Wednesday, 19 September 2018

THE CINEMATIC MISADVENTURES OF ED WOOD


Ed Wood was the irrepressible director of some of the tawdriest Z-grade science-fiction and horror films of the 1950s, a director who never let his tiny budgets get in the way of pursuing his vision. Films such as Bride of the Monster (1955) and Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959) are littered with cardboard spaceships, rubber monster suits, and incongruous stock footage. Here we talk with Ed Wood aficionado Bob Blackburn as he discusses the charismatic, cross-dressing auteur, who donned his beloved angora sweaters and enrapted in a eureka moment of inspiration, eyes bright with enthusiasm above his pencil-thin moustache.

*How did you come to find out about Ed Wood?
Basically I went to an Ed Wood film festival here in Hollywood in the summer of 1992, attached is the flyer for that event, while watching the BBC doc, I saw an interview with Kathy Wood, and I realized that I thought she was a lady who lived in my apt. building, turns out she did, after I learned that Tim Burton was going to make a film about Ed I approached her and asked her if she knew about it, no she didn't I learned a bit more it, and eventually I helped her find an entertainment lawyer, long story short we became friends, she passed away in 2006 and I am now one of two of her heirs, from meeting and befriending her I became more immersed in the world of Ed as she told me many stories over the course of our friendship, some I relate in the foreword to "Blood Splatters Quickly" a book of some of Ed's short fiction, I collected, edited and helped get published a few years ago, I have another publisher for a second volume called "Angora Fever..." which should come out later this year. I started the Ed Wood FB group, to gather like minded folks who have and share an interest in Ed's works, his personal life, family & friends etc.

*What was your first reaction after watching an Ed Wood film?
I was charmed watching his films, they never fail to fascinate and mystify me

*How do you think Ed influenced modern indie filmmakers?
I am not a filmmaker so I really don't know if he's really had that much of a direct influence on modern day film makers, I know folks who make "bad" movies on purpose, don't understand Ed at all, he never set out to make a bad film, as Kathy said many times, he had to struggle to make the money to follow his passion, and IF he would have had a real film budget who knows how good or "bad" his films might  have been, but in would hazard a guess he would be among a long list of long ago forgotten filmmakers.

*In what ways have you been involved in Ed Wood's legacy?
I have tried to keep Ed's legacy alive by getting his short fiction published, the Estate of Kathy Wood and the complications of Ed's works, copyrights etc. is a tangled mess, would take too long to try & explain, but I do my best to keep his flame alive.

Ed Wood has also been an inspiration on Lo-Fi filmmaker Fabrizio Federico ''I love the way he shot his films in a state of chaos, without any permits, just this total sense of adventure and DIY energy, how he cast non-actors and his friends in his movies. In a way he invented cult cinema.'' 

Fabrizio Federico - Website



Friday, 14 September 2018

THE STORY OF: Teddy Bears Live Forever (2019) - Interview with filmmaker Fabrizio Federico



April is a young faded ''It girl'' suffering in exile from multiple-personality disorder (brought on by a UFO Cult & Hollywood) and she decides that one of her six personalities must lose her virginity. 
As April suffers bizarre flashbacks in a solitary room, sleepwalking, telephoning rent boys, listening to The Carpenters and terrorising her old guardian with her untamed sex appeal. She ultimately set's out to become a modern saint.

''I made the film on intuition and a sensation to focus on some powerful messages (trauma, anti-establishment, false idolatry, existential angst and spirituality) wrapped up in an isolated feline martyr quality. 

The main character April is fighting to regain a state of grace that she lost as an ''It girl''  living in a superficial society obsessed with illusion while working in Hollywood. April is trying to penetrate the essence of her problems by being brave, screaming & articulating her pain through the film. She's trying to release the poisoned fragrance of her trauma. She's deprogramming her self by losing her mind. 

In the beginning of the movie we're shown a glimpse into her former ''It girl'' pop-culture life, at the complete absolute zenith of her fame, which is full of tacky excitement, flashes, games, disciples, vibrations and action. 

