As she dons her pearl shoes and puts on her crystal-embellished sunglasses, Penn’s arrogant tone instructs Jean. on the house. He finds a right place for the flowers. He eats outdoors (the smell of food persists). What – we are told – is a question and what is a statement? Jean refreshes the expensive pillows, plays the cello wistfully, and welcomes potential buyers of this extraordinary modernist villa, while a splendid macaw parrot perches in its cage and a clumsy turtle loitering in the back garden.
Directed by Janicza Bravo, HOUSE COMES WITH A BIRD is the twenty-third film commissioned by Miu Miu for Women’s Tales, the acclaimed short film series that invites today’s most original and profound female directors to explore vanity and femininity of the 21st century.
Janicza Bravo (1981) is an American film director, producer and screenwriter. Her films include Gregory Go Boom, winner of the Sundance Film Festival’s Jury Award for Short Films; Lemon, co-written with Brett Gelman; And Zola, of which she is co-authored with playwright Jeremy O. Harris, based on an infamous 148-tweet viral thread, nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and multiple nominees for the 2022 Independent Spirit Awards, where she has received seven nominations including Best Picture.
Starring House Comes with a Bird are singer and cellist Kelsey Lu as Jean; the Russian Doll star Natasha Lyonne as Penn; The Mandalorian protagonist Pedro Pascal, who plays Nico; the actress of The World that Katherine Waterston will come as Ruth; and the Never Have I Ever …. actress Poorna Jagannathan as Langley.
“I really enjoy making short films,” says Bravo. “I find they are an excellent opportunity to explore and experiment. For me, working on a short film is like going back to theater school ”. The director explains that, in many films, “sometimes the storytelling ends up cannibalizing the costumes … [There is] no room for the soul “. Bravo’s approach in her contribution to Women’s Tales by Miu Miu was based on the search for “a combination of text and splendid clothes. I wanted the result to be completely spontaneous and natural “.
House Comes with a Bird exudes an airy, languid atmosphere, typical of a sunny late afternoon in California. The House – luxurious, mid century style, open plan – hosts a series of close social gatherings, each featuring different dynamics of power in terms of race, gender and social class. Although apparently it is the ara that is literally caged, Janicza Bravo’s short suggests that each of us may not be as free as we think.