Monday, 14 October 2019

THE ACID KING: Filmmakers talk Satanism, Drugs & Heavy Metal

Interview with Jesse P. Pollack & Dan Jones, the filmmakers behind the 2019 true crime documentary, THE ACID KING. 

What first attracted you to Ricky's tale? 
JESSE: Back in 2014, I was working on my first book, DEATH ON THE DEVIL'S TEETH, which chronicled a 1972 murder that was blamed on Satanism and Witchcraft. While researching that story, I kept hearing about the Ricky Kasso case. I read up on it and decided it was worth examining in my second book. Once I got to interview people involved in that incident, I found out that the press really mangled this story back in 1984, and it became my "mission", so to speak, to set the record straight on the myths and lies surrounding Ricky Kasso and his victim, Gary Lauwers. That book, also titled THE ACID KING, was released in October 2018 by Simon & Schuster, and this film is a direct documentary adaptation of it. 

DAN: I first heard the story from Jesse when he got the book deal going. He'd tell me more and more about it as his research went on and I realized that this was a lot deeper than a kid who sacrificed his friend to the devil. It's a heartbreaking story about a boy who was just discarded by society because he didn't fit the mold his father tried to put him into. So initially, the bullshit of the story is what caught my attention. 

Why do you suppose he was so attracted to Satanism? 
JESSE: I think Satanism offered Ricky a chance to feel powerful for the first time in his life. As a kid, he was into rock n' roll and horror movies, which already carried the "Satanic" label, so this just became an extension of that. As he grew older, it became more and more apparent that he wasn't going to live up to his father's ambitions for him, so things came to a head and Ricky was eventually thrown out of his home in the 7th grade. He was forced to sleep in the woods and public bathrooms when he couldn't find an unlocked car or a friend's couch to crash on. He survived on bagels and cheap bologna sandwiches that he bought by selling pot and LSD behind a restaurant by the high school he had dropped out of. When your existence has deteriorated to sleeping on dirt and eating warm lunchmeat on stale bread, you'll do anything to feel some form of power and control in your life. 

DAN: Ricky had nowhere to turn. The idea that Satan would save him was his last ditch effort to survive and it didn't exactly play out that way - or maybe when Ricky decided to end it, he thought he was being saved. 

Apparently after he got into Satanism, he became an amazing football player - do you think there's a coincidence there? 
JESSE: Never happened. That's a complete myth. Ricky was always a talented athlete, but if anything, his performance worsened as he got older. He was no longer interested in sports by the time he was in middle school, and between his pot-smoking and lack of athletic ambition, his performance only got worse until he eventually dropped out of school. One of the main reasons why Ricky was thrown out of his home by his father was Ricky not wanting to play football anymore. His old man wanted him to be the next Johnny Unitas and flew into a rage and beat him every time he missed football practice. One of the most gut-wrenching stories I was told while writing the book was by a friend of his who recalled Ricky pulling up his shirt to show him the bruises his dad had left on his chest by beating him with a wooden broomstick for missing football practice. What the fuck kind of father does that? It's a shock anyone was surprised at what later became of Ricky - look at the people he had for parents. 

DAN: He got into "Satanism" as an escape from sports - not as a way to get better. 

Were people happy to talk about Ricky during your research? 
JESSE: Once they realized I was trying to set the record straight and wasn't in the business of selling more myths, most people were willing to talk on the record. Some gave me information on an anonymous basis, but most were happy to be a part of this book and film project, as it helped them reclaim their own life stories. A few people weren't as happy. One of the witnesses to the murder, Albert Quinones, would only speak to us if we could offer him money and a movie deal, which completely goes against the ethics of journalism, so we declined. One of the kids who was brought by Ricky to see the body of Gary Lauwers would only speak to us if we offered him cash. When we declined, he said, "Go fuck yourself and get a real job." So, sometimes you get shit like that. 

DAN: People not one degree away from the story were easier to talk to than those that knew Ricky and Gary. There were plenty of people that told Jesse to go fuck himself. A few folks we met on the street who asked about the cameras were eager to express their thoughts on the story, as well. Nobody tried to chase us out of town, or anything - not yet, at least. 

