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When I spoke to Kimberly Peirce on October 10, 2013 about her re-imagining of Stephen King’s CARRIE, it was the day after another film near and dear to her heart, MATTHEW SHEPARD IS A FRIEND OF MINE, had screened in Los Angeles. Unable to attend the screening due to her CARRIE junket, Peirce had recorded an introduction to the documentary about the young gay man who had been brutally murdered in Laramie, WY fifteen years before. Before I came to the end of our conversation, I asked her about that, but first there was the matter of CARRIE, a subject on which the director of BOYS DON’T CRY and STOP/LOSS was eloquent, passionate, and keenly insightful.
Peirce went back to the novel and came away with fresh take on the girl whose entrance into womanhood offers her a supernatural way to deal with both the bullies who torment her at school, and the fanatically religious mother who torments her at home. The discussion included the way Carrie’s mother, played by the brilliant Juilanne Moore, torments out of a pure, if misguided, love, as well as the power of blood, the temptation of special effects, and why this story of a high school misfit who dreams of a normal life still resonates so strongly after 40 years.
Chloe-Grace Moretz stars as the eponymous outcast whose entrance into womanhood with the onset of her menses also brings with it the power of telekinesis that at first confuses, and then delights her, even as it serves to set her even further apart from her bullying classmates, a situation that will end with violence begetting more violence at that most magical of high school nights, the prom. More than just a chance to show off violence and special effect, CARRIE is a profound consideration of female rage, female power, and the complicated mother-daughter relationship. It co-stars Julianne Moore, Judy Greer, Gabriella Wilde, Portia Doubleday, Ansel Elgort, Alex Russell, and Barry Shabaka Heneley as the school principal with issues about periods.
Click on the link to listen to the interview (12:10) CARRIE — Kimberly Peirce Interview.