Queer joy, in all its beautiful, glorious power! Remy Enceladus on “Straight Girl”
Sunday 9 April 2023, by
“Straight Girl” is a short documentary which focuses on Remy Enceladus, their acceptance of their own identity and discovery of sexuality and gender presented in stage persona and music. This film delves deep into a multitude of emotive topics and it feels as though Remy is learning this along with us. There is a sense of humour throughout the film that surrounds the deeper content, and a sincerity and honesty about how it is to live with the fragility of someone who, on the face of things, seems to be so confident and self assured. The contrast between the performative aspects of the film and the interview sections is a striking juxtaposition of the antithesis between the internal struggle and external persona Straight Girl has created. The footage is almost like home videos and as a result makes the viewer feel closer to Remy. For a ten-minute film, it certainly manages to be very poignant.
What made you decide to make the documentary?
I actually didn’t! The director (Niall Morison Macrae) was given the brief of creating a documentary as part of his filmmaking masters, and the idea to make it about me was suggested. I love attention, so I obviously said yes straight away. But we’ve been good friends for about 7 years and have always talked about working together as creatives, so in a weird way being asked one day completely out of the blue to be the subject of a documentary on queer performance just made sense. ’Yeah alright, cool. thanks babes’. Almost like if he asked if I wanted milk in me tea.
Did you have any input on the design, creation of the film?
Not really so much the design, as it was part of Niall’s MA degree so it had to be his work. But I had a hand in some of the scenes we shot; the little clip of me playing Bop It we used as the teaser, or the shot in the basement of the venue I first played and headlined after the lockdown (Hyde Park Book Club). Parts of my life no-one else would know were super special to me, so it felt special sharing these parts of me with the world. When me and Niall were on the train back to Hartlepool together, I got the idea to shoot the scene of me in the bedroom of my dad’s house, the bedroom that I grew up in. His daughter who is about 15 years younger than me has that room now, so that’s why everything is pink and full of cuddly toys, i.e: immaculate taste.
Are you pleased with it/why?
Beyond pleased. It was actually super hard to watch myself at first, the same feeling you get when you hear your own voice in a film, except you’re listening to it for 10 solid minutes and also watching yourself saying it. The documentary taught me a hardcore lesson in self-confidence, as someone who has struggled with dysphoria and identity for years. I had no choice but to come to terms with the person on screen, and I think it would have been a much harder journey if not for the incredible work of Niall and his team, and his incredibly special gift of showing humanity and beauty in the places you don’t always clock. It made me love the person on the screen. I’m so proud to be them.
What do you hope others will take from the film?
Queer joy, in all its beautiful, glorious power.
Enjoy the film!
Best Documentary Winner, The HB Festival 2022
Café Flicker Presents: Women In Film, Glasgow Short Film Festival 2023
Starring Remy Enceladus & Lisa Godby
Produced, Directed, Shot & Edited by N.M. MacRae
Co-Produced by Tabita Knoblauch & Roz Menzies
Executive-Produced by Nick Higgins
Original Soundtrack by Blaine Thompson
Laura Lee is the Women’s Banner Group Founder, Co-founder of Socialist Think Tank and Unite Branch Secretary. Follow her @Laura_VC_Lee