Did anything strange happen during the making of the project? 
JESSE: For about a year, I was trying like hell to find Jim VanBebber, who directed the Kasso-inspired short film MY SWEET SATAN (1994). One lead would take me to California, another to Florida. Finally, a mutual friend - super-talented artist Cody Lee Hardin - tipped me off on where I could find him, and it turned out he was living literally only a half hour away from me. I bought the main camera we used in the making of this film at a pawn shop in that same town. I was grocery shopping there every Saturday at one point. So once I found him there, I was finally able to ask him if he would appear in the film, and luckily he said yes, because he steals every segment he's in. His interview was so intelligent, insightful, and even hilarious that I couldn't picture this documentary being anywhere near as effective as it is without him. So yeah, finding out that one of the biggest names associated with Kasso's pop culture legacy was living so close by was pretty wild. 

DAN: When we were shooting in the Crab Meadow cemetery where Ricky tried to dig up a grave, Jesse knew of a tree that Ricky carved his nickname into. We eventually found it a few yards away from the grave he defiled. You could clearly see "ACID KING" cut into the bark, weathered and worn from the 33 years that had passed. Then, Joey Slater-Milligan, a photographer who was with us, pointed out "Gary" carved into the tree a few feet below Ricky's "Acid King". This was surreal - just knowing they both stood there, together, and immortalised themselves into the tree bark long before their lives would become permanently intertwined. 

What was the hardest aspect of this project? 
JESSE: Editing. This film was shot on a shoe-string budget, so we didn't have the luxury of using 4K cameras with expensive lenses on them - or even 16mm, which I honestly would have rather shot it on, if only for aesthetic purposes. Our second unit, run by the amazingly talented Rusty Tagliareni (Antiquity Echoes) and Sommer Jonez (YES, NO, GOODBYE), had better equipment than Dan and I were using for the main portion of the shoot, so those scenes were easier to edit, but the rest of the footage was a pain at times. Due to the low budget, we had to use DSLRs and consumer-grade lenses, and learn how to calibrate them on the fly. I grew up making short films on Super 8 and VHS-C, so a lot of this stuff required a crash-course in modern digital filmmaking for Dan and I. We literally went to the YouTube school of filmmaking for about three months during pre-production, which was pretty helpful, but we still made some mistakes. A few times, we were accidentally shooting 30 fps on the B cam while the A cam was shooting 24. If you know anything about editing, you know that to fix this, you have to render the 30 fps footage down to 24 fps in post, and it makes motion look jittery and fucks up the audio synchronization - which was a major issue, as we muted the camera's mic when we shot, due to us using lav mics. We spent a LOT of time fixing audio sync errors. Also, lighting and monitors became really tricky. We'd spend 30 minutes lighting an interview subject and it would look great on the HD LCD monitors we were using, but once we got it into the editing bay, we saw a ton of digital noise. So, we had to go in with special software and "de-noise" a few segments. In some cases, it was barely noticeable, but in others it was a little more obvious, so that led to some frustration - but no one complained about it at the premiere, where it was blown up 50 feet high, so maybe we're just being hard on ourselves for not making a pitch-perfect $6,000 first-time feature. 
DAN: Getting to Long Island. I nearly missed my flight. 

JESSE: I would have fucking killed him. (Laughs) Someone would have been making a true crime documentary about ME! 

Do you think heavy metal had a hand in the murder, or was it just a deadly cocktail of circumstances? 
JESSE: The murder of Gary Lauwers had nothing to do with heavy metal. I know Ricky Kasso has been adopted as this pseudo-antihero by the heavy metal community due to the historical revisionism that was hocked by the tabloids and the trashy exploitation paperback written by that plagiarizing hack, David St. Clair (1987's SAY YOU LOVE SATAN), but in reality, the heaviest music Ricky listened to was Black Sabbath - which is considered "oldies" by today's standards. Ricky's favorite bands were The Who, Frank Zappa, and The Grateful Dead - hardly the frothing-at-the-mouth thrash rockers that the media would love to blame this stuff on. Ricky was an abused, mentally-ill, drug addicted child who finally snapped after one-too-many bad days. I'm not trying to justify or downplay what he did to Gary Lauwers, but I have to reject this media lie that's been perpetuated for almost 40 years now - he wasn't some maniac who sprouted from the ground, ready to kill because Ozzy Osbourne and Anton Lavey told him to. Ricky Kasso was an abused kid who needed serious, professional help, and instead got a lot of "tough love" bullshit from his parents and teachers, and we all know what happened next. 

