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‘Ballet 422’ Director Talks Capturing the Artistic Process

Jody Lee Lipes, director of new ballet documentary Ballet 422, talks to Film Society of Lincoln Center about his film’s focus on the intensity of the creative process.

Says Lipes, “There’s something about watching someone who is really really focused that’s really fascinating to me. [Frequently] when I’m on a film set in my other life as a cinematographer or working on a commercial, when people are very invested in what they’re doing, the politeness sort of drops away and you get to see who people really are in stressful conditions…In college I worked on a Todd Solondz film, Palindromes. I sat next to him and moved his monitor around. When he was really into a shot, he’d just stare into a screen and mouth the words of the actors. I remember thinking that it was so fascinating that this guy was so into this thing that he was losing control of his mouth. That’s interesting to me. I like to see how artists work because I think it says a lot about who they are and about the work that comes from it. The work itself can even become secondary.”

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