But then the film moves to the aftermath of all that, and to her current isolated life in London after rejecting her followers. But now she is battling her six personalities, so in a way she's leading six different realities and levels of consciousness. Each personality is a different level of consciousness, but music is her true prayer. She listens to The Carpenters while in exile, because she identifies with women who suffered, like Karen Carpenter, Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe etc... but she also enjoys hanging herself by visualising her suicide. 
The film is also an insight into gurus, and how they deal with their followers problems, whether they are suffering from family or social suffering. The movies about spiritual terms instead of adolescent terms. 



So while she's living out Hollywood, April get's mixed up with this UFO cult, has an outer body experience and is raped by the cult. After this trauma and because she's already mixed-up with this narcissism of her glamour lifestyle, it finally turns her into a stretcher case. In the film we watch her fighting to win back her sanity. 
She constructs this mission to cure the most evil of her multiple-personalities, to lose her virginity and to feel touch, which gives her a fresh enthusiasm and a existential mission; the glorification to start communicating again.

In general terms, she is coming out of a isolated fog and is looking for a universal consciousness. This girls story actually represents the whole elemental goal of humanity. 

Feeling lost and sending signals into outer space, maybe that's why she joined a UFO cult to begin with. But she's still looking for an atomic attraction, or a spiritual push to come and save her. Dealing with six personalities will push anyone's sense's to the limit, but because she's in self-imposed isolation she cant really receive life's true miracle cure: human touch. 
Touch is the sparkling combination of feeling all of your senses all at once. So she decides to recapture her salvation by losing the virginity of the most evil, of all her multiple personalities, called Sam.

Sam is a mythological anti-hero personality, a complete freak who suck's on her bloody tampons, wears wigs and sexually terrorises her old guardian that she's living with. But in many ways April is sacrificing her sanity in order to purify her soul from Sam's sinister presence. In order to become a divine being again and to grow.


OFFICIAL WEBSITE






Tuesday, 11 September 2018

REMEMBERING FABRIZIO FEDERICO - THE SELF DESTRUCTIVE FILMMAKER SABOTEUR WHO DID IT ALL WRONG IN THE RIGHT WAY

The cult filmmaker's newest film Teddy Bears Live Forever is being released in 2019
There’s never been a filmmaker like Fabrizio Federico. Chances are, there won’t be again. Not only is there an argument for this Brit being the 2000's lost movie-maker, there’s also the debate of him being the filmmaker that killed off the idea of 20th century cinema. As he explains it ''There is a new type of filmmaker that has been reborn and has replaced the traditional filmmaker from the 20th century, more bipartisan. I am a DJ Director, my passion is to glue video into a collage of vision, concentrating on personalities, mixing the styles of MTV, the News & Youtube vlog filmmaking together ''. His newest film is about a faded ''It girl'' suffering from schizophrenia due to an alien abduction and decides that one of her personalities must lose her virginity, even though she's already lost it.

Self-sabotage

That Fabrizio Federico is a star-shaped jigsaw piece in a square hole should have been clear from the off ever since surviving a house fire as a child. On the eve of the release of his feature film debut 'Black Biscuit' in 2011 he described making the film as being like ''Russian roulette”. He'd originally planned to make the film in North Korea but was denied a visa. He ended up filming in Nottingham with a Greek pimp and falling out of a tree and breaking his foot. Shooting the movie on toy Fisher-Price camera's and mobile phones, his apartment became a haven for the street superstars that he would meet on the streets and cast in his film, including a ping-pong champion, a dominatrix and Big Issue magazine sellers. Somehow he managed to re-finish the film after his computer exploded on the day of Michael Jackson's death.

Early perfection

This week the filmmaker announced that his next movie will be released in 2019. There’s the odd lollop of early Harmony Korine. The groove of Xavier Dolan. The cut and paste ingenuity of Jean Luc Godard. Arguably it’s stranger than any of his previous releases. He is the bedsit Lars Von Trier. Federico represents the filmmaker that for years chewed off his own limbs, simultaneously while editing footage blindfolded, listening to exorcisms on a diet of weed and yogurt, all on a micro-budget.

