COCO, 2009-2014 (43 min)

COCO drifts betwixt and between states of consciousness and madness – and genre, exploring film Noir confession, sci-fi, skate video and pale-core. Its ambivalence to definition is predicated by using the possibility of delusion and irrationality as its methodological model. The character Coco, half deluded actress/pop star, half recovering patient, relates her life in the span of what could be one day, while her memory extends the film’s time to include childhood, fantasy, trauma and future aspirations – beyond the time she takes to tell you.

Coco leaves home after her mother decamps with a group of skaters at the mall. Now a runaway in a So-Cal suburb, she encounters three traumatic episodes, which she later retells in a purgatory-like high-school Show&Tell, where she vies for survival and absolution. The film revolves around her mother, friends, strangers, her ghost-like classmates, and her own delusions of achieving fame as a pop star.

Coco's sincere and quasi-primordial obsession with girlhood and pop stardom reach dramatic conclusions: where embarrassment, shame and awkwardness are considered as valid strategies for development, inquiry and critique – and, as additions or counterpoints to the available models of hard insincerity, imitation, and eventual appeasement. Where, the sincerity of embarrassment is considered as closer to the truth, closer to reality. In this way, Coco is also a confused, hysterical and visionary character, because, really, what’s reality?

Played by four actresses ranging in age from 3 years old to 40 years old, youth and aging within the film is considered as a coincidence to existence and the progression of time, and in this way inconsequential and non-deterministic. The potential of this (freedom?) is underscored by the production span of the film (4 years) and how the lead actresses age and de-age from one scene to the next, from 3 to 7, from 12 to 16, from 26 to 30, from 40 to 44. The cast is primarily made up of friends, street casting, one method actress and selecting existing relationships into parafictional situations. COCO is presented in conjunction with a book, Love With Stranger x Coco, with a long essay about the artist, poet and mystic Cameron, and with an accessory line, X FILLES.

July 7 '14 - Human Resources - Los Angeles
Aug 3 '14- ltd los angeles - Los Angeles
Sept 28 '14- Anthology Film Archives - New York
Oct 22 '14- FIAC Les Jardins Tuileries, Cinephemère - Paris
Nov 20 '14- AUX Performance Space - Philadelphia
April 9 '15 - Images Festival - Toronto
May 13 '15 - ICA - London

Sex Magazine
Droste Effect

Maria Olsen
Coco Urban
Jewel Steele
Robin Newman
Cara Elizabeth
Lula Steele
Coco's Mom
Hope Urban
Gym Teacher
Phoebe Lewin
Mackenzie Lord
Cole Moss
Yasmin Walker
Lauren Mollica
Sebastion Dejesos
Aimee Goguen
Jessie Thurston
Alex Beauregard
Metal Heads
Mariah Garnett
Rhys Ernst
Football Player
Paul Rodriguez
Kelly Cline
Chanel Eddines
Dan Finsel

Direction, Writing
Margaret V. Haines
Monika Lenzcewska
Sound Score
Patrick Dyer
Sound Mix
Benoit Dame
Janelle Miau
Video Effects
Rollin Hunt
Production Consultant
Yelena Zhelezov
Director's Assistant (Lula and Jewel Scenes)
Karl Ljunquist
Second Camera (Pool Scene)
Karolina Karlic
Darrelle Vary
Aaron Wrinkle
Script Editor
Aimee Goguen
Video Effects
Rollin Hunt
Rebecca St - John
Titles Consultant
Alexis Coutu-Marion
Titles Still Photography Assistants
Brica Wilcox
Sarah Manuwal
Suzanne Mejean
Second Camera, Titles
Suzanne Mejean
Make Up (High School Scene)
Kyle Haefs
Chiara Giovando
Yelena Zhelezov
Styling Assistants (High School Scene)
Kyle Haefs
Robin Newman
Yelena Zhelezov
Beach Text, from Woman and Super-Woman, A.S Raleigh, Chicago: Hermetic Publishing Company, 1916. Via Aya Tarlow and Cameron

Maria Olsen (Coco) has performed in 15 stage plays (including one Off-Broadway), directed 3 plays, written and directed her own play and first feature film, shot at least 40 feature films, 70 shorts, 10 web series, 10 music videos and recorded 5 voiceover gigs. Best known for her appearances as Mrs. Dodds/The Fury in Fox’s Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief and as one of the Paranormal Activity 3 witches, Olsen’s features and shorts have also screened at other international festivals such as Sundance, the Fangoria Weekend of Horrors, HorrorFest. Olsen also owns the production company MOnsterworks66.

Jewel Steele (Coco) and Lula Steele (Lula) are in a band together with their dad, Judd Steele. Jewel plays guitar and sings lead vocals, Lula plays bass and their dad plays drums. Their band is called Stereo Love, they often play Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

Yasmin Walker (Bexxa) is a dancer, actress and figure skater. She has most recently starred on Make Me Over on AwesomenessTV. Coco lives with her mom, dancer and actress Hope Urban, who helped develop the The Velvet Hammer Burlesque.

Smiley face
Smiley face