About Us! (Films by Laura Lewis-Barr)
“We are not here to fit in, be well balanced, or provide exempla for others. We are here to be eccentric, different, perhaps strange, perhaps merely to add our small piece, our little clunky, chunky selves, to the great mosaic of being. As the gods intended, we are here to become more and more ourselves.”
― James Hollis, What Matters Most Living a More Considered Life
I’m Laura Lewis-Barr. I’ve been exploring storytelling since childhood. I’m an award-winning writer and filmmaker and I teach storytelling to business leaders and job seekers.
I’ve worked as a playwright, freelance director, and theatre professor for over 15 years. After my play, Cloistered Honey, was made into an indie film, I began making independent, micro- budget short films.
Wonderful Chicago actors help tell these stories. Family and friends lend a hand.
Stop motion + fairytales +passion
“After I bought a camera I took a series of filmmaking bootcamp classes with Chicago Filmmakers. Then I gathered some 11 inch dolls. My husband, Rick, made me a little stage in our basement. I began teaching myself stop motion filmmaking. The dolls were a perfect cast – patient with me as I learned the camera.
I’ve fallen in love with this artform and alternate between creating shorts of updated fairy tales and original scripts exploring characters and culture.”
Unique films made with heart.
My filmmaking style has been influenced by my very meager budget. I work alone and handle all the costuming, set design, filming, and editing. To save money I create humble set pieces and often provide head transplants to bring new doll faces into my films. My audiences appreciate my scrappy visual aesthetic. Great for teachers too. Since my films aren’t perfect, students may be influenced to make films of their own!
What do we do?
We know from research (and life) that comedy is healing. Fairy tales and myths were also vehicles for healing in traditional societies. Our films are meant to add to healing and joy in the world. Many of our stories are based on old tales. All are inspired by the Hero’s Journey as outlined by Joseph Campbell. These films are offered as companions as we travel our own unique hero’s journey.
I studied Asian theatre forms in grad school. These amazing, powerful styles inspire me! (Noh mask 18 c.)
Some of you have noted the influence — seen in the stillness of postures and mask-like faces of the dolls.
Why do we do it?
Before earning my M.A in theatre, I was a graduate student in clinical depth psychology. I’ve continued to study the work of Jungians (Edward Edinger, James Hillman, Helen Luke and many others).
Art from a book on alchemy. How are we cooked in the crucible of OUR lives?
Reading the wisdom of depth psychology and applying it to my daily life (journaling, working with my dreams, studying myths and fairy tales) has been transformative for me. I make these films in homage for all that I’ve learned. In a small way we hope to add to the great alchemical work in the world that Carl Jung and others describe.
How can you use these films?
These films can be enjoyed in many ways. They are designed to be chewed over (like dreams), offering the many layers of meaning inherent in myths and fairy tales.
Using the films in a group is great fun! A group can also help each other find the many lessons embedded in these tales.
Fairy tale characters & their constellations are divested of all personal trappings, thus in them unconscious processes can be seen in their typical forms. We can learn a great deal from fairy tales since they describe essential human archetypal phenomena. Carl Jung went so far as to define fairy tales as the anatomy of the psyche.
– Psychotherapist Mario Jacoby
Join the fun! Subscribe below to get periodic emails about upcoming screening events and when new films drop!