from the article by Amy Nicholson

“It’s a weird thing to point a camera at if you’re not making ‘Psycho,’” says West, 43, as he heads farther into the darkness, lighted only by a handful of eerie red lanterns. He calls his trilogy “movie-flavored movies” — artifice and dreams are the top notes. “X” is about scrappy strivers trying to break into the business; “Pearl,” about the dangers of buying into the fantasies onscreen. “MaXXXine,” the highest-profile film of West’s career, wrestles with accepting that Hollywood isn’t quite what one hopes.

“He was ready to deal with this kind of scale, and it’s definitely something he was hungry for,” Goth says, chiming in over Zoom. In addition to playing multiple roles across this mini-franchise, Goth co-wrote “Pearl” and executive-produced the last two films. “We just kind of manifested it,” she continues, “built this entire trilogy into existence. And it’s been incredible to see it unfold.”

West, however, tends to be scrupulously anti-hype. “It is not lost on me that there is a meta thing happening with these movies and me and Mia, and that’s gratifying and strange,” he says. “And it’s also something that we’ve never taken any time to stop and talk about. We were too busy making movies.”

While the marketing team at A24 is all in on “MaXXXine” — “I’ve never had a billboard before,” the director beams — West has been a legitimate filmmaker for well over a decade. His resume of well-regarded independent movies includes the 2016 cowboy vengeance drama “In a Valley of Violence” with Ethan Hawke and John Travolta, plus a string of festival hits like 2009’s “The House of the Devil,” which disposed of a pre-celeb Greta Gerwig early on in a marvelously nasty Hitchcock-esque shock.

West spent his youth in Wilmington, Del., renting five VHS tapes for $5 on Fridays at his local video store. One weekend, he rented “Habit,” a grungy but brilliant microbudget vampire flick made by filmmaker Larry Fessenden. Shortly after, he moved to New York and took a film class taught by director Kelly Reichardt, who’d played a cameo in the film. Reichardt introduced the two and Fessenden became West’s mentor, eventually producing his debut feature, “The Roost,” shot exactly 20 years ago with more moxie than money.

Read full profile at The Los Angeles Times