Sunday, 22 April 2012

The Abortion of Cinema: Essay by Gene Crocker

In a few years he’ll probably go mad.

That’s whats being said about the director of Black Biscuit; Fabrizio Federico aka Mr Bugalloo.
His first feature film is a uniquely draining, frighteningly human, intense experience - Black Biscuit is giving cinema directions to the next century.
It’s a pill that offers a 12 course meal in one dose.

The price is right – the cost of admission is your mind.

Here is a list of the subjects it covers: child death from trip and fall, careering, prostitution, religion, immigration, exorcism, voyeurism, cults, sexism, concert violence, the death of Michael Jackson, benefit fraud, media, drug abuse, mental illness, humiliation, homosexuality, self harm, celebrity & pop culture, S&M, homelessness, and money.

So is this film too dangerous?

What makes it rebellious is that it’s not guided by commercial intent.
Surreal and hauntingly dreamlike, it’s approach is like a cinematic meat grinder. Anti-film at it’s most dissident; and the audio samples that echo through out

the film of cult leaders like Charles Manson and Jim Jones ring chillingly appealing.

Black Biscuit's genius & madness, walking hand in hand approach; added with it’s total commitment to unlearning the rules of cinema; forges a lost and desolate beauty out of the pig iron professionalism that mainstream cinema has become.

It’s like an 8 year old on glue unleashed into the schools film lab.

A 2 hour trip to Nutsville courtesy of Mr Federico; each scene is a universe within it’s own infinity of laws. With rapid fire film collages, quasi stoned conversations, non-actors, mistakist footage, spontaneity, and a multiplex of different visual looks and styles.
Black Biscuit set’s it’s own standards.

This is the work of ragged majesty; Federico has dismantled Jonas Mekas & co

and put them back together upside down.

The film is all about the spirit of freedom, what happens, happens.

Black Biscuit revolves around the idea of society’s modern drifter. These characters live way outside conformist societies straightjacket. They barely know what day it is.
If the idea that ‘youth is wasted on the young’ this film also brings into perspective that you better follow your dreams before your soul gets corrupted.

Social reportage given to you by Syd Barrett with pupils the size of dinner plates. It’s unhinged.
The chaos periodically fades away into pastoral interludes, before lurching back into elated ill structure; both spectral, sorrowful and enlightening.

Despite encompassing bummer elements – it is wholly optimistic and radiant.

It remains unsurpassed in it’s ability to inspire, challenge and baffle.

It’s completely self indulgent – but that is an artists right. A right to create what they feel, and this is what critics and money men have always failed to grasp – the freedom and magic that an artist has at the tip of their fingers is atomic.

But is it jealousy on their part ?

Being an artist means being free to do what ever the hell you want. God forbid an artist creates something vague and you have to ponder it’s meaning longer than 15 minutes. It’s almost considered a criminal offence to be daring and different, but at the same time the public crave diversity – but can they still take it ?

Maybe artists are overestimating the viewer. The publics cries of ‘We want new movies’ ring like hollow lies; what they really want are 1940’s opiate kind of movies, where they don’t have to do a whole lot of thinking – there’s a reason Spielberg, Lucas, and Jackson make billions.

So have today’s modern viewers become lazy and docile, or is the counter culture miles away reality ?

I think today’s biggest problem is that the commercial industries rationalization is ‘If doesn’t sell it’s shit’.

Far from true…………..It makes it holy. 

Fabrizio Federico interview - Gutter Cinema

Did you have much experience in film before you made Black Biscuit ?

Nothing but a love for movies. I’ve always been into underground cinema, stuff like Andy Warhols early Edie Sedgwick films, Tarnation, Julien Donkey Boy, Buffalo 66, The Last Movie by Dennis Hopper which is my favorite film. I wanted to change the rules of cinema. To improvise like Jazz, and to be adventurous.
To get rid of professionalism, actors, plot, story boards, traditions and create a film that stands alone and new.

How did you finance the film ?

I didnt sit down one day and say ‘Im going to get a budget together, then Im gonna find some actors, then locations…’ no, I just did it on the run.
Filming took about 1 year. If I met someone who was interesting, or charismatic I’d ask them if they wanted to be in a movie with me.
Whatever. Some of the cast were people who aspired to be actors but I had them play themselves. We’re surrounded by superstars and we don’t even see it.

I was working as a life model, and I just fed that money into the project. I also went from door to door asking people to donate 1gbp.
The film cost about 500gbp to make. It was shot on my mobile phone, and some childrens cameras. I was going through a Jim Jones cult, vampire, psychedelic 60’s faze when I made it.

It’s a very distinctive film, what gave you the concept ?

