Tuesday, 6 September 2016

British Voodoo - The Black Art of Cinema

When filmmaker Fabrizio Federico takes to his battered camcorder he is stepping into another world. The British born movie-maker directs with such exuberance it seems as if he and the camera are bound together by a magic spell. 
Call it alchemy, the occult, mysticism - Not every filmmaker is prepared to bewitch the spirits into leading you artistically. 

Here are some examples of filmmaker's who did:

Lucifer Rising (1972)
Lilith (1964)

Pregnant (2016)
Attenberg (2010)
Last Chants For a Slow Dance (1977)
Gummo (1997) 
Performance (1970)
Rosemary's Baby (1966)
The Devils (1971)
The Witches (1966)
Starry Eyes (2014)
The First Power (1990)
Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

Federico moved to Italy when he was five years old after surviving a house fire, after which the gifted child soon took to painting and learning guitar at an early age. By the age of fifteen he had become a teen prodigy at guitar and art, appearing live at many jazz and classical venues including the prestigious Boston Hatch Shell in the USA, where he lived for ten years. Here he discovered underground cinema. This talented and complex artist with a wicked sense of humour has become a symbol for DIY revolt. Driven and self taught Federico is a visual-maestro with a globe trotting streak, having already filmed in Spain, Cuba, Hungary, France, Poland, Germany, Bermuda and Morocco. All his works are self financed by banks instead of producers or film studios. 

His raw style includes the complete disposal of scripts, actors or any other cinema norm. His debut film Black Biscuit (2012) became notorious. Confrontations would erupt at the mere mention of the movie between film fans both rigid and spirited, young and old on internet film forums, or vitriolic reviews, even on radio and at public appearances. Especially over the merits of cult and experimental cinema and its integrity in mainstream cinema's media coverage value, a phenomenon very similar to the French New Wave or Dogme 95 era. 

By the time his next feature Pregnant (2015) was released his reputation for being a possessed talent created problems and controversy in rigid mainstream film institutions. During Pregnant's pre-production arson charge surfaced which coincided with his ill health and isolation around this time. By this time he had created a Ziggy Stardust alter-ego called Jett Hollywood (a filmmaker from Mars) who was responsible for the films The Evolution Of The Earth Angel and later Anarchy In The UK. Jett Hollywood committed cinema suicide.

In 2016 Federico ran the first Straight-Jacket Guerrilla Film Festival, which incorporated experimental filmmakers from across the world. His films have been called psychedelic, nightmarish and angelic, all executed with a Peter Pan sense of wonder. He has even been called ''the devils filmmaker''. His PINK8 film manifesto even caused his films to be banned from universities after it was discovered that film groups were screening his films on campus including his new film Loon (2017) which is about a folie a deux relationship.