Mad Women – Interview with Jeff Lipsky

Jeff Lipsky's latest film Mad Women continues to showcase his profound ability to make a realistic, honest and entertaining journey into the unusual dynamics of family life.  His witty dialogue is some of the best around as he captures the female voice like no other male filmmakers.  Overall it's a film that dives into this family's world, allows you a chance to really become connected and leaves you with a sense of life's ability to just keep on moving along. Witty, sharp, fluid and an honestly truthful look at a family battling through the turmoil of it's past.  Click through for my interview with filmmaker Jeff Lipsky.


Jeff and I started our chat by discussing the life quality that all 6 of films share.

Mad Women's story started with the mother character Harper, played brilliantly by Christina Starbuck.


Jeff explains who this dynamic character is to the structure of the script.

The story itself carries parallel leading characters as the film revolves around Harper's daughter, Nevada.  Kelsey Lynn Stokes plays the searching middle daughter with a real vibrancy that grows as she gains strength and courage throughout the film.  She battles and still mirrors her mother's choices in life and thus creating a very rich mother-daughter relationship that reaches a shocking climax. 


One character that I really enjoyed was Sharon Van Ivan's grandmother role, Julianne.  She is a fun inventive character that has one sharp eye and a bold nature to her. 


Jeff talked about creating this fun character and how Sharon herself was an old friend that Jeff promised long ago to use in a film.

With such a solid female cast Jeff knew he needed a great father character that goes through his own outlandish turmoil.  Jeff stuck with an actor he knew all to well, Reed Birney


Jeff has now worked with Reed on three films and shared with me why he loves working with this talented veteran actor.

I read in a previous interview with Jeff about how Reed is his second muse where as his first was legendary filmmaker John Cassavetes.  Most people don't get to meet the main influences in their career, but Jeff not only knew but worked with John. 

Jeff did also tell me who his current screenwriter hero is and it's a quality choice!

One element of Jeff's films that really stands out is his approach to sex and sexuality.  He explained to me his view on sex in film.

Jeff also explained another way that sex in his films illuminates important aspects of the characters.  He highlighted a visual motif moment from his last film, Molly's Theory of Relativity.

In our discussion about Molly's Theory of Relativity, which came to the USA Film Festival in Dallas, we got into a fun chat about film festivals.  Jeff is a fan of film festivals but does believe it holds a real negative impact on indie filmmaking with the amazing abundance of festivals these days.

He brought up a great example of a film who's festival run was hugely impactful but seen now overtime hasn't fully established the strong filmmaker behind such a successful movie.

This started a great conversation about the current state of Independent filmmaking.  I asked Jeff if the Indie film movement is better or worse then when he started out.

We truly are in a time where Indie filmmaking is either on the verge of a good or bad shift and film's like Mad Women are potentially important telling signs.  As a fan of the indie scene and the scene that doesn't want to be broadly labeled as Indie film I think their is a real rich mosaic of films and filmmakers, but their work needs to be seen by more people.  So expand your horizons and check out the latest film from Jeff Lipsky. 

For more information about Mad Women please go, here.

Also for a great excerpt of Jeff's upcoming memoir (scheduled for 2016 release) check out this awesome post from Filmmaker Magazine.

Enjoy watching new films this weekend and beyond.

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