Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Maude Michaud

"The first thing that comes to mind is Freud’s notion of the two basic conflicting human desires: eros (the life/sex drive) and thanatos (the death drive). Also, there’s a very fine line between sex and violence; sex itself can be very violent… There is also this whole idea of struggle for power over another person, both in sex and in violence, which is something horror films represent very well.

In French there is this expression “la petite mort” (the little death) that is a metaphor for orgasm; I think that is an interesting juxtaposition of the two ideas. This might be why it is so easy to intertwine them in horror films." ~ Maude Michaud

In many of our pieces you will hear that we met this wonderful woman at the Viscera Film Festival. But that just happens to be an undeniable truth. This particular woman is one that we were speaking with prior and just over joyed to learn would also be attending the festival. More accurately, we met at the sensational Heidi Martinuzzi's MISTRESSES OF HORROR GATHERING. She is a fellow Canadian whose supreme talent and provocative work fills me with Patriotic pride.

"My love for the horror genre began when I was a kid. I don’t know why, but I was always attracted to dark and creepy stories. Contrary to most kids my age, I was not scared by the content, I wanted more!" ~ Maude Michaud

She lists her personal likes as: 16 mm, acting, alfred hitchcock, alternative lifestyle, art, b-movies, bdsm, camera, cinema, corset, david lynch, directing, editing, fetish, film, film festivals, filmmaking, high heel shoes, horror films, kitsch, lipstick, media studies, movies, music, photography, producing, quentin tarantino, reading, retro, scriptwriting, sexploitation films, sinema, tim burton, underground films, weird films, and writing.

Allow me to introduce a woman who many of you know and respect, but many of you may be hearing of for the first time. Take my advice, buys and grrls, you'll want to make yourselves very familiar with the name...

I present to you, film maker, French Canadian, and an artist in every definition of the word...


Maude started writing and directing short films at the age of only 16.

Her shorts, Recessed and Complex(e)/Modèl(e) were showcased part of the Short Film Corner at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival and the 2008 edition of the Wreck-Beach Film Festival.

Other of Maude's works that have screened in festivals include: Perceive (2004 YoungCuts Film Festival), Spirits (2002 International Teen Movie Festival), Finding Hope (2001 International Teen Movie Festival) and Mirage (selected for the 2004 edition of the Jeunes Cinéastes contest, winning the prize for Best Original Music).

Amazingly she has worked on over 15 short films and video projects, including 12 as a director, and was hired as a director of photography on the independent feature film, C.F.A.L.Chance for Another Life, directed by Marc-Antoine Desjardins.

Here she is at the 2010 Viscera Film Festival with two of my favorite Women In Horror, Brenda and Elisabeth Fies. And, yes, that is a DEAD HOOKER IN A TRUNK behind them along with a poster for the Fies' brilliant BLEEDFEST.

And again with Elisabeth and yours trulys.

"I do like to keep the dialogue to a minimum in my projects. One of my film teachers used to say: “Remember the basic rule of film making: show, don’t tell. Cinema is a visual medium.” It influenced my way of thinking about films, so whenever I think of a story, I focus on how the story unfolds visually first, then worry about what needs to be said (or not) after." ~ Maude Michaud
This is her short film, RECESSED.

"The inspiration behind Recessed is a tad more complex. At the time, I was really into Japanese ghost films, especially how they use everyday moments and domestic spaces as a menace for the characters, so that inspired some of the creepy parts of the film. I also really like the idea of telling the story from the madman’s perspective and exploring the human psyche, which is what Recessed essentially is. I just love to leave things open-ended and let the audience decide how they want to interpret what it all means. Don’t get me wrong, I do have an explanation for what happens in Recessed, but I much prefer to know what people make of it as I’ve heard so many different interesting theories!" ~ Maude Michaud
Here is the trailer for her next film, RED.

Even though Maude is a huge horror fan, she beautifully explores a variety of genres in the films she directs, which results in an eclectic body of work including: horror dramas, slightly surreal quirky tales, and explorations of unconventional relationships. Appropriately, she has named her production company QUIRK PRODUCTIONS. She also works as a photographer.

