Kollektivnye: Interview with filmmaker Fabrizio Federico Your new film is called Black Biscuit, what can you tell us about it in terms of the concept? The films concept is along the lines of a nightmare, it’s about when you reach that age where it’s time to decide to do something meaningful with your life, and you cant think of anything. Now that school is out, what are you gonna do with your life. It’s a very scary time. The character Chet has reached that stage. He’s stuck doing shitty little jobs like life modeling, and prostitution, and that’s not his main aspiration. Everyones got bigger plans, even gutter snipe wanna swing on stars. