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.