DP SEAN PRICE WILLIAMS CITES DE PALMA AS HE DESCRIBES SPLIT DIOPTERS USED FOR PAINTING SCENES
This past February, after Queen Of Earth screened at the Berlin Film Festival, we noted some links between Alex Ross Perry and Brian De Palma. As Queen Of Earth makes its way through U.S. theaters (and also currently available on demand), here are some links from the past week:
Moviemaker - Sean Price Williams on the tools used for Queen Of Earth
"We shot on an Aaton Super 16mm. I shoot on Aaton all the time if I can, because it’s a comfortable camera. We used some Zeiss 16mm lenses, different speeds. Then we had the Fujinon zoom lens that we relied on while we were outside, which is a fun lens. We also used those split diopters—Brian De Palma is known for using those split diopters in his films. They can look cheesy, but I love Brian De Palma, especially at his cheesiest. I thought it would make sense to use them for the painting scenes."
Stephanie Zacharek, The Village Voice
"There's a lot going on in this modestly scaled movie: It's a meditation on the rickety foundations on which even close friendships can be built, and on the notion of whether or not nature — even with all its soothing sounds and comforting greenery — is really our ally. It's also a teasing admonition that we shouldn't believe everything we see, as well as a stylish, whispery love letter to psychological horror studies like Repulsion, Persona, and possibly Brian De Palma's Sisters."
Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, A.V. Club
"In Queen of Earth, writer-director Alex Ross Perry—who does snippy black comedy better than just about anyone else on the current American indie landscape—dials down the humor that has defined his work to this point, and turns up the queasy psychological currents that have always gurgled underneath it. Walking a fine line between pastiche (think early Roman Polanski and Persona-era Ingmar Bergman crossed with the opening scenes of a backwoods grindhouse flick) and bona fide psychodrama, Queen Of Earth works much of the same subject matter—egoism, self-destruction, mutual loathing—as Perry’s earlier films; in fact, it’s not hard to think of it as a companion piece to last year’s superb Listen Up Philip, and not just because the two movies appear to share a fictional universe.
"And yet, there is an innate, affecting strangeness to Queen Of Earth, which is pitched somewhere halfway between actor’s showcase and creepy formal exercise, continually foreshadowing a burst of psychotic violence that never comes...
"Like all of Perry’s prior features, Queen Of Earth was shot on 16mm, though here he and his longtime cinematographer, Sean Price Williams, go for a slightly different, trickier formal palette. Both the director’s little-seen debut, Impolex, and his breakthrough feature, The Color Wheel, climaxed with talky, nearly-10-minute long takes that stuck the audience straight into the characters’ emotional trauma; here, he pulls one together early on, structured as a series of eerily intimate close-ups in which the slowly panning camera draws the viewer into Catherine and Ginny’s characters while establishing the connection (or lack thereof) between them. Brian De Palma-style split diopter shots—in which both foreground and background are in focus, separated by a fuzzy middle—recur, making for an effective visual metaphor for the central relationship."
Matthew Jacobs, Huffington Post
"Told in the vein of the classic genre that Perry describes as 'psychotic-women cinema' -- think Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? and Brian De Palma's Sisters with a touch of Rosemary's Baby and Woody Allen's Interiors -- Queen of Earth is an eerie look at the claustrophobia that sets in when childhood fixtures become relics."
Also note that for its cover story on Mistress America, the July/August 2015 issue of Film Comment includes an interview with Noah Baumbach conducted by Alex Ross Perry.