DAN: I'd say it was more the drugs and lack of support Ricky had from his family and community. The idea that music influenced his actions is dishonest and a scapegoat. 

What can viewers learn from this documentary? 
JESSE: Hopefully viewers will learn how this tragedy was exploited by a scoop-hungry media, and the after-effects of it are still being felt today, especially in Northport. This incident helped kick off a worldwide moral panic that cast children as literal supervillains in a religious culture war. For decades, cops got their jollies branding kids - usually ones from a lower economic bracket - as "Satanists", and went about harassing them needlessly. Parents saw this shit on Geraldo and Oprah, and turned their children into virtual prisoners inside their own homes. Lives were ruined by this. God knows how many teenagers committed suicide due to the pressures inflicted upon them by their parents and society in general during the Satanic Panic, and who knows how many innocent kids were convicted of crimes they had nothing to do with. Look no further than the West Memphis Three. Hopefully parents will watch this film and love their kids a little better - and take what they read about children in online or in the newspapers with a boulder of salt. 

DAN: Hopefully the truth that Ricky was just a damaged kid with nobody to offer him actual help - that it wasn't just the devil and heavy metal. 

Do you think Ricky was evil? 
JESSE: Ricky Kasso made a series of horrible choices that can never be undone. However, if he hadn't been failed by his family, his teachers, and his friends, I think he - and more importantly, Gary Lauwers - would still be alive today. That's the biggest tragedy of this whole story - it was completely preventable. 

DAN: Ricky wasn't "evil"; Ricky was lost. Ricky didn't have a home or family near the end of it. He couldn't go home. 

How did the collaboration process develop between you both while making the film? 
JESSE: Dan and I have been creative partners since we were 19 years old. We started out writing short stories together and eventually moved on to podcasting and filmmaking. Every step of the way, we worked together on selecting the right equipment to fit within our budget, where and when we would set up a base of operations while filming out on Long Island, and how to structure each scene once all of the interviews and B-roll were shot and in the can, so to speak. We both had film "bibles" - notebooks we used for notetaking and transcribing interview footage - and we coordinated the data from both of those books to make the best scenes out of the material we had. It was a really great collaborative process and I hope we can continue creating worthwhile work for years to come. 

DAN: We're both very comfortable with one another in the sense that we both know our individual skillsets. Jesse ran the interviews since he knew what to talk about, whereas I set up all the cameras and the technical aspects of the shoot. It was a pretty painless go around on our second trip to Northport. 

Where can viewers see the movie? 
JESSE: THE ACID KING will be available to view on Amazon Prime this fall - stay tuned. 

DAN: We will eventually have a physical media release too - because physical media will never die.

Thursday, 15 August 2019

Interview with filmmaker Anatoly Pasichnik

Long Road Home will be screening at the Straight-Jacket Guerrilla Film Festival

How did you get into making films?
From early childhood I liked to watch movies. Over time, the film industry has drawn me more and more. During this period, I wanted to know exactly how movies are created. I read a lot of books in this direction and decided to practice shooting video clips.

What inspired you to make your movie?
 I was inspired to create a film by my own book "the Long way home" based on which the film was made.

How has your style evolved?
 I think developing your own style takes place over the entire career of the Director. This is only my first film so to talk about own style you need to shoot at least two more films. In the meantime it is too early to talk about it.

Tell us any strange or funny stories while making the film?
 "Long Road Home" is the first full-length mystical thriller, filmed without the support of the Ministry of culture of the Russian Federation and without the participation of the major film studios.

 - None of the participants of the project does not have any professional education in the field of film industry.

 - About 40 % of the scenes described in the film took place in real life. For example, the scene with the family in the car on the track and the doctor’s conversation in the doctors ' lounge. The Director was personally present. It was so interesting that he just took a piece of paper, a pen and started to write down everything he saw and heard. Of course, these scenes for the film have to be changed a little under the plot, but it is still about 75% true.

 - Many of the characters of the film, as well the novel, have their prototypes in real life. Some of them played themselves in the film, but some, for one reason or another, couldn’t take part in the filming.

