About Filmmaker to Filmmaker: Karyn Kusama and Alexandre O. Philippe

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Filmmaker to Filmmaker

This ongoing program pairs two complementary film directors on stage together, discussing their artistic vision, process, and bodies of work, surrounded by screenings of their films. The program is endowed through a generous gift from Roberta and Jim Sherman, with an Indiana University Bicentennial Campaign Match.

Join filmmakers Karyn Kusama (Girlfight, Jennifer’s Body, Destroyer) and Alexandre O. Philippe (78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene, Memory: The Origins of Alien, Leap of Faith) for a virtual conversation about Elem Klimov’s haunting 1985 film, Come and See. In 2012, contributing directors ranked the film 30th in Sight and Sound’s poll off the greatest films of all time. The film is perhaps the most visceral, impossible-to-forget antiwar film ever made.

Karyn Kusama

Karyn Kusama is a filmmaker whose body of work gracefully flows across many genres. After graduating from NYU’s film program and before directing her brilliant debut feature film Girlfight in 2000, she worked in production for indie film icons John Sayles and Maggie Renzi, as well as did some editing on documentaries. Girlfight debuted at the Sundance film festival where she won Director's Prize and the Grand Jury Prize and later won the award at the Cannes Film Festival for best new director. Her next two films, Æon Flux and Jennifer's Body, take her into the genres of science fiction and horror-comedy, but keep her centered on strong women, even unapologetically feminist characters, something seen throughout almost all of her work. Her latest film, Destroyer (2018) starring Nicole Kidman, is no exception. In addition to writing, directing, and producing films, Kusama has directed television throughout much of her career, including episodes of Chicago Fire, Masters of Sex, and Billions.

Alexandre O. Philippe

Swiss American filmmaker Alexandre O. Philippe has written and directed numerous award-winning films, many of which take on the role of unpacking the most influential works of master filmmakers. His film, 78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene, is a documentary about Alfred Hitchcock’s iconic shower scene from his most shocking film, Psycho. The film explores the intangible cinematic space between the shots and delves into Hitchcock’s genius in unprecedented fashion, sealing Philippe’s reputation as a filmmaker who understands filmmakers. His follow-up films include Memory: The Origins of Alien (2019), an origin story about Ridley Scott’s Alien, and Leap of Faith (2019), a deep dive into William Friedkin’s process and techniques in his landmark blockbuster The Exorcist. Philippe holds a master’s degree in dramatic writing from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and is creative director at Exhibit A Pictures. Other past works include Doc of the Dead, The People vs. George Lucas, and an ongoing series of short films for The Criterion Collection titled Double Exposure. He previously visited IU Cinema in 2018.

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