I just thought that there were a lot of unwritten laws, rules, and targets that filmmakers subconsciously have tattooed on their brains about cinema.
That cinemas should look and be a certain way.
All this film dogma come’s from critics, film teachers, internet trolls, and some of the film festival submission rules. And for a young filmmaker all that can really kill your style.
I don’t like being told what to do when it comes to being creative, so I made a film that would burn all these misconceptions on how to make a feature film.
You don’t need experience, technology, money, or even a plan to do it, just let the love of being creative take over you on the spot.

Theres a lot of footage ?

There’s a lot of life out there.

What is the plot of the film ?

The film is more about a spirit than a plot, I guess I wanted to capture today’s zeitgeist.
I see a lot of disappointment and isolation. Young kids who cant find direction or work, mass social surveillance with CCTV, celebrity culture, governments you cant trust.
We’re living in an untrusting world, we’ve almost got too much freedom, but no freedom.
This century is going to be a Catch 22 I can feel it.
I chose to look for the most common character of our times. Lost misfits.
People that don’t belong anywhere, a Black Biscuit. They live way, way out on the outskirts of society.
Whether your homeless, or a internet media whore your still missing.
I wanted to show the world these characters, and to get rid of some of the myths that surround’s the lonesome drifter anti-hero. The Film director as the new modern rebel.

The films technique is very diverse, what led you to this style ?

I just work off the cusp, I don’t plan at all. I sit down and follow a path. Some days I’ll feel like Im from the 1920’s, another day I might be choppy or in a cinema-verite mood.
Im constantly changing, shedding my skin, Im like a rolling stone not gathering any moss. I don’t follow trends, I live in my own strange universe.
I guess Im a bit like that character from American Beauty, the one who films the plastic bag….Ricky something.
I see beauty in a lot of trivial things, stuff that gets lost in this fast world we live in.
The types of films I love often get called pretentious, but I feel that’s just from people who don’t have an open mind and are scared of the unknown.
Try something new, and be a creator not a critic.

Fabrizio Federico Interview - Psychiatric Cinema

Do you think artists have a personality complex?
I think artists are the ones who carry a personality complex, but are brave enough to do something about it. To go out and find something to fix their broken half. It's like losing your favorite pillow, I like going back in time and living one week as if it's the 50's or 60's the next week like the 90's, and occasionally today. I guess I’m a film astronaut.
What drives you to create?
Maybe the way to go in life is to find a mission for yourself. Something to keep you busy, whether it's films, or sex, or creating. As long as your not bored. If none of my work achieves what ever the public consciousness considers to be success, then thats even better.           All the great artists die penniless, and Im proud of myself that I never aspired to be president.
 What does your film Black Biscuit mean?
Uhhhhhhhh, forget about all that just absurd it. Film for me is a playful field. I don’t understand all the bitterness and criticism that comes out of the woodworks towards cinema. Such hostile criticism.                       Opinions change with time, and Im the newest lamb to be nailed to the cross. I like my work to span a wide variety of feelings like a tornado; from happy to lonely, to spooky.                                                                I get turned on by witches. Black Biscuit is a gutter circus.

So how did you set a mood for your film?
By giving out impressions...isnt an impression formed within the first 3 seconds of meeting someone. I like to make people feel loose when Im collaborating with them, think of my film set as a brothel. I'll encourage you to pursue your vices. Hopefully you dont let them eat you.

Does cinema still provoke?
Yes it does, but just not as much. I'd like to see less polished, structured films, and more movies about the mundane. That and bizarre real life subjects . My goal is to show people you don’t need to make 20 short films before you get around to making a feature film. The big mainstream films at the moment are just so schmaltzy like syrup. My ideal cinema world would consist of less budget, and planning. Just to be primal. I cant follow 1 style for 120min it's boring to me, so I surf a wide variety of influences.
What’s your philosophy on life ?
My planets will shift but my sun is called personal freedom. I hope I come out smiling in the end, but I’m not out the tunnel yet. Feelings that surround me now will change, but if you go for internal bliss you cant go wrong. Alchemy is a good place to start.

Fabrizio Federico interview (Gold Memories)

By Andrew Farrell, February 26, 2012

The films plot seems to be very thin, is there something I’m missing?

Imagination (laughing)

But some people are really confused by the film and by it’s transgressive style, do you feel the need to explain yourself ?

What is there to explain, I find that people who are confused by art usually have no imagination. I don’t think I’ve ever been confused by a film. I usually love it even more if it throws me and plays with my feelings.
I like to create images that romanticize memories, call them gold memories if you like.
I just want to show brilliant days, shadows, rain, what ever gives someone an infinite feeling.

Why wont you explain what the films about?

