When a hardened mob boss catches feelings for a promising new recruit, jealousy and distrust grow from within her inner circle and threaten to upend her empire.

Director’s Vision for ‘Watchdog’

It may seem a bit strange to visualize a warm sapphic folk anthem as a grimy tribute to 70s crime films. Yet it was Gemma Laurence’s exploration of trust issues on Watchdog – off her 2022 album Lavender – that prompted me to burrow into my love for crime movies. The genre necessitates vulnerability from the hardened, pivoting around the fragility of characters in violent, unforgiving worlds. In these films, trust – and the consequences of violating it – remain central.

While my favorite crime epics often climax in tragedy, Watchdog demanded the possibility for hope, for learning to trust again. With the support of an incredible crew and cast, that intention allowed me to find the kind of unexpected juxtaposition I crave and, I hope, bring Gemma’s intimate and confessional music into even sharper focus.