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Knives and Skin

Jennifer Reeder
USA 2019 / 111’
How to Use the Pyramid Lapü

A normal school in a normal American town: the cheerleaders date the football players, the band is rehearsing for a gig, and the goth girls keep to themselves. At the same time, the parents of these teenagers are experiencing ups and downs and midlife crises. The disappearance of one of the students from this sleepy town knocks the life out of everyone. Jennifer Reeder combines a crime story with elements of magical realism, a punk musical and a feminist film noir. The figure of the lost teen from a small town—familiar to us from countless films and TV shows—takes on a new dimension. I am a feminist, says Reeder, and I always had a problem with missing girls whose bodies were a pretext for plot development, for the silent and the nameless to disappear from the horizon. My dead girl is not passive and doesn’t allow herself to be forgotten. She’s a witch and a ghost. Reeder is an anthropologist of first-world magic. She vigilantly hunts down traces of magical thinking, signs, amulets and protective names awaiting interpretation. Even clothes act as armor against evil powers, while everyday activities take on ritual meaning and words and gestures the form of spells.

Ewa Szabłowska

Jennifer Reeder

Jennifer Reeder is an experimental filmmaker and visual artist. She completed her studies at the Art Institute of Chicago and she lectures as part of the Moving Image program in the Department of Art History at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her films have been shown at international film festivals and at exhibitions such as the Biennale at the Whitney Museum of American Art (2000), the 48th Venice Biennale, Generation Z at P.S.1 in New York. She has won numerous awards for her art.

Selected filmography

1995 White Trash Girl

2006 The Heart and Other Small Shapes (short) 

2008 Accidents at Home and How They Happen (short) 

2015 Blood Below the Skin (short) 

2016 Crystal Lake (short) 

2017 Shuvit (short) 

2018 All Small Bodies (short) 

Cast & Crew

director Jennifer Reeder
screenplay Jennifer Reeder
cinematography Christopher Rejano
editing Mike Olenick
music Nick Zinner
cast Marika Engelhardt, Kate Arrington, Tim Hopper
producer Brian Hieggelke, Jan Hieggelke
production Newcity's Chicago Film Project, Full Spectrum Features
sales WTFilms
language English
colouration colour