Killing Ruth Quebec City Premiere

Killing Ruth Quebec City Premiere

“It’s not really a film for kids,” chuckles Kinsey as we stand outside theatre 4 at Cinéma Le Clap in Québec City. We’re waiting for the doors to let us in. Nicholas Kinsey makes movies; he is a Quebec writer, director, producer, director of photography and editor. His 2010 film Killing Ruth: The Snuff Dialogues was recently screened at the Festival de cinéma de Québec.

Nicholas Kinsey

I had visited Kinsey’s studio for an early test screening in December. Filmmakers often run informal test screenings to help decide whether or not a movie will require further editing, reshooting or rewriting. During a test screening, a film is often missing special effects, sound, music and sometimes even dialogue. It can be difficult to get a true feeling about a movie when it’s missing critical elements, but that’s what I was there to do. I spent the morning squinting at a small viewing screen perched above Kinsey’s 35mm film editing bench. I left feeling a little more confused than I usually am.

Fast forward to the Québec City Film Festival and I’m sitting in a comfortable theatre seat ready, once again, to watch Kinsey’s creation. Ruth (played by Irena Huljak) is a low rent hit woman with a shoe fetish who befriends a woman in a nursing home after having killed her neighbour. Their conversations reveal Ruth’s life as a contract killer.

“You’ve got to get the viewer fast,” advises Kinsey. He certainly caught my attention with a catchy soundtrack and a jarring opening scene. Killing Ruth turned out to be an exciting, humorous and sometimes disturbing film. Kinsey admits, “I prefer a film to be little longer and understandable.” Kinsey favours the use of natural lighting during filming. I thought the colours stood out well and the camera work flowed nicely. I found it odd that the was set in a maritime province known for the number of moose on its highways, but in reality, strange things happen all over, not just in New York City. I learned that the film is based on the real life story of Ruth K., a Canadian hit woman from New Brunswick. It’s somewhat refreshing to know that people still run the risk of getting whacked in small town Canada.

When the film finished, the audience eagerly applauded Kinsey as he stood up to answer questions. Personally, I was impressed that Kinsey was able to enlist the talents of actors Dee Wallace (ET) and Kevin Jackson (Hero). “It’s fairly easy to get good actors,” says Kinsey. He went on to say that actors are anxious to participate in interesting projects, especially when they are offered roles that they might not always get a chance to play. At one point in the film, Mrs. Connors (Dee Wallace) turns to Ruth and says, “You can’t keep running around like some psycho … you know … all the violence”. I asked Kinsey what has kept him running around all these years making films. Looking a lot like a kid in a candy store, he simply said “It’s a whole lot of fun”.

Categories: Arts & Culture

About Author

Jason Enlow

Jason Enlow is a Special Education Technician at an English elementary school. He was born in Montreal, Quebec and grew up in Burlington, Ontario. Jason studied Radio and Television at Ryerson University in Toronto. His previous employers include CityTV, CBC, The Weather Network, and Global Television. He’s worked as a DJ, camera operator, musician, teacher, translator and video game content designer. Jason moved to Quebec City in 1997 where he still lives today with his wife and three sons.