Genre Films

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Karyn Kusama on directing genre films and her new film 'Destroyer'

Karyn Kusama

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Photo: Jesse Thorn

Karyn Kusama on directing genre films and her new film 'Destroyer'

Karyn Kusama is a director. Her debut was the critically acclaimed drama "Girlfight," a movie about a female boxer that Kusama based on her own time in the ring. Since then, she's established herself as autere of genre films: in 2005 she directed the science fiction film "Aeon Flux," and has worked on horror movies like "Jennifer's Body" and "The Invitation."

She just directed the new film "Destroyer." It's a dark and complex crime drama, told in mostly flashbacks. It stars Nicole Kidman, who plays Erin Bell, an LAPD detective. As a young cop, Bell was placed undercover with a gang in the California desert. Things didn't end well, and the case she was on was never put to rest. When the leader of that gang re-emerges over a decade later, Bell goes rogue reopens the case on her own terms. Kidman's character is haunted by her memory of the past. And it's put a strain on her relationship with her daughter, Shelby.

Karyn discusses why it's important to portray complex female characters in film and media. She'll tell us about the look book she drew inspiration from when she directed 2009's "Jennifer's Body," and why she thinks the film struggled to find an audience when it was first released. Plus, how she finds pleasure in horror movies. And , sure, a lot of people find pleasure in horror films, but Karyn's response will truly surprise you.

If you'd like to hear even more from Karyn Kusama, she did a great interview on the Max Fun podcast Switchblade Sisters with the film critic April Wolfe. You can listen to that interview here.

Listen to this Bullseye interview on YouTube!

Switchblade Sisters: Coming November 9th

April Wolfe
Emily Gordon

Our debut episode drops this Thursday!

Make sure to subscribe where ever you listen to podcasts.

On the upcoming premiere episode, April Wolfe (lead film critic at LA Weekly) sits down with the writer and producer of The Big Sick, Emily Gordon. The genre film Emily chooses to discuss is the 2015, horror-western, Bone Tomahawk. Emily highlights the things she loves about the film; the crazy violence, the heartbreaking monologues, the beautiful cinematography. Plus, she also discusses what challenges and joys she encountered in the making of The Big Sick.

That's just a taste of what's to come. Some other upcoming guests include Karyn Kusama (Jennifer's Body, The Invitation) Heather Matarazzo (Welcome to the Dollhouse, The Princess Diaries) and Issa Lopez (Tigers Are Not Afraid).

The first episode of Switchblade Sisters arrives this Thursday, November 9th.

You can check us out on @SwitchbladePod on Twitter. Or email us at
Produced by Casey O'Brien and Laura Swisher for

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