- Almost all mentions of the name "Pasichnik" are excluded from the opening credits, except the Director, despite the fact that the director himself has played a major role. Leading roles were played by: the director’s brother Dmitry Pasichnik and his uncle Anatoly Pasichnik, the name of the last one was decided to change on "Rybakov ".

 - All movie scenes are shot either in nature or in real places (school, hospital, and others). None of the decorations was made for the film.

 The Misrule Film Movement & Pink8 manifesto bring what to mind?
 There are a lot of rules in filmmaking, but there are no laws. In order to break the rules you need to know them.

What can we expect from your next film?
 It's going to be a bomb! There's no point in talking about it. As soon as I make this film you will definitely see it.

Friday, 9 August 2019

Interview with filmmaker Sergio Aparicio

Galsen - The Language of Souls will be screening at the Straight-Jacket Guerrilla Film Festival

*How did you get into making films? 
I have always said that it's important for us Afro-descendants to tell our own stories, without filters or intermediaries who try to adulterate our reality, only we know how we feel and how we perceive it. That is why it's interesting that in our community we create references with different perspectives so that we have a voice within the multiple artistic disciplines that exist. In the case of cinema, it is necessary that works are created from our perspective. 

*What inspired you to make your movie? 
Galsen, the language of souls, is the fruit of the need to narrate and express my history. The story of an Afro-descendant who is reunited with Motherland, the history of the duality of living between two worlds and not fit in any, of being a stateless person, a being in no one's land. From the need in my case, to tell the story of my rebirth to my unfiltered mother, from the depths of my being and leave that experience reflected in order to inspire people like me to tell their own. 

*How has your style evolved? 
It took me two years to complete the movie. I did not have any economic budget that's why I had to record it, direct it, compose the soundtrack, produce it, edit it and finally distribute it and promote it. The equipment I had was a video camera and a tape recorder. It sounds pretentious enough to want to make a film in those conditions right? I had a story to tell, something pure, translucent and real, that is the most important thing and the impulse that led me to realize it. I promised myself that I would do this film with what I had and that's how it was. Along the way I have been dragging and have been adding a cast of film professionals, musicians and artists, more than 70 people in total, who have given body to this story through their own ". 

*Tell us any strange or funny stories while making the film? I almost got kidnapped on the border between Gambia an Cassamance... No comments. 

*The Misrule Film Movement & Pink8 manifesto bring what to mind? 
Cool shiit! 

*What can we expect from your next film? 
I combine cinema with photography and music, all under the pseudonym OKOBÉ, this is how you can find me on social networks. I am currently working on the script of my next fiction short film in which I have been submerged for a long time and I'm working as a photographer and art director for international artists from here in London, designing their artistic concepts, from the cover of their albums to their staging.

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Interview with filmmaker William Stancik

Mr Deviltree will be screening at the Straight-Jacket Guerrilla Film Festival

*How did you get into making films?
The Fear of Death. I did not want to die without having made the movies in my head.

*What inspired you to make your movie?
The forgotten movies. Movies that exist in the corners. The unreliability of identity and translation.

*How has your style evolved?
More trust in the Moment. Getting out of my own way. Untying the shoelaces of continuity. Bootleg yourself.

*Tell us any strange or funny stories while making the film?
Unfortunately, I am having Post-Film Amnesia. Sometimes when you are filming the camera whispers little lies, and you cannot let the camera know that you know; the moments will find their way back to you.

*The Misrule Film Movement & Pink8 manifesto bring what to mind?
The wire monkey wrapped in cloth is a mother to the Beautiful Mistake.
I generally subscribe to Magpie Theory: take what speaks to me, and put it in the nest with the icepick and Lucia's silver spoon. Then look for the second magpie and watch out for the seventh, i.e.:

One for sorrow,
Two for mirth
Three for a funeral,
Four for birth
Five for heaven
Six for hell
Seven for the devil, his own self.

*What can we expect from your next film?
Already in editing: "Captain Jarvis and the Red Soda Kid." Culture is an implant of other people's choice of memory. Time is ambiguous.  Fire keeps the Octopus away.

