Alex Ross Perry, director of Queen of Earth, interview by Juan Barquin
FFCC member Juan Barquin spoke to filmmaker Alex Ross Perry about his latest film, Queen of Earth. His interview covers Perry’s influences, his process when working with his collaborators, and upcoming projects, among other things.
With three features under his belt—Impolex, The Color Wheel, and Listen Up Philip—Alex Ross Perry returns this year to present us with his latest work of art: the often unnerving and always fascinating Queen of Earth. The film, starring Elisabeth Moss and Katherine Waterston, is an exploration into two women at a lake house retreat who begin to turn on each other. It just recently began a limited US theatrical run and is also available on VOD. With its upcoming stint at the Tower Theater Miami, I was given the chance to chat on the phone with the filmmaker about his latest project, how his influences came into play while making it, and a little about what’s coming up in his future.
Juan Barquin: So, much like the main character, Catherine, I just went through a break-up myself and the way I saw the film might be directly linked to that—because that intro especially hit close to home—but what made you want to make a film about social anxiety, among other things, by way of psychological horror?
Alex Ross Perry: Sounds like you got it spot on. It’s a very simple kind of story and we could have done it any number of ways. We could take the same script and same dialogue and turn it into just a fairly intense stage production if you wanted to, but what we set out to do with the whole idea was just heighten everything. Let’s make the production design very austere, and strange, and unwelcoming. Let’s make sure that the cinematography complements that and produces this sense of creeping dread and voyeurism. Let’s make sure that the music really kicks that up a notch and let’s make sure the editing is jarring enough that it creates the kind of feeling where nothing is as it should be. Let’s make sure that this story is pushed as far in that direction as we can.