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Among the many world premieres at Film4 Frightfest 2015 is Ruth Platt's film The Lesson, that she describes as "the love child of Fritz Lang and Harmony Korine, though there are Ben Wheatley influences as well". Ruth kindly took some time out to talk about her feelings running up to the screening and what it's like to put her work in front of the audience at the UK's leading genre festival.
Daniel Benson: What's The Lesson about and why should fans check it out at Frightfest?
Ruth Platt: I call the The Lesson the love child of Harmony Korine and Fritz Lang. It is a dark, morally challenging study of violence and anger, what I've tried to do is make the audience torn between victim and perpetrator, and those roles themselves shift throughout the film. It combines a coming of age, broken edges of rural life summer with this dark, charismatic anti hero main narrative. I've tried to create detailed, complex characters. Hopefully FrightFest fans will like a slightly different take on the horror genre, and its indie/art house feel. It is as micro budget as micro budget can be but hopefully its creative vision shines through. Hopefully!
DB: Can you remember what you were doing when you heard the film had been selected? How did you feel?
RP: I find the festival process a bit torturous, we are so small and off the radar, it is hard to get noticed, and what struck me when the FrightFest guys got in touch was the detail with which they responded to the film, and how they 'got' it straight away. There was a personal touch to communicating with them that we hadn't really experienced before, and it made me understand the passion and the commitment they have to running the festival. it made me really happy. If I recall correctly there may have been some jumping up and down and some crazy dancing!
DB: Will this be your first time at Frightfest?
RP: Yep. I've never made a horror film before, though I am a long term fan of the genre, especially films that play with and subvert the genre. It is really exciting to see more female film makers challenge the horror film genre, and of course Jennifer Kent's The Babadook proved how a female perspective into psychological horror can be so powerful. Looking forward to seeing the other films at FrightFest, especially those made by women.
DB: Are you looking forward to sharing your world premiere with one of the most passionate horror audiences?
RP: That's the most exciting, and nerve-wracking thing really. Really hoping they like the film, and enjoy the twist on the genre. Can't wait to be there and talk to people and see their reactions to the film, though as I wrote and directed it, feel the weight of creative responsibility!
DB: Apart from glowing adoration for The Lesson (hopefully!) what else are you looking forward to at Frightfest?
RP: Being a horror fan, especially of Asian horror and films that play with the psychological aspects horror, I am really looking forward to catching other films at the festival, especially those made by women or having prominent and genre subverting female characters in them, I am also looking forward to just experiencing the vibe of the festival, and the whole experience of a festival that has such a passionate horror fan base. Can't wait!
The Lesson will have its world premiere on Monday 31st August in Discovery Screen 1.
Learning can be murder in writer/director Ruth Platt’s astonishingly bravura art-house horror, the no-holds-barred love child of Ben Wheatley, Harmony Korine, Ken Loach and Fritz Lang. Fin and Joel are two teenage wasters running wild in an arid rural landscape. But their bad education is about to take a turn for the intellectual best as someone at the end of their tether has decided to teach both schoolboys a lesson they will never forget. A dark, claustrophobic and bloody coming of age love story with a shock final destination, this morally challenging chiller will shake your well-ordered world.
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