Raised on punk, emboldened by hip-hop, dance, free to be whatever he wanted – used to the ‘push the envelope, make magic happen, give it away for free’ ideal. On the eve of an era that saw YouTube filmmakers convert their vision into a world wide audience. But Federico delivered cinema folly in spades.




Doggedness, dadaism & drugs

In the beginning, he only screened his films at week-day film clubs, or left copies of his homemade DVD's on tables at bars and gigs. Then after his film 'Pregnant' screened in Essex and caused a riot his films were blacklisted from theatres, starting with a run at the Genesis cinema being cancelled and. Subsequently he has developed a large following in Mexico. 
Everything Federico did was tangential. When Empire magazine requested him for an interview, he agreed only on the condition if he would be asked the same questions as put to Stanley Kubrick during the making of The Shining. When he was invited at the Raindance Film Festival he arrived on crutches wearing a T-shirt that read, ‘If assholes could fly, this place would be an airport’. He refused to appear on children’s television. He claimed that YouTube is more popular then Jesus.
Such contrariness and blind scepticism felt genuinely exciting in the film industry that had turned dull.
He pulled karate moves and danced like a Native American shaman. It was presumed he liked drugs. Maybe. Maybe not. “LSD isn't a drug” he said confusingly, but he claiming it cured him from sleepwalking. 
Subsequently he went to the Bermuda triangle to get married, and learnt about voodoo and mysticism. Later also recording the soundtrack to his film 'Loon' at Aleister Crowley's abandoned Boleskine House, creating Zodiac Killer art, and introducing his cinema alter ego called Jett Hollywood ''a filmmaker from Mars''. After two films he released a suicide note which resulted in a missing persons investigation when the note went viral. 




Smells Like Teen Spirit

Not that he ever thought he was weird. “filmmakers like me should be the norm” said Federico recently. “I think it’s weird that very average, banal films are the norm, Im looking for cinematic nirvana”.
Official Website


Tuesday, 28 August 2018

KILL TV - THE NEW VIDEO PLATFORM // KILLING CENSORSHIP ONE VOTE AT A TIME


Interview with Kill TV's founder Christopher Neil
OFFICIAL WEBSITE

Where did you get the idea for Kill TV?
That’s a short question for a long answer… I’ll spare you the crying and touching myself alone in the dark sections…
Kill TV comes from years and years of ‘trying’ to be a filmmaker and failing, over and over again. As a creative, my ideas have always been ‘too edgy’ or ‘too big’ for my pockets. Producers would always tell me, “Take this part out,” “Tone it down” or I actually had a Studio Executive say, “We loved it!.. Until page 70, where the guy does the sex thing with the corpse…”
After burning out in my late-twenties on living check-to-check, amidst writing my second script, it kind of just… hit me. “Hollywood may own the theaters, but they can’t own the internet.”
The lights sparked on, and I started to manifest the idea of a marketplace where creatives who had ‘no boundaries’ could express themselves freely. Somewhere I could create content, upload and have an audience awaiting.
I played with the idea, creating mock ups, trying to pitch to developers and investors way too early. And then after my second script was finished and was getting no traction… Due to it being a multi-million dollar idea.. I said, “Fuck it” and jumped head first into Kill TV!

What first got you into movies?
When I was a kid, I wanted to be a comic book artist. But one day, when I told my mother she said, “You’re going to be painting pictures on top of the pier, and sleeping underneath it.” It crushed my fucking soul…
So.. in high school, after recesses of smoking mass amounts of weed in church parking lots… I got addicted to Photoshop in an art class.
Then Napster came out… So I instantly bought a CD burner, started burning CD’s, packaging them with with Art Covers and charged people for ‘custom’ mixes. Alongside selling ‘dubs’ and ‘eights’ to stoners…
I then knew this is what I wanted to do. I grinded out a decent GPA, cheated on my SAT and got into a four year college.

