I feel like I don't see myself as all that different from other humans as a woman, but I'm surprised by how frequently I'm asked to see myself differently. So that's one kind of terror to have to face. Am I a unicorn? What's sticking out of my head that I'm not seeing? I'm simply female, and that puts me alongside all of my human counterparts.

— Karyn Kusama

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We have to accept that making movies is a never-ending process of occasional progress, frequent setbacks, and unexpected curveballs being thrown our way. Navigating that process requires stamina, curiosity, openness, and creative fire.


I don't want to make studio films if I am constantly fighting to assert some kind of leadership within the process. I'm not hired to be a really nice person who comes up with solutions to problems now and then. I'm hired to be the director.


There's no glory in climbing a mountain if all you want to do is to get to the top. It's experiencing the climb itself - in all its moments of revelation, heartbreak, and fatigue - that has to be the goal.


Pain in all its forms is also a message, a kind of distress signal to our hearts and minds. There are times when it's really important to tune into that message and just listen to it.


I want people to leave the theater wrestling with the idea that our pain - physical, emotional, and spiritual pain - is more than just a condition that needs to be silenced, numbed, or "fixed."


That complacency and that willingness to give yourself over to a larger power structure is how civilizations destroy themselves. And I just hope people wake up from the slumber they've willed themselves to. Because we're really in a dark place right now.


I am honored and lucky to be one of the first films funded by Gamechanger Films, a consortium of investors who finance movies directed by women.


What I'm starting to really grapple with, as someone who likes to tell stories, is that humans more than any other animal species seem open and willing to control, assert dominance, and behave cruelly. That's a whole kind of new nightmare to really have to face about your own species. That we are, in some respects, cannibalistic, in that we are willing to destroy ourselves. That's really something for me to be exploring over the long haul.


To me, the thing that sets us apart from so many other animal species is our ability to ask questions, investigate, gather information, come to our own conclusions, and sometimes depart from the pack, sometimes move away from the tribe. And I'm not seeing a lot of that right now among a sizable portion of American politics and American voters. I'm not seeing that kind of use of critical thinking, and it really, really freaks me out.


There's just so much lazy violence directed at women.

But beyond that, lazy violence directed at humans generally. Just lazy violence.

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