Slamdance Film Festival, Buffalo International Film Festival, New Hope Film Festival

Director's statement

Director's statement

My best friend Ian Coster, who plays Arthur, passed away in 2016. It was his first and only performance. The late San Francisco drag icon Vicki Marlane plays The Performer, Irene's inspirational figure. For me, Ian and Ms. Marlane will always remain alive in an untouchable world.


I really can’t make a better argument than the programmer, Marie Jamora, who says 'Writer/Director/Editor/Lead Actress Marjorie Conrad developed the story from her own experience as a former model, and she shows us a world where mannequins are treated better than real women, verbal molestation is palpable, and the scariest predators of pretty girls are the other pretty girls.' Sounds to me like a film we’ve been waiting a long time for.

AMFM Magazine

We’re all self-destructing in some way, at some point. But movies like Chemical Cut, art like Chemical Cut, is capable of telling people, 'Hey, you’re not alone, and, even better, there’s a way through all this mess,' and I think that's really important.

Film Colossus

Director Marjorie Conrad draws from her personal experience as a model in Los Angeles to craft a dark and very funny fictionalized account of the many humiliations she endured. In one particularly great subplot, a rich new friend seems to be Irene’s salvation, only to gradually reveal herself to be a narcissistic monster. Chemical Cut is far from a “poor me” story though; Conrad shares her understanding of how the ego can be seduced into doggedly pursuing this kind of career—the trap of chasing acceptance in a world that constantly drags you down.

Hammer To Nail

It’s impossible to separate the biography of director/writer/star Marjorie Conrad from the world explored by Irene in Chemical Cut. After being thrust onto the world stage by Tyra Banks and America’s Next Top Model it’s evidence that the surreality of that experience shaped this Breillat-esque tale of a model who is scouted after over-bleaching her hair.

Screen Anarchy

Chemical Cut bares the tone of a Lars von Trier film, particularly regarding attitudes toward the protagonist. But visually, Conrad recalls David Lynch, frequently holding on extreme close-ups and cutting to unexpected perspectives and angles. Unlike many who attempt to harness the Lynchian look, She makes sure that each of these shots serves the story and elevates the viewing experience.

Hammer To Nail

The film manages to deftly explore questions of identity and creativity -— perhaps drawing from Conrad’s own experiences -— through opulent shots, outrageous characters and an exquisite backdrop of heightened reality." "A beautifully wrought film of the often fraught search for identity.

Slug Magazine

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