Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Interview with filmmaker tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

Monte con o sin safos Rides Again will be screening at the Straight Jacket Guerrilla Film Festival

*How did you get into making films?
I started making films in the fall of 1975.  Some friends of mine & I had gone to see Frank Zappa's "200 Motels".  One of the girls of our group had gone to the Women's Room & found a bag that had a super-8 camera in it.  She didn't want the camera, she wanted to use the bag as a purse, so she gave the camera & film to a friend of mine who eventually gave it to me.  I had the exposed film processed to try to at least save the original owner's footage.  There were 2 more rolls to be shot.  Not wanting to make an ordinary plot-based film, I shot the other 2 reels for use in a 'shell game' & made my 1st film a gambling game.  
*What inspired you to make your movie?
I've been observing & using Collective Identity names since 1978 (or even as early as 1975, but that's a somewhat different story) — especially in relation to a Cultural Conspiracy named Neoism.  The Collective Identity of "Monty Cantsin" has been the most interesting of these for me.  The typical trajectory of most cultural movements seems to revolve around a short period of intense zeitgeist before the movement is overly defined & essentially killed by pseudo-historians who think they understand things that they are often just oversimplifying.  Neoists have attempted to resist this typical process by making Neoism's historicization slippery.  As such, even 37 years after its founding, when this movie was made, there're still newer Neoists coming along to confuse matters.  "Monte con o sin safos" is one of these newer Neoists & he wanted to visit me.  Wanting to support younger Neoists, I agreed to the visit & decided to document it to show what Neoism is like NOW in the time of the movie's making & THEN for people witnessing it later.  
*How has your style evolved?
I create as much as I can manage in accordance with my imagination.  As such, I try to not have a 'style' in the sense of a repeating aesthetic.  I like to change the way I do things.  Nonetheless, there're consistencies in series & there're consistencies in people's finding my Psychological Playfair difficult because I generally prefer to avoid conventional tropes of emotional manipulation that characterize what most people seem to want out of creative experiences.  Instead, I often make experimental documents that present whatever's happening around me that I find of interest (&/or that I've generated) in a form meant to heighten the content.  I sometimes call these documents Quasi-Documentaries but it might be more useful to just point out that practices purporting to be 'objective' are anything but & that my practice simply forefronts this 'non-objectivity'.  
*Tell us any strange or funny stories while making the film?
I was actually very depressed & impoverished at the time &, therefore, not exactly in the best state of mind to have a visitor that I'd never met before.  Nonetheless, I preferred to be a good host anyway so I gave it the old Anti-College Try.  This movie is the result.  The point being: if you're depressed & impoverished that's no excuse for not making something substantial.  
*The Misrule Film Movement & Pink8 manifesto bring what to mind?
Sorry, I haven't read the manifesto & am not familiar with the "Misrule Film Movement". I deduce that that's your thing & since you're calling attention to my movie I wish you the best of luck!  
*What can we expect from your next film?
"Monte con o sin safos Rides Again" is my 479th movie & my 147th 'feature' out of my current total of 158 (I call a feature anything an hour or longer).  Since I made it, less than 2 years ago, I've made 40 more movies.  These have included feature-length documents about my friends & colleagues Tom DiVenti (writer, musician, actor, publisher), Pamelia Stickney (theremin player, composer), Libby Ramer (keyboardist, composer), & Vermin Supreme (giant finger pointing from the sky).  They've also included 2 movies of me reading from my 'Pataphysical Math Humor Cognitive Dissidence book entitled "Paradigm Shift Knuckle Sandwich & other examples of P.N.T. (Perverse Number Theory)", a book which should be required reading in alternate dimensions.  Then there've been 2 new episodes of my "Soap Box Opera", my annual anarchist May Day speech.  Importantly, there's "The Struggle to End Death by Incarceration" consisting of testimony by people who were convicted of murder as juveniles & sentenced to Life-Without-Parole who were, eventually, released.    There've been many movies documenting my highly unpopular Low Classical Usic — including the ones showing my opera-in-progress entitled "Endangered Languages, Endangered Cultures, Endangered Ideas".  Let's not forget the personal porn & my homage (of sorts) to early avant-garde film entitled "Old School Futurism".  I keep busy.  An upcoming release is a CD called "Split Personalities" done in collaboration with fellowlunatic fringe member AG Davis.  Interested people can find a plentitude of work of mine online, movies are on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel, on Vimeo, & on the Internet Archive.  Most of my extensive critical writings can be found on Goodreads.  Right now I'm working on a feature called "365" in which I shoot footage of me playing (M)Usic every day of 2018.  I've decided to do all duets in June.  Today, June 11th, will be day 162.  That's been very invigorating so far.  The audio portion of the edit made from "March, 2018" will be on the "Split Personalities" CD as will one or more of the duets.