That’s not the point, why have audiences become so lazy? It really blows me away – You can only be saved when your lost.
I want to be shot by all the critics, I want to see what my capacity is for a critical backlash, I hope I die broke like Van Gogh, misunderstood, because I don’t need acceptance. Maybe ‘Black Biscuit’ isn’t even a film but an introspective bitch slap.
I wanted to create a yearning feeling in the viewer, and to take them back to a time when they were lost, and stuck out sea with not a fucking clue what to do with their life.
And just to give people blissful ecstatic moments along with hope.

You obviously don’t have a problem with nudity, or sex what are your views on those themes ?

Maybe we’re going backwards, AIDS really fucked up everything and created so much  guilt that’s now attached to sex. Maybe it’s just that I wanted to have a memory to remember what my dick looked like when I was younger. But I just love sex, I envy animals because things are so simple for them, humans have got enough layers on already, and being naked really throws away pretentions. Clothes are the death of mankind.

It looks like the editing played a big part in creating your statement, how do you view the editing phase?

We live in an edited world. My view on life is kind of based on Situationism. A PG film is not going to change anything, but a spectacle on the other hand will push things forward, I think it’s a virtue to have a low attention span, and to not be patient. I want everything now. That goes for life, love, dreams. Im not waiting for no one, especially people to approve of my work, I want to live in summertime forever. The mainstream is like a tall boring castle and they deserve the occasional Jack In The Box lunged at their face. I don’t care about my reputation, why should I. It will just make my hair fall out.

Won’t that make life difficult for you?

No it makes it interesting, because then I’ll always have a challenge, and a desire to hustle. I dread having to slow down because then you’ve been corrupted into behaving.
I’m obviously not doing any of this for the money, this is made for fun and to inspire a mental uprising. Forget about this class bullshit, be classless, like me.

Is this just intentional to create a generation barrier?

It’s not about barriers, it’s about the future of creative freedom and if someone who is however old doesn’t get that then their already obsolete.
Why do you think a barriers going up?

Yes a bit, people either love or hate your work don’t they?

Good that’s how it should be…….people who are on the fence get shot, and art should be a form of shout therapy. My chaos theory is that I don’t want people telling me what to do, I’m being honest, is that so hard to take?
What’s wrong with a bit of mystery and thought attached to life. The thick people and governments are scared of having a liberal youth movement, because they know they’ll be outsmarted. Film distribution is the next thing that’s going to be chicken chocked.

Is Online Distribution something your excited about?

I get wet talking about it, because now artists aren’t going to be cheated anymore, and they don’t have to listen to corporate bullshit. It’s like the dreams come true. I don’t think people have caught onto it yet though. I was expecting parades and celebrations. It’s a lot to take in knowing that you’ve got total creative freedom, and obviously it’s too much for some people.

Where does the Chet character come from is he based on you?

Of course he is, it was a part of me. When your just getting started in the world you depend on everyone else giving you a break, and you become very submissive, and that’s what I wanted to revisit. It’s like being in a room with the lights off, you could go that way, or this, or there in life, but the trick is to get mean and defiant and once that happens you’ll find strength.

Fabrizio Federico - Egg on Cinemas Face (Interview)

Why do you feel your work is important ?
Many reasons, I want to stand for a freeform way of living, thinking and being. My ways are for people who don’t believe in rules and the general conscience. I just want to be surrounded by creative people, not money men. Fuck it’s time for a cinematic generation gap & Im becoming surrounded I guess, I suppose I asked for it my self but being asked my opinion all the time can be exhausting.

What causes do you believe in ?
The freedom to make a fool of yourself and for it to not be a mortal sin with the world. People can be so unforgiving, I have my sensitive days too you know.  I’d like to have a baby with every race.

What were your influences when you were little ?
I used to pretend I was Predator, & Babe Ruth. Im in my own cinematic world. I saw Passolini films such as ‘Accattone’ when I was very young, his subtle poetic influence drips into my work, that whole sad undertone that everything might fall apart, that you might be left with nothing . Then the other side of me is a sort of dumb ass humor such as ‘Hot Shots’ or ‘Caddyshack’. Then I have the dirty dangerous side that just wants to wreck and piss on everything like a dog. My patch, my patch.  I just want the kids to have an alternative rebellious cinema.

You talk about ‘The Last Movie’ as being your favorite film, why is that ?
It’s the bastard child of film, that movie. I feel close to it. My moods resemble orphanages sometimes and what Hopper created was swept into a well. My heart goes out to it & hopes that we’ve come a long way from what happened to ‘The Last Movie’.  Artists get sent to the firing squad. I want my films to reflect the feelings of euphoria I have while Im alive. Mondo Bizarro.