I attended SDSU [San Diego State University] shortly after and was expelled at the end of my freshman year. It was a fucking party school, what else was going to happen…
Sent home, extremely depressed, I applied to a community college and during a Typography class, we had to create a project with moving text and music.
My project was super fucking trash… But something about moving imagery and music, just made me realize that the medium to express and influence people, as an artist, was film. I immediately fell in love and pursued filmmaking ever since. Until Kill TV… dun-dun-dun… Trying to spice this shit up!

How would you describe Kill TV's identity?
Interesting question… What is the identity of Kill TV?
Well, Kill TV has changed a lot since I first started jotting down ideas. But the core of what Kill TV is, has deep roots into how I develop all of my projects.
What I mean by that, is that every single one of my creations act as a double edged sword or have two sides to them. There is one interpretation on the surface then another that is embedded beneath it.

The surface identity for Kill TV is anarchy, freedom of expression and a brand that represents you, but has some ‘balls’ behind it. I feel like ‘Youtube’ has done great things technologically, but honestly, it’s like premiering a Horror Film and right before the titles roll you see, “Sponsored by Sunkist…” It’s cute and works for a particular audience, but it doesn’t represent the artists who’ve inspired me or have altered the medium.

Kill TV is a brand and a notion for younger generations to express themselves into oblivion, without feeling restricted. Rather than being another ‘entity’ that is just there to supply you with an outlet.
We truly believe we are a stance for all opinion, thoughts and want to be a symbol, that when tattooed onto yourself, means ‘something’ to you and others. Are there ‘Youtube’ tattoos out there..? Jesus, I’m gonna have to google this now… FML.. People got ‘Youtube’ tatted on them..

But the deeper meaning to Kill TV, has to do with where its name comes from. When I was developing this platform, I had no idea what to call it. One day on my playlist, a song popped up by Marilyn Manson, “Astonishing Panorama of the Endtimes.” The chorus repeated, “Kill your god, Kill your TV.” Eureka! The gods have spoken! Kind of…
That’s our core, deep down. To push this generation and the next into the future of ‘news’, ‘brands’ and ‘art’. And to leave behind this ‘god’ that we’ve trusted and have slaved over to keep above us. These companies more and more today are fighting to stay afloat and the internet has connected us all, giving us an opportunity to change how we treat one another, how we dissect ideas and how we’ll move into the future in this place.

Kill TV is a mirror of the world and where it is at that time, not an extension of our values or ethics upon you. We are eradicating the ‘one’ god we worship and with our system, creating ’gods’ out of all of you! “Kill your god, Kill your TV!”

That was kind of cheesy… But damn it! You know what-the-fuck I’m saying! Right….?

What is Kill TV?
Simply put, Kill TV is an uncensored democratic video streaming site for adult’s only. Creatives upload their videos to our site and then are sent directly to ‘Deathrow’ to be sentenced.
We decided to go against hosting every single video uploaded to our server, due to beginning costs, as well.. 98% of the content on streaming sites never gets seen by the majority of the audience on these platforms. Anyways…
Users then go to ‘Deathrow’ and must vote on every video uploaded onto Kill TV. You must choose to “Kill” or “Save” each video uploaded.

Saved videos are sent to the “Saved” directory, for viewing at anytime and future monetization.
Where “Killed” videos are deemed “dead” and are deleted from our servers, forever!
I literally just recited our ‘pitch’ video.. Jesus…
What we’re truly creating is a way for you as the ‘creative’ to interact with audiences. If you upload a video to ‘Youtube’ for the first time, unless your video goes viral somehow… it is going to take ages for viewership to flood in.

Our system puts you in a smaller category of daily ‘Saves’, that then grants you larger exposure.
And if your video is killed… then at least you know something! Maybe your video is too long, maybe it’s not ‘good’ enough, maybe people ‘trolled’ you. Whatever the response is, you know that people that day, on Deathrow, did not want your content.