Interview with filmmaker Ssenkaaya Martin

25th Best & Great Date will be screening at the Straight-Jacket Guerrilla Film Festival

How did you get into making films? 
Since I was a young boy I loved watching Hollywood movies, I could tryout their character styles but I failed all the time making me a bad actor, I felt connected to the film world, I wanted to do something undone by other directors in my country .The passion for movies and the presence of passionate people around who hard different skills needed in film production, I had to drop from IT class on my last year, then I joined YouTube film makers classes every day and I felt this is what I wanted in life, that what made me feel that am breathing again I learnt skills in 2 years i.e. script writing, screenplay writing/ editing, film directing and acting, these made the idea of starting producing movies very strong and producing the first movie was inevitable. We started with the short movie titled I CRY IN PAIN at a budget of 50USD and another one titled HOMELESS FET at a budget of 100USD, the two short movies taught us a lot of lessons about the film industry and movie production as a whole. The challenges we faced, the successes, made as strong and optimistic about our journey in the movie industry. And now in this year of 2019 we have managed to produce our first featured movie titled 25TH BEST AND GREAT DATE at a budget of 500USD since 2015 when we entered into this film industry. 

What inspired you to make your movie? 
What I can say is that am self-Draven person, the dream, the fire which was burning inside me, inspired me to get a paper and a pen to write something on it, [2]of course just like others the absence of good quality movies in our country; seeing most of the movie producers in the country producing half-baked and poor quality movies, we didn’t have a second thought on starting to produce movies that can reach the international standards which can help our movie industry in Uganda to glow. We may be a little bit far away from this dream, but we are hopeful that one day, which is not far from now, we shall make it happen. 

How has your style evolved? 
We have been able to create our own dolly machines we use in our movie productions, just by our self and we use common materials to design them. They are made out of scrap, but on the standard. Our movies are now in the festivals, not only that, we have now five featured movies with scripts in our store ready to be produced, and one TV series about the history of the greatest kingdom in our country. 

Tell us any strange or funny stories while making the film? 
Ha-ha……., during the production of this featured movie 25th BEST & GREAT DATE!, since we were not paying the casts and other production team, the director could go and cook food for the cast and crew, and there after comes back to direct the set, I can’t forget when the leading cast was hungry at the very time of shooting his scene, but the food wasn’t ready!! So whatever he was acting didn’t come out very so we had to stop the shooting until the food is ready, this made the scene to be shoot the following day.. 

The Misrule film movement & Pink8 manifesto bring what to mind? 
What I can say is that any attempt to break the rules of film making is a good thing, so misrule film movement & Pink8 manifesto bring what to mind the hope to an extent, the reality of rewriting cinema`s language through the artists of the underground. I love the idea of going against, going against the grain what film school teaches and creating instead, with low budget, a cast of unknowns. In my country I haven`t got a director I admire about the adhered to these kinds of ideas in the past. 

What can we expect from your next film? 
In the next film, it’s going to be very big, because the lessons we learnt from this one, we are going to apply them in the next movie to make it better than the previous one. Also expect new material, entertaining and action which is going to make it great. We have resourced more talent from the communities both crew and casts. So don’t miss out! I`m not sure how much more shooting that I will do before I decide that the project is complete, but there are a couple other locations that I’d like to capture before closing the door on the coming movie. 

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Interview with filmmaker Matias Carelli

The Trial Of De Five will be screening at the Straight-Jacket Guerrilla Film Festival

*How did you get into making films? 
In 2010, without any knowledge of cinema, I bought a camcorder and proposed to two friends with whom I was studying theater to make a movie. At the beginning we thought of doing something short and with few characters. The story of the script was evolving and changing. Finally we made a 104-minute feature film involving more than 200 people 

*What inspired you to make your movie? 
In 2014 I found an article from the nineties that talked about some strange deaths that occurred in 1993 in the Argentine Patagonia. I found it fascinating and mysterious enough to tell my own free version. Thus arose The Trail of the Five 

*How has your style evolved? 
I think today I try to leave less things to chance. But I like it when something is improvised. I think that many times it is better than what we plan. The performances are usually more authentic! 

*Tell us any strange or funny stories while making the film? 
Several scenes of The Trail of the Five were to be filmed in Piedra Parada, a beautiful and emblematic place on the Patagonian plateau, which is characterized by having something or a lot of wind. When we went to shoot there with a generously lent van the weather was warm, calm and windless, something really weird there, especially in April. The next day, after camping with the team, we filmed other scenes as some wind began. When the joranda ended, the wind became much stronger, as is usually normal at that time. 

