‘The Turning’ Director Floria Sigismondi on What Inspired Her to Become a Filmmaker

     January 20, 2020

If you’ve seen a music video during the mid-90s, chances are you’re familiar with Floria Sigismondi. The filmmaker cut her teeth directing the biggest music stars of the time – most notably Marilyn Manson’s “The Beautiful People.” Sigismondi’s jittery camera-work and brooding, gothic images were pretty much the de-facto look of the 90s alt-rock scene. Recently, the filmmaker’s begun to branch out into directing features – first the underrated bio-flick The Runaways and now The Turning, an adaption of Henry James‘ ghostly novella.

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Image via Universal Pictures

In The Turning, a new governess (Mackenzie Davis) is tasked with taking care of two orphaned children (Finn Wolfhard & Brooklynn Prince) at their palatial estate. However, things take a turn for the sinister when the governess discovers her predecessor disappeared under mysterious circumstances, and she begins to be haunted by less-than-welcoming apparitions. The film is the perfect vehicle for Sigismondi’s visual aesthetic, allowing her to go full gothic horror – in particular, there’s a close-up of an eye that reveals far more and the most haunting credit sequence in quite some time.

In the following interview with Sigismondi, she discusses what drew her to becoming a filmmaker, transitioning to features, and how the script for The Turning changed when she came aboard. For the full interview, watch above.

Floria Sigismondi:

  • What scares Sigismondi the most?
  • Did Sigismondi always know she wanted to be a filmmaker?
  • What was it about The Turning that made her want to direct the feature?
  • How much did the script change when she came aboard?
  • Did she always want The Turning to be fairly ambiguous?

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