Film Four interview
by James Mottram
Katharine Isabelle in Ginger Snaps.
Pitched as Heavenly Creatures meets The Fly, Ginger Snaps is a monster-
How did you get a handle on the script, Katharine?
KI: It’s a really odd movie, because there’s nothing quite like it. You can explain it as a feminist coming-
How long did the make-
KI: It took five hours to put on, and two-
How do you compare it to the self-
KI: There’s a little more brain power put into Ginger Snaps. You have to think about it. It makes you feel for the characters; and you have sympathy, anxiety and apprehension or them. With Scream, you’re just like “Ugh!”. It’s paint-
What has been the reception of the film in Canada? What was the starting point for Ginger Snaps?
JF: All of my short films were horror based, so I knew I wanted to work in that genre. I began with the idea of a biological transformation. I wasn’t necessarily making a werewolf movie. I like the transformations in Kafka’s ‘Metamorphosis’ and Cronenberg’s The Fly. I then decided to put it within a genre, and I though about the werewolf. There are maybe five good werewolf movies in the world, including An American Werewolf In London, The Howling and The Company Of Wolves. As much as I enjoy special effects, the intention here was to make a movie that didn’t rely on them. The story needed to be able to exist even if you stripped the werewolf from it. It’s a coming-
You commissioned a writer to put your ideas down, right?
JF: I approached Karen Walton and pitched to concept. I’d read a few things she’d written, but as a person, I thought she had the right attitude. She was this beer-
You rather blow apart the auteur theory then.
JF: I never considered myself an auteur. It’s really a precious title. But being a young filmmaker, if you’re serious, you have no choice but to write your own stuff because it’s the only way to get things done. I think that I’m a good writer, but not a great writer. I think, as a director, one of my qualities is that I’m a good collaborator. It helps me be more objective with the material.