We discussed women in film, challenging gender stereotypes and making horror films with the inspirational and entrepreneurial Chloe Philippou, director of the unmissable horror short Crazy Golf (UK)!
A quick introduction to yourself as a filmmaker.
I’m Chloe, I’m 23 and am currently starting up my own wedding videography company called Rosewater Films (a world away from my horror short!). I was inspired by Andrea Arnold to make films, and also Lena Dunham and Lynne Ramsay. I love the TV show Louie because of its brilliant surrealism as well as being hilarious. Films such as The Evil Dead and Braindead were big sources of inspiration for Crazy Golf. There are so many more things too. I’m hoping to build on the success of Crazy Golf to find investors for my next project.
Working with a female crew. Is this something you can see happening more frequently in the filmmaking industry, from the independent scene to Hollywood?
I hope so. Working with my producer Sapphire Sherbird and my best friend Maud Whatley was a wonderful experience. I think feminism is gaining popularity right now, and with brilliant female led films like Spy and Trainwreck coming out recently, I hope that this spreads to crew as well as cast. Unfortunately a lot of girls/women don’t see filmmaking as an option and I think many can find it hard to commit to ‘this is how I want it to be’ when surrounded by a majority male crew… no one wants to be seen as a nuisance or even worse a diva.
It’s like that Nicki Minaj argument of ‘I’m not bossy, I am the boss’,
which is usually the stance someone has to take on a shoot because everyone’s trying to work their own department while having the best interests for the film as a whole. But yeah, I think think it’d be great if women were given more opportunities to learn technical film jobs like focus pulling.
So Lucy is a character who falls under the attractive ‘blonde bombshell’, ‘female victim’ archetype that we are used to seeing within the horror genre. In what ways does the film attempt to challenge this female representation in horror?
It attempts to challenge it by having her smash her annoying boyfriend’s head in with a golf club rather than seeing her running away from something scary, screaming with her boobs flopping around.
I like to think people assume that Reed, the male protagonist, is going to kill something, but it is lovely when it is in fact her who comes out on top. I’m especially proud of the shot of her gobbing on his pulverised face. Roxy Fitzgerald, who plays Lucy, was perfect.
Barbara Creed has written prolifically on the notion of the ‘monstrous feminine’ and the ‘possessed female’ within horror films. What are your thoughts on the representation of women as ‘monsters’ as opposed to also playing the ‘victim’?
I think variety in films is a good thing. Horror is a genre of extremes so these things have to be taken with a pinch of salt. I was actually having this conversation with someone yesterday because I love Lars Von Trier but apparently a lot of people consider his films anti-feminist. I don’t feel that way. Although not horror, Nymphomanic centres around a woman who can be both a victim and monstrous, but it’s also a 5 and a half hour long film about this one extremely complex woman with only her voice.
I think bit-part female roles, included only to play victim in a rape or murder, are the biggest problem.
Whoa! Thanks so much Chloe!
Crazy Golf (UK) will be screened at No Gloss Film Festival 2015.