Experiencing Interruptions?


An experiment in Eisenteinian montage. The project seeks to draw out the connection between beauty standards that infantilize women and the sexualization of children.

  • Isabella Marina Melsheimer
  • Isabella Marina Melsheimer
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short, Student
  • Genres:
  • Runtime:
    55 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    July 15, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    0 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - UCLA
Director Biography - Isabella Marina Melsheimer

Isabella Marina Melsheimer is a fourth year Anthropology student at Scripps College. They plan to pursue a concentration in visual methods and graduate in May 2023 with a minor in Dance. In their work they are interested in mobilizing art forms including film and performance to promote understanding of, question, and critique the world around them.

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Director Statement

For this project I wanted to draw a connection between beauty standards that infantilize womxn and the sexualization of childrenI juxtaposed shots of myself with shots of a baby doll to create visual conflict. I crosscut shots of myself taking actions to conform to beauty standards – shaving to become hairless, applying a face mask to maintain wrinkle free skin – with shots of the baby doll being played with and abused. My goal was to show how feminine beauty standards often demand womxn’s bodies to become like those of children: small, hairless, smooth-skinned, and docile. At the same time, the violence done to the baby doll suggests the ways objectification of womxn (as demonstrated by the doll, a literal object) comes to justify violence against womxn. To emphasize this connection, I cut on action between the two kinds of shots, giving the viewer a similar framing and action but changing the context from that of an adult woman to a plastic baby. I increased the volume of the clips’ audio to enhance the sense of discomfort and added sounds of children playing for an additional layer of conflict between the image and sound. Over a close-up shot of my lips moving I added sounds of a baby crying, and in the next shot of myself drinking a glass of wine I added sounds of a baby drinking from a bottle to suggest how the ritualized action of buying someone a drink is routinely used to lower womxn’s perceptions and make them more docile. A shot of me applying a face mask in reverse is imposed over a shot of the doll being undressed in reverse, creating temporal discontinuity while affiliating the idea of deconstructing these beauty standards with the idea of protecting the child. The final shot brings the two conflicting images of adult woman and doll into the same frame and suggests a kind of recuperative potential, for the adult woman to care for, reclaim, and protect their inner child.