“Larry Fessenden, producer of the new documentary American Jesus, explains why Glass Eye Pix became involved in Aram Garriga’s exploration of the sometimes bizarre relationship between faith, materialism, politics and personal passions that is American Christianity.
I run a small production outfit in New York City called Glass Eye Pix. We are known for making independent horror-themed films with a psychological bent. Through the company I have produced such films as The House of the Devil, The Innkeepers, Stake Land and I Sell the Dead. My own films include Habit, Wendigo and The Last Winter. Why would a company known for making independent horror films get involved with a documentary called American Jesus?
The answer is that I am primarily concerned with the construction of meaning in our daily lives, in the human tendency to see the world through narrative. My horror films have been about how we invent monsters and demons to deal with reality. In some way the subtext of my films is that the monsters we invent are a comfort and help us frame and define our existence.
In Habit, the protagonist believes his girlfriend is a vampire causing him to weaken physically, when we the viewer can plainly see he is a drunk debilitating himself. In Wendigo a 10-year-old invents a mythical being to protect himself from the horror that his father has been shot by a disgruntled hunter in the woods. I have always felt that my films are fundamentally about our craving for religious and mythic narratives in a senseless and arbitrary world.
And so it was not a stretch when the filmmaker Aram Garriga came to me with his proposal to make a film that was then titled Pop Church. I had met Garriga at the Sitges Film Festival outside Barcelona, one of the great horror and fantasy festivals in the world. Garriga worked for the fest and played host to myself and my producing associate Brent Kunkle on more than one visit to Sitges…”
AMERICAN JESUS is now playing in Los Angeles at the Downtown Independent and coming soon to Chicago. Also available on Demand and on DVD.
An exclusive clip is now available at Indiewire. See it here.