*What does the Misrule Film Movement & Pink8 manifesto bring what to mind? 
I think the Misrule movement is basically a breath of freedom and fresh air. In my country it seems that everything must be filmed through the Official Film Institute, otherwise it cannot be done. I think that to think from the place of Misrule is to truly democratize the cinema, see and listen to other perspectives, and give rise to artists from small and remote places as is my case. What do I think of pink8? Simply beautiful. Especially when he says that the cast shouldn't know what the movie is about! 

*What can we expect from your next film? 
I just want to expect the unexpected! Filming something that makes me happy without submitting to the whims of the system

Interview with filmmaker Amit Chauhan

Identity will be screening at the Straight-Jacket Guerrilla Film Festival

*How did you get into making films? 
Ans: Well, I got into filmmaking since I was a little kid...I'm a self taught filmmaker and I never went to a film school to learn filmmaking. I was a big time movie buff/ nerd since I was maybe 2-3 years old and movies were like an escape for me. Whenever I had some issues at my home or school or with people ,in general..I would just come back home and put on a movie and forget everything. I started making films when I was around 8-9 years old. Actually I'm in this business bcoz of my father...although he wanted me to become a big government official, when I grow up but whenever he saw me paint or make some new stuff...he would always encourage me and tell me to keep doing it no matter what happens. I must say that he was the one to light the spark in me. He used to love watching my stuff and listen to my very funny and hammy 'Read along comic book' tapes...which had these cheap homemade sound effects and very weird narration styles. I used to make small home movies, travelogues on a manually operated 8mm film camera...which didnt record audio on it. And you had to literally edit/ trim the film with a pair of take out the unnecessary footage and piece the whole thing together with glue or tape. When I reached 20, I started assisting on some small Indie Film/ Documentary projects..whenever I was able spare a little time out of my business...I was into Event Management at that time. I mostly worked for free, bcoz money was not the motivation for me. I wanted more creative freedom or satisfaction, which I never had during my tenure in the events business. I was more interested in learning the craft rather then earning I did my best to learn whatever I could..with my limited capacity at that time. Slowly, slowly I started making some short films and ad films...and after spending around 10 years in the business I'm with my first feature project talking to you. 

*What inspired you to make your movie? 
Well, I had studied this particular case many years ago and I was very intrigued by the subject..coz it deals with the modern day problems and people's obsession with the virtual/ cyber world. People nowadays are more focussed on living artificial lives...superficial relationships have taken over real relationships...Virtual friends have become more important than real friends..likes are being traded for friendships..your online influence is more important than your real life influence... Private lives have become public affairs. People with fewer likes or followers are suffering from low self esteem / depression and people (actually a nobody in real life) with large number of followers are seen as a success or an achiever. All these all facts and issues inspired me to make this film. 

*How has your style evolved? 
Well, I'm constantly learning and being a student of the game..I'm always evolving. I'm always trying different styles and approaches to achieve the desired result. Being a realist..I try to see things from several different point of views..and sometimes i see things like an outsider from a vantage point and all of that can be seen in this film. My end target is to create a very realistic and humanistic style that connects with all people. Rather than over intellectualizing things..I want to create products...that are simple and easily understandable. 

*Tell us any strange or funny stories while making the film? 
Well, we had a lot of funny moments during the filming thing that happened during the audio recording sessions was..that our main lead actor 'Shonit Sharma (Debutant) was constantly intimidated by our lead actress 'Naina Mishra's (Debutant) very aggressive and spontaneous style. He had been practising his dialogue pitch for more than a week but was not able to get the dialogues right. So finally 1 day before the recording session..he sorted everything out. But the next day..when it was time to do the voiceover sessions..he completely blanked out and forgot his dialogues. Our other main actor 'Ranjeet Pannu (Veteran theatre and Punjabi Film Actor) did his voiceover part in one take and in less then 11 mins...But our young star 'Shonit Sharma' was so stressed out.. that he locked himself in a room to remember the dialogues and it took him more then 1 hour and around 20 cigarettes to do the whole that was one of the funny things that happened during the filming part.. 

