The Velvet Vampire

It was Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal (1957) that inspired Stephanie Rothman to make movies. She studied filmmaking at the University of Southern California, became the first woman to be awarded a Directors Guild of America fellowship, and went on to work as a valued assistant for exploitation titan Roger Corman (also, as it happens, a big Bergman fan).


The camera floats just a little behind and a little above the figure of a man running through Central Park. In this, Birth’s overture, we seem to observe the running man from the perspective of Death itself—a force as calm, steady, and inescapable as the pale-faced harbinger who appears in the opening scenes of The Seventh Seal.