Donna and Daphne is a movie about two old ladies that live in a big scary house and eat babies. The film relies heavily on “The horror of the spinster.” This term is a personified dialectic for the fear patriarchal capitalism sells to women within its scope to maintain power structures based in inventions of femininity and family. It is a natural fear of death and instinct to procreate exploited and skewed within these inventions. It screams, “You are going to die alone, sexless, loveless, an old hag, with no children and no money!”
Classic Ira Levin texts such as Rosemary’s Baby and Stepford Wives are revisited narratively and exaggerated to the point of absurdity. Gothicization of the white bourgeois female experience is taken to sarcastic extremes. The subtext of the movie is reactionary, comparing aspects of current mainstream feminist movement to it’s late-60’s firstwave sister, that sets the stage for the texts in reference.
In this narrative, every pregnant woman is Rosemary and you don’t feel bad for any of them. The insincincere, anti-scopophilic gaze permits the audience to laugh. The Rosemary’s are caricatures of heteronormativity, revelling in, at first, then desperately clinging to their objects of capitalism and privilege. Donna and Daphne are the monstrous femenine feeding off unborn children, robbing women of their only access to the patriarchey; motherhood.
These are promotional shots for the movie. It was a really fun shoot because two of the models are also photographers. I had them switch off taking pictures and modeling and it really changed the dynamic. Another fun aspect to these images is that the model's and cast actors don't match up. Josie Chumley, cast as Daphne, is modeling Jeffrey's role in this. This is an intentional play on something that often happens with promo shots for movies.
These are 'movie stills' that I took. They could also be called character sketches. The purpose was to flesh out the characters into an environment and lighting scheme that suited them.