‘Black Biscuit’ has a punk ethic which is being called Gutter Cinema, can you explain it’s ideals?
It’s punk cinema, punk means fuck it, I haven’t got anything to lose. The sooner you feel that…………. It’s a certain way of life, and believing in yourself, and feeling alive. You can call me Towlie or reckless. My finger prints are smeared on certain peoples faces because I have courage, and I wear my heart on my nose.  If Im gonna make a film about forgetting and beating helplessness then I will have to shoot my own demons and say lets cut corners.

Do traditions mean much to you ?
I think they're a contradiction because they change in time and mean something differently to everyone. I was brought up believing in witches, ghosts and superstitions. I relate to certain traditions better than others. Halloween is my favorite because I can feel the wind of weird in the air. It’s a sort of electricity. The last time I felt that I was when I went on a joy ride through a farmers field chasing the sheep in a mini. The farmer came after me and we ended up in a high speed chase. He never caught me.  I guess traditions are looking out to set a scene and a vibe. My perfect vibe would be a film such as ‘The Great Rock n Roll Swindle’ or ‘Performance’ where the potential for anything to happen could happen, and is laid bare on the table.

Black Biscuit - Trailer

Fabrizio Federico

Fabrizio Federico

Friday, 20 April 2012

Fabrizio Federico Photos

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A New Way of Doing Things - Interview with filmmaker Fabrizio Federico

LID: Do you cover all the bases with your work, it seems like you live and breathe film  ?

Fabrizio: It's not just with film, I live every second being creative. I have my own language too......maybe not a language, Im too lazy to come up with a language but definitely more than 10 words.
I just see creativity everywhere, artists will know what I mean.

LID: Tell me about your childhood, sounds like you've had a fascinating upbringing ?

Fabrizio: Let's see.................It was just odd, I burnt my house down when I was five. I just sat there watching the flames, my father rescued me as I sat in a ring of fire, Im proud that Iwasnt  scared. I lived in Italy after that and played baseball, hunted, and used fireworks. When I went to school the teachers used to either fall asleep, or leave 
us all alone in the class room.
Me and my friends would kiss the girls and have sex with them in the class room. One time I got caught giving
head to this girl while the whole room watched and the teacher walked in on us. They made me stay after school 
and scrub the floor, while the girls father beat her next door.
dont think we ever spoke to each other again.

LID: Sorry Im speechless lol

Fabrizio: You see what I mean, what else stand's out ? Everyone get's into fight's over there, and then you become 
best friends. Thats how people connect, fighting and fucking. I used to draw allot, I was obsessed with the 
Twin Towers, and the Atomic Bomb. 
Me and my friends would go door to door and tell jokes for money. We use to watch Dirty Harry movies, and DJ.
I just did what ever the hell I wanted, like a stray dog,  I've got a big family and I had to share a bedroom my whole life, 
which annoys the hell out of me. I had my own room for about 1 week, and then I lost it because my mother kicked my 
father out so he ended up living in my room. I've never had any peace and quiet. Which I resent. Im always being bothered.
I'd be in there doing my own thing and I would get them coming in and ruining my vibe. Anyway my childhood just 
seems like a warm Acid flashback.

LID: How do you feel about the media ?

Fabrizio: I dont feel for them, I just talk and they print. I dont really care about my reputation. I've been asked this 
before, I get the feeling that the press think artists just sit around all day dwelling on how the media represents 
us. If someone wants to ask me about my work that fine, it's cool that people find what I do interesting ?

LID: What are you doing these days ?

Fabrizio: Playing guitar, and filming mainly. I met these 2 anarchists so been hanging out with them, and looking for the
perfect French mime. Im glad to see that some filmmakers are taking up the PINK8 manifesto, I had this Scottish filmmaker
called Andrew Mackenzie contact me about it. You just try things and see what happens. The world is full of Pimps and Whoes  


LID: What do you worry about ? 

Fabrizio: That I'll never find the perfect target t-shirt like Keith Moon had in the 60's, do you know the one I mean ?

LID: No idea

Fabrizio: I've just lost respect for you, the blue and red target ? The big target. I've never found one, you can only buy the small version, nobody makes them anymore. It's been nagging me for 15 years.

LID: Have you ever tried to make your own ?

Fabrizio: I'd fuck it up, I know it.

LID: Is 'Black Biscuit' a statement on todays society ?

Fabrizio: Of course, it's about people taking it up the ass, because they dont have the courage to make their life happen.
Which is what todays society does. Theres this notion that you finish school, go to University, then your dream job will be handed to you 
like a present. But what is happening is a lot of young people are getting into debt and being forced to find work anywhere , and that
can derail a person. I wish my parents were millionaires, I'd be so good at it. But no, I've had to achieve everything myself  which is 
 how it should be, get off your ass, and dont rely on anyone. Be a God now, kind of like Instant Karma, then no one
can touch you.