Episode 91: ‘The Innocents’ with ‘The Babadook’ and ‘The Nightingale’ Director Jennifer Kent

Episode 91

1st August 2019

Jennifer Kent is probably best known for directing her 2014 film, The Babadook. The film screened at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2014 to critical and audience acclaim, and has won over 50 international and domestic awards, including the Australian Director’s Guild award for Best Director, the Australian Academy Award (AACTA) for Best Direction, Best Screenplay and Best Film, and the New York Critics Circle Awards for Best First Feature. This year now sees the release of her second feature, The Nightingale, a brutal colonial revenge tale about a woman who loses everything and joins up with an aboriginal tracker to find and inflict punishment on the men who wronged her.
The movie that Jennifer has chosen to discuss is the 1961 classic, The Innocents. Jennifer elaborates on the aspects of the film that she used as direct influence for her own films. She talks about taking the young actor Noah Wiseman to the zoo in order to prepare him for the truly horrifying scenes in The Babadook. Plus, she divulges how the misconceptions about her film The Nightingale have really hurt her personally. She tells a story about how one journalist at the Venice Film festival even called her a “whore” for directing the film. And finally, if you listen all the way through the episode, you get to hear Jennifer’s impeccable impression of a Tasamanian devil.

Episode notes

The Innocents

Jennifer Kent is probably best known for directing her 2014 film, The Babadook. The film screened at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2014 to critical and audience acclaim, and has won over 50 international and domestic awards, including the Australian Director’s Guild award for Best Director, the Australian Academy Award (AACTA) for Best Direction, Best Screenplay and Best Film, and the New York Critics Circle Awards for Best First Feature. This year now sees the release of her second feature, The Nightingale, a brutal colonial revenge tale about a woman who loses everything and joins up with an aboriginal tracker to find and inflict punishment on the men who wronged her.

The movie that Jennifer has chosen to discuss is the 1961 classic, The Innocents. Jennifer elaborates on the aspects of the film that she used as direct influence for her own films. She talks about taking the young actor Noah Wiseman to the zoo in order to prepare him for the truly horrifying scenes in The Babadook. Plus, she divulges how the misconceptions about her film The Nightingale have really hurt her personally. She tells a story about how one journalist at the Venice Film festival even called her a “whore” for directing the film. And finally, if you listen all the way through the episode, you get to hear Jennifer’s impeccable impression of a Tasamanian devil.

You can see The Nightingale in select theaters now.

And if you haven’t seen The Innocents yet, go watch it!

With April Wolfe and Jennifer Kent.

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Or email us at switchbladesisters@maximumfun.org.

Produced by Casey O’Brien and Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.

In this episode...

Guests

  • Jennifer Kent

About the show

Switchblade Sisters is a podcast providing deep cuts on genre flicks from a female perspective. Every week, film critic April Wolfe sits down with a phenomenal female film-maker to slice-and-dice a classic genre movie – horror, exploitation, sci-fi and many others! Along the way, they cover craft, the state of the industry, how films get made, and more. Mothers, lock up your sons, the Switchblade Sisters are coming!

Follow @SwitchbladePod on Twitter and join the Switchblade Sisters Facebook group. Email them at switchbladesisters@maximumfun.org.

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