As we grow, we will implement features that let you as the creative know ‘why’ your video was rejected. But you have to think of it as a long run play as a filmmaker.
I see a lot of people uploading so many videos, fighting for tons of views believing they’re going to be one of the ‘few’ that got rich on Youtube. And that’s not the case as we’ve seen these days…

Once we roll into monetization, we’re thinking about paying you in a different manner so that you don’t have to upload 15 videos a month in order to either “break even” on the cost of production or make a living off of your content.
Plus, we’d love to see artists’ short films and other ‘art’ get big views, rather than just ‘vlogs’ or tutorials on how to do something.

At the end of the day, we want to be an entertainment hub of interactivity! We look at ‘Youtube’ as a source of information, where you go for info or news on things. Rarely do I got to ‘Youtube’ to see a cool short film, art piece or something weird?!
Our platform being uncensored and for adult’s only, brings up another one of our major goals. We believe that the term ‘adult’ should be altered, and there needs to be a place where “adults can be adults!”
That means sexual things can be found alongside thoughtful pieces, touching stories or flat out unforgettable imagery.

Whatever it is, we are looking to build more than just a server full of videos and comments. We want to build a community of people who come to Kill TV to advocate their opinions, don’t have to worry about being censored and are protected from outsiders ‘banning’ them or ‘removing’ their content because it doesn’t fit within someone else’s agenda.
“We are the operator to your call,” and when we get this guy up and running, we’re going to evolve this platform into something you’ll care about. Because it’s your opinion, your kill count, your save count, your choice and your friends you’ve met there to do this all with.

I believe that our generation is in a tough spot and that the future of this place needs more connection and openness. We hope to be the beginning of what can be more platforms like us in different areas. The days of clean interfaces and ‘boring’ brand names to represent a ‘popular’ platform… are ‘dead and gone.'
I think people need something that gives you a ‘jolt’ to the experience you’re having. And instead of these placeholder named sites that are super stale.. Let people enjoy something a little radical, out-of-the-box, and give them something that let’s them be free and is ‘O-K’ with them finding themselves through out time.

Plus, how the fuck can you hate on “Kill TV”, it doesn’t rhyme with anything shitty.. like ‘PooTube’, ‘DuDu’ or ‘Catdicks’… does it?!

Friday, 3 August 2018

THE LAST MOVIE - THE HOLY GRAIL OF CINEMA


Punk Filmmaker Fabrizio Federico praises Dennis Hopper's unsung masterpiece

Shot in Peru in 1970 in a narcotic haze, Dennis Hopper's follow up to Easy Rider is the purest experimental mainstream film ever released in Hollywood. Problem is not many people have seen this gem. It has been in exile for 50 years, in limbo as a low resolution bootleg DVD, which is how I first came across it, but it changed my life.



I first watched this amazing movie alone in a school library and it lit a firecracker under me, I had to make a movie! I give The Last Movie complete responsibility for inspiring me to make a film unlike any other. So with no experience what so ever I decided to finish the job Hopper had started in 1970. Now in 2011 I finally completed my first feature film Black Biscuit, I tore up the rule book on cinema and made an anti film with non-actors, no script, shot on mobile phones and toy cameras about a filmmaker lost in a wasteland of prostitution, money and sleaze.

The fact that a major Hollywood studio produced this psychedelic midnight movie is astounding, but once released it was misunderstood, and buried deep; even though it's lyrical beauty is evident in every frame. Easy Rider captured a cultural zeitgeist but The Last Movie could have changed the course of cinema forever if it had been handled differently.



The PINK8 cinema manifesto was born out of this, and just like Hopper; who already had a reputation for wildness, I threw it all away in a hurricane of spotlight, ego and hallucinogenics, but in the process I saved my damned soul, at odds with a system that still didn't understand real youth-quake provoking cinema, and the fact that Arbelos films have had the balls to make a move on re-releasing this masterpiece is better then twenty Christmas put together!!



To me The Last Movie is an allegory about the world as a whole and how it is destroying it's self, and becoming more self conscious and media trained which is boring as fuck. Hopper will always personify to me the true meaning of what an artist truly is; mercurial, insanely talented and untamed.