There are many fascinating people in the world, and you would only know about them because of documentary short films. Case in point is Sophia Feuer’s profile of Susan Dietrich in her short film, Space Lady. Dietrich is probably best known as a busker of electronic pop music in the 1980s. Armed with a department store electronic keyboard, makeshift sound system, and light-up space helmet, the singer is a sight to behold. Writer/director Feuer gives us a glimpse at the very independent and confident singer making a living, entertaining tourists on the streets of San Francisco.
Now living on the eerie plains of rural Colorado, Dietrich is making somewhat of a comeback to her music. She tells her story about being born in Roswell, New Mexico, not long after the “infamous” crash. The singer then describes a subsequent otherworldly visitation she received, setting her extraordinary life into motion. Dietrich is also candid about the trauma she experienced being pregnant at a young age.
“…a busker of electronic pop music in the 1980s.”
Feuer’s subtle sci-fi, alien investigation approach to the musician’s story elevates Space Lady above your typical talking-head documentary. She shoots Dietrich and other visuals extremely close up with soft, blurry edges. No shot is traditional or ordinary, which perfectly reflects Dietrich’s personality. She is a woman of contrasts, and the filmmaker beautifully captures her shy but confident personality and thoughtful, well-worn soul.
If you’re tired of documentaries about celebrities and the elite patting themselves on the back, Space Lady is the perfect palette cleanser. I’m always fascinated by the stories of real people and what makes them, us, tick.
"…beautifully captures her shy but confident personality and thoughtful, well-worn soul."