*The Misrule Film Movement & Pink8 manifesto bring what to mind? 
All power to the indie filmmakers around the world. I believe cinema is a tool and a reflection of the society. And the tool can definitely bring some change in people's perception if used in the right manner. Arts run the world and imagine how this world will look like, if there is no art in it. And like all other arts, films too are an expression that have been an integral part of society & history since a very long
time. And freedom of expression should not be killed..every human being has the right to express matter what method or medium they choose to convey their message. I believe the Pink8 manifesto too conveys the same message without following the hard set rules set by the film industry and film corporations around the globe. 

*What can we expect from your next film? 
More grittier, exposing, off beat...pure arthouse cinema.

Interview with filmmaker Garry Miley

The Island Of Evenings will be screening at the Straight-Jacket Guerrilla Film Festival

*How did you get into making films?
I’m an architect by training, but during my years in practice I found the process of trying to get a building built extremely frustrating and always disappointing. I’d been interested in film-making from a young age but in more recent years I began to reflect on how similar architecture and film-making are in terms of the processes and techniques involved. So, a few years back, and late in the game (I was already middle aged), I decided to give film making a try. I still love architecture but, on balance, I find film making more satisfying. So now I’m a convert.

*What inspired you to make your movie?
I was inspired to make this movie by the fact that I wanted to make a film but I had no money whatsoever. My starting point was to develop a project which would involve the absolute minimum possible expenditure. In other words, a film with only one character and one location. I figured that the character had to be suffering from depression because every other dramatic situation would have cost too much money to depict. The question became whether he lived or died. It was a simple as that.

*How has your style evolved?
In recent years I’ve become more efficient and methodical in my approach to writing scripts. And my thinking on the role of sound in film has also become more sophisticated. But, being honest, I don’t think I’ve really had an opportunity to develop the visual end of my style so far. There’s no getting away from the fact that locations, set design, visual experimentation, and so on, cost money. To date, the visual esthetic in my films is a result of what I could afford at the time. This is something I’m eager to redress.

*Tell us any strange or funny stories while making the film? 
The Island Of Evenings features a character called Podge who happens to be a dog. Podge was played by a very talented, but also extremely sexually frustrated, water spaniel also called Podge. In the course of filming, Podge - a very strong and very, very passionate dog – developed deep but at the same time inappropriate sexual feelings toward the film’s director who, as it happens, was me. On set tensions were relieved when I decided to remove myself while Podge’s scenes were being shot. However, Podge remained visibly excited during the filming so that, in the end, some of his contributions had to be extremely deleted for fear of anybody ever thinking I was seriously disturbed.

*The Misrule Film Movement & Pink8 manifesto bring what to mind? 
The truth is, to make a film, all you need is 1) a good idea and 2) a red button on your smart phone. That’s all it takes. Despite this simple honest truth we’ve somehow managed to build around the making of films an immense structure for human behavior which I would suggest is for the most part characterized by fakery, vulgarity, dishonesty, manipulation, smugness, rudeness, cruelty, dismissiveness, bullying, entitlement, greed, jealousy, superficiality, materialism, arrogance, obnoxiousness, vaingloriousness, impatience, insecurity, paranoia, snobbery and creepiness. Insofar as the Misrule Movement and Pink8 stand against this structure, then I’m a supporter.

*What can we expect from your next film?
I had hoped to film a very tough and challenging drama set in inner city Limerick with the well known Irish actor, John Connors. Even by my own standards, the script deals with some difficult issues and producers have been reluctant to get involved. So, for the summer of 2020 I’m looking at Plan B – a less controversial feature length piece which is also much easier to film from a logistical point of view. The script for this project is ready to go. In the meantime I’m working on a short, experimental film about Baroque art. I’ll have this one finished by the end of 2019.

Interview with filmmaker Alejandra y Jorge

Boob-Therapy, The Musical will be screening at the Straight-Jacket Guerrilla Film Festival

*How did you get into making films?
We worked in the audiovisual area for more than 15 years, since childhood we were interested in art, after leaving school we studied audiovisual and dance.

*What inspired you to make your movie?
We rely on a performance by Irina Gallardo, protagonist of this story, we create a script for her to star. What would happen if a woman has senatorial powers? answering this question we developed the plot of the film.

