The Poet and the Professor

A film by Ariel Kavoussi

A dark comedic about Ariel, an insecure writer tortured by her own desires who must overcome a proclivity for dysfunctional affairs to find a healthier, more sustainable relationship.

Ariel can’t seem to stop seeing “The Poet,” an older, volatile cinematographer who pursues his ‘art’ while taking full advantage of his rich girlfriend’s beautiful NYC apartment.

Ariel also can’t stop herself from loving her own professor, a depressed, married, struggling adjunct obsessed with postmodernism and addicted to pills.

Executive Producer - Ariel Kavoussi, Clifford McCurdy, Devoe Yates
Production Funded by Kickstarter Backers

Producer - Valerie Steinberg
Director of Photography - Charlotte Hornsby
Associate Producer / Assistant Director - Erica Rose
Production Designer - Emma Zbiral-Teller
Art Director - Eli Kleinsmith

Production Coordinator - Chuka Agbaraji
Starring Kevin Corrigan, Bob Byington, Ariel Kavoussi
Stylist - Ellen Robin Rosenberg
Production Sound - Jarrett DePasquale
Boom Operator - Jungjoo Park
Editors - Justin Kavoussi, Ariel Kavoussi
Additional Editor - Zach Clark
Color Correction - Jenny Montgomery
Poster Illustration - Julie Lequin

Director Statement

The title of my film is a play off of Jean Eustache’s 1973 film THE MOTHER AND THE WHORE, a movie that explores the relationships between three characters in a love triangle. While significantly inspired by Eustache and numerous other filmmakers of the French New Wave, I am likewise bored by their frequently reductive depiction of women. My film is radical, only in that I reverse these gender stereotypes – my “whore” is a chubby cinematographer, and my “mother” is my mentor.

These two male characters personify archetypes of masculinity, but they also represent the yin/yang of what it means to be human. The Professor is a creature of language. He surrounds himself with books and it is his profession to think. The Poet, on the other hand, is defined through his physicality. These men represent two sides of a person that Ariel thinks she needs to be with in order to be whole. However, by the end of the film, Ariel learns she is a complete being on her own—she is an artist, a thinker, and her own person.

Mike Ambs

I love to film things, tell stories, and read on the subway. I'm pretty sure blue whales are my power animal.