While her characters banter wittily like Amy and Tina and or Abbi and Ilana, writer/director/actress Ingrid Jungermann also creates her own quiet power. The slow burn rebelliousness of her hero oozes humorously to the surface in silences, clipped asides, darting glances and restless limbs. This winning combination of boldness and discomfort is both identifiable and amusing, because it’s basically the way we all feel at parties. It’s like a cat on a leash.
Ingrid’s two comedic web series, The Slope and F to the 7th, follow a fictionalized version of herself as she navigates girlfriends, queer norms, pets, and strap-ons in Brooklyn. Featuring a spectacular array of guest stars, including Amy Sedaris, Janeane Garofalo and Gaby Hoffmann, F to the 7th is headed for more notoriety after landing a Showtime development deal this spring. Ingrid’s debut feature film Women Who Kill, which won awards at the Tribeca Film Festival and Outfest this summer, deftly mixes the flurry of a sexy new relationship with sharp humor and serial thrills. But beware: it may convince you that your girlfriend is up to no good.
Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival
AfterEllen.com: Your film is a rare blend of genres, both for mainstream film and for queer cinema in particular. It’s not a pure romance, and it’s not a coming-of-age film. There’s no “gaygnst” (gay angst).
Ingrid Jungermann: I recognize that I wouldn’t be able to make the kind of films that I want to make without the people before me that have broken ground as far as making coming-of-age films. Queer cinema before me is the only reason I’m able to do what I do.
That said, I do have a little bit of frustration with us continuing to make films that are like that, because I think we can push past that. And I just want to see good stories and great characters and complexity and nuance, and I think that’s what interests me, that’s what interests other people, and I definitely think about audiences when I write. I think about audiences with whatever I make; I think that’s my job. So that was the intent, to make a movie with a good story and nuanced characters. That became Women Who Kill.
AE: Were you conscious of pushing genre boundaries with the film? Was that a goal?
IJ: Yeah, I’m innately interested in genre. I think why I like to do comedy and genre is because in both types of films you can kind of tell secrets and get really personal in a way that doesn’t exclude the audience. I feel like you can bury it in the genre. And with comedy, it’s the most inclusive. You’re asking an audience to laugh along with you. There’s something about those two forms that attract me because I feel that you can talk about real things in a creative way. I really don’t have any interest in doing straight drama, because I think it’s not as complicated to me. And I like to complicate things. As a writer, I want to push myself.
AE: Women Who Kill has a fabulous cast. What was the orientation and dynamic of your cast?
IJ: Diversity means a lot to me, and I think it’s just kind of a queer cast. There’s some people who identify as heterosexual, bisexual or lesbian. For me, that is just kind of a queer ensemble.