*How has your style evolved?
We have adapted to work with a low budget, but still we care about the image and the content in what we do, although sometimes it can be comedy it must have critical content. Thanks to the experience in our accomplishments, we have evolved to develop our own style of conscious art and to go from making short films or music videos, we go on to make our first musical feature.

*Tell us any strange or funny stories while making the film?
We believe that what most marked the shooting of the project was the death of our artistic partner Daughter of Perra, it was very difficult for us to accept and be able to continue, but after a while we believe it was important to finish the project as a tribute to our friend.
Maybe something funny could be that sometimes the team was just us, Alejandra and Jorge, acting and on camera, Alejandra, in addition to acting, manipulated the equipment.

*The Misrule Film Movement & Pink8 manifesto bring what to mind?
That although they tell you that without a budget, without the support of brands or governments, your projects cannot be achieved, we manage to finish and only place the ElefanteGonorrea logo and it is a project made with the friends of independent cinema.

*What can we expect from your next film?
It will be epic.

Similarities of Tarantino's 'Once Upon A Time In Hollywood' & Federico's 'Teddy Bears Live Forever'

Ahead of it's UK release Quentin Tarantino's new movie Once Upon A Time In Hollywood briefly follows the exploits of the Manson girls as they roam around Hollywood obeying their cult leaders orders. These girls only feature in the movie shortly but another movie that was also released in 2019 delves into the psyche of these girls (that are prey to cult leaders such as Charles Manson) in a much deeper way. 
In director Fabrizio Federico's new movie Teddy Bears Live Forever lead character April personifies the Manson girl prototype, she is a young faded ''It girl'' suffering in exile from multiple-personality disorder (brought on by a UFO Cult in Hollywood) and she decides that the most evil one of her six personalities must lose her virginity in order for her to regain control of her inner demons.
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 in a strange quantum dimension in physical reality. 
''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 and how ultimately they can be tossed aside back into societies void to fend for them selves.

Soundtrack by MAO -

Thursday, 1 August 2019

Interview with filmmaker Chephrena Mbouombouo

AMARANTHINE will be screening at the Straight-Jacket Guerrilla Film Festival

*How did you get into making films? I was watching Titanic for the 20th time or something and I thought to myself "I want to do this". Tell stories that make people feel but in the exact opposite way.

*What inspired you to make your movie? There was this performance by the glam/glitter rock band The Sweet on Top of the Pops in the '70s that I watched religiously. It was the song Blockbuster and the bass player was decked out in a glam rockified Nazi uniform--silver platforms, red swastika armband and a Hitler moustache. I was so interested by the fact that he could perform like that on TV and what that meant during the times. So I delved into researching swastikas worn by punks during the seventies and the story for AMARANTHINE  was built around that.

*How has your style evolved? I used to be a lot more impulsive and think a lot less about themes and what things meant when I was making films. I just made them, it was very visceral. Now after hearing people's critique and input on what my films were about I am evolving my filmmaking style. It is still extremely "campy, satiric, and unique" but more of an organized chaos now than just chaos.

*Tell us any strange or funny stories while making the film? I don't really like to sugarcoat things especially when it's about racism. So I remember a certain moment when shooting a scene with three Nazi boys. I made a small cameo as a bartender. The three Nazi boys were enjoying there time at the bar when the main one calls out to me for more drinks. I remember I told him to be as rude as possible to me when calling me over, telling him that Donovan (the Nazi character) would throw out a certain slur towards the black bartender. He was very hesitant in doing that, but I said that it would make me very happy. So we shot the scene and he said it and I couldn't have been more happy. After we cut, he crumbled, said he felt so awful, I comforted him and gave him a hug.

*The Misrule Film Movement & Pink8 manifesto bring what to mind? Making movies with what's in front of you basically. I remembered when I first started plotting scene design and art direction for AMARANTHINE I knew I would never be able to make an authentic looking '70s film set in London. So I thought, screw that, if I can't make it look authentic I won't even try, I'll create my own world. I'll make it look like cardboard plastered together and fake nature. And I think that's kind of what the whole manifesto is about. Telling a story with no budget but with whatever resources are available to the average person. It's truly punk.

*What can we expect from your next film?
More vengeance against racism and sexism but funnier and probably told through the eyes of ten year old kids this time.