Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Interview with filmmaker Mark & Li Shuen

Cannonball will be screening at the Straight Jacket Guerrilla Film Festival

*How did you get into making films?
His dad being a film buff and giving him a camcorder when he was 13, Mark got his start with making skate videos. He then went on over the years to create narrative and documentary films around the world. Finding in the craft, the possibility of resistance and  re-imagination. After we met, and worked together in a psych-art project, we have found the medium to be a fantastic one for our intentions to re-image and re-imagine reality and its conditions - as mirror and reflection.

*What inspired you to make your movie?
We were experimenting with a concept. To create a Gonzo-pop album and have it be based on an imagined film that would be shot on the tour of the album.
We then worked out a music tour through Australia with our friend, musician Shoeb Ahmad and made the film during the tour together with our friends from Australia, Japan and Singapore.
We were driven by the many a time absurd reality surrounding the creation, presentation and ingestion of art in film and music.

*How has your style evolved?
Making films over the years, we have tried to pursue the craft outside of the film school/institutional and industry constructs. We have become more wary of creating films that fight for a cause and have been thinking more of making films that cause a fight.

*Tell us any strange or funny stories while making the film?
The day of filming the flashback scene in the beginning of the film was also the day that our friends had flown in from Japan to Singapore while we were flying out to Australia for the tour. We had only a few hours to film and play a show that we had set up in an artist studio, Mural Lingo. It felt like that was exactly the spirit of the film, rushing about in a sweat, getting punched by your friend, making some noise and finding yourself in places you’ve never been.

*The Misrule Film Movement & Pink8 manifesto bring what to mind?
Having found out about them, it brings to our mind a great sense of joyful resistance, to take action where one is constantly made to second guess oneself to be a complicit actor in the conditions surrounding the creation of work. Brings a lifefulness to the shrouds of fatality in reality.

*What can we expect from your next film?
We’re currently in pre-production for an absurdist comedy film, a feature to be set in New York and Japan.  A tale of an English teacher whose life seems headed into the gutter who gets into all sorts of hijinx in a northern town in Japan.
A sombre and heartening display of being in the world in its ridiculousness, beauty, ugliness and truth.