants sex while he just wants to watch surfing videos. Oblivious to her advances, they have to find a way to settle somewhere in between. The whole film ends up feeling like one long diary entry, with interludes of hand-drawn heart scrawls and narration of fleeting teenage sentiment.”

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