LOW BUDGET, HIGH ART: AN INTERVIEW WITH INDIE FILMMAKER JEREMIAH KIPP
For almost two decades, NYC-based filmmaker Jeremiah Kipp has made a name for himself as a creator of bold and uncompromising experimental narratives. With a vision focused on character-driven story arcs that reflect the darker side of human nature, Kipp’s brand of everyman horror subtly transcends the fine line between genre and non-genre films.
(Original post includes short films “The Minions” and “Sound/Vision”.
WIPCO: One thing that strikes me about your recent works is that they’re all very psychological in nature. Would you say that is your genre of choice?
KIPP: I’m drawn to character-driven stories, and horror pushes us to our extreme feelings. Humans behave in complicated and messy ways when we’re in love or scared. So yeah, I’m probably motivated by psychological horror. But I’m also afraid of how the mind and body fall apart and what that does to us when we’re exposed.
WIPCO: The Minions, Berenice and Alone have a theatrical aesthetic both in dialogue and cinematography. In what ways has the theater inspired your work?
Many of my great heroes come from the theater. The experiments of Peter Brook, the body work of Jerzy Grotowski, the hazing poetry of Sam Shepard, the tension of Krystian Lupa, the madness of Artaud, the visuals of Ivo van Hove…It’s a profound experience to be in the theater and have that shared moment in time. I also love actors and how much they contribute to our storytelling.
WIPCO: As for literary influences, Edgar Allen Poe is an obvious inspiration; particularly in your adaptation of the short story, Berenice. What drew you to his work?
Poe is a doomed romantic who felt like the death of a beautiful woman was “the most poetical topic in the world”…brilliant, perverse, fascinated by the wondrous and macabre. My kind of guy!
WIPCO: How did you merge his writing (style) and your own interpretation as a filmmaker in Berenice and Alone?