* This title is on pre-sale
5 in. x 9 in. | 12.7 cm. x 22.86 cm
During the lockdown in 2020, trapped in her house, movie work at a halt, Ana Lily Amirpour began to excavate her iPhone. Aside from the thousands of photos and videos and screen grabs, she had also written hundreds of “notes” to herself, personal things like dreams that she would quickly write down in the middle of the night before they’d evaporate, and then analyze their meaning the next day. Some notes were about films she was working on, story ideas, character ideas, thoughts for actors, or production. Some were intimate and personal, like venting the frustrations of an argument with a boyfriend, or venting about a film experience, or agonizing about the death of someone close. Tons of other notes were just weird, random things: thoughts, quotes, movie recommendations, books, grocery lists. She had email threads with herself digging into unresolved questions and answers about filmmaking–questions about why she made a film or what it means; questions that are always difficult to answer in a living moment. So there she was in lockdown, reading these notes and emails–personal things that were never meant to be shared–and realizing she was looking at her digital diary, looking through a window at time passing, at who she is as a person and as an artist, in a direct and psychedelic way.
There was something exciting about the fact that she was talking to herself in a frank, unfiltered manner. It was imperfect but honest. “If I die tomorrow,” she thought, “all this stuff I wrote, all these intimate thoughts and ideas will go to my grave.” So she resolved to harvest the entries, some going as far back as 2016, when she was finishing her second film, The Bad Batch, and all the way through 2021, when she was releasing her third film Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon during the pandemic.
This book is the result of that personal archaeological digital dig. Personal might even be an understatement given it’s the actual stuff inside her phone. Imagine how it feels when someone has your phone–you feel utterly exposed. With this book, Ana Lily has decided to share something she never imagined she’d share. Artists are always exposing themselves in one way or another. As Ana Lily would put it, “The bottom line is I want to dance like no one is watching, and to write like no one is reading, because then what comes out is naked. It’s you.” This is the stuff that lives inside her slimy brains. Hence the title, and the signature on her emails… “Sent from my Slimy Brains”.
Iranian-American director, writer, and producer, Ana Lily Amirpour is an auteur with confidence rooted in substance. Her thematically direct and color-imbued body of work embodies the mantra to make the weird real. Her feature-film debut, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, the “Iranian vampire spaghetti western,” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2014 and was the opening selection for the New Directors/ New Films series at MoMA in New York City. The film was awarded the Revelations Prize at the Deauville Film Festival and was given both the Carnet Jove Jury Award and the Citizen Kane Award for Best Directorial Revelation from the Sitges Film Festival. At the 2014 Gotham Awards, Amirpour was honored with the Bingham Ray Award, given to an emerging filmmaker with distinctive creative vision and stylistic adventurousness that stands apart from the mainstream.
Her second feature, The Bad Batch, a savage desert-set psychedelic hellscape about the American dream, starring Jason Momoa, Suki Waterhouse, Keanu Reeves, and Jim Carrey, won the Special Jury Prize at the 2016 Venice Film Festival. Her third film, Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon, a supernatural fairy tale set in New Orleans, premiered at the Venice Film Festival and stars Kate Hudson, Jun Jong-seo, Craig Robinson, Ed Skrein, and Evan Whitten.
She has directed music videos and television series alongside her films, and she currently resides in Los Angeles, California.