Above is a photo taken behind the scenes of her short film, HOLLYWOOD SKIN. It was a stunning, stand out piece that played at the 2010 Viscera Film Festival. I'm so sorry that I couldn't find this shocking cinematic slice of brilliance online to share it with you. But don't pout just yet...

You can however donate to the Viscera Film Festival (a festival that doesn't even charge a submission fee which is a huge kindness to independent film makers) and purchase a DVD of all the 2010 Viscera Film Festival Selections here. You can also see Maude's official site HERE and purchase her complete works HERE.

Maude is an outstanding writer and keeps a wonderful online blog that is all kinds of amazing. You should treat yourself and check it out HERE.

And in closing, allow me to express my most sincere thanks to Maude for being such an incredible inspiration in my most terrible attempt at french...

Merci pour votre bel et unique voix dans l'horreur. Vous êtes absolument juste quand vous dites, « je me sens que les choses changent ». Vous êtes le type de changement je suis heureux de voir.

Merci pour non seulement l'être une grande inspiration à moi, mais nombreux d'autres.

Sanglant Mieux!


  1. Maude is wonderful!!!! Thanks so much for profiling her. We met two years ago at Shriekfest where she interviewed me and my dear friend Barbara Stepansky for Maude's horror documentary BLOODY BREASTS.

    Maude actually wrote and developed HOLLYWOOD SKIN in 2009 for my sister Brenda Fies's and my anthology I HATE LA. It's a Paris Je T'aime-style feature of 11 horror shorts by 8 female filmmakers. The stories interlock and all but one were developed for I HATE LA.

    I was a Viscera judge last year so I HATE LA producer Brenda Fies and I decided all the filmmakers should have non-exclusive rights to play as individual shorts at Viscera and many other film festivals to help promote the anthology feature. :) Somewhere along the way that info seems to have been lost, which is a shame because our intention has always been to be part of inclusive partnerships and get our participant's work screened as much as possible in as many venues as possible. Because more eyeballs can only help the artists!

    We're very excited that I HATE LA is a part of my work at the Bijou Channel as the VP of Programming, and has first crack at VOD, streaming, cable screenings on Bijou as well as being a huge contender for a small theatrical release in the US (more on that soon, but please keep the support coming! We so appreciate everyone's enthusiasm about I HATE LA).

    Jennifer Cooper's JENNIFER'S BODIES this weekend in Scotland is the largest screening collection of our I HATE LA shorts, and will be playing Brenda Fies's Distraught, Drugged,and Faux, my Scream Queen, Consumed, Hard To Do and Psychosexual, Barbara Stepansky's Road Rage, Heidi Hornbacher's Beachwood Canyon, and Marichelle Daywalt's Mockingbird (which was not made for I HATE LA...and we're thrilled to also include her new THE MANY DOORS OF ALBERT WHALE).

    I HATE LA will be world premiering at BleedFest April 3rd alongside a retrospective of Maude's work, her world premieres of RED, BLOODY BREASTS, ELIZABETH (the short Maude and four of us shot following our first BleedFest last July 18th!), and Maude is personally appearing to accept the Inanna Award! It's going to be an amazing Maude and Fies Friends Fest <3

    And this summer we will premier I HATE LA TOO...which will also feature work by some stellar menfolk <3

    Thanks for all you've done all month to highlight fantastic women, and for being so gracious to include myself, Brenda and BleedFest in your posts.

    I know how long it takes to research everyone and write so two have done a real service for the WiHM community, and your profiles will live on as documented proof we were here, feared, and filmed!


  2. This is an awesome portrait of Maude and her work. I have had the great pleasure of working on a few of her shorts and consider myself one of her biggest fans.

    She is a truely amazing artist and individual, with a brilliant, and twisted, vision.

    Hopefully the world is only just beginning to hear of Maude Michaud!

    I know she often speaks very highly of the Viscera festival and the great people behind it, as well as your work, and hopefully I will have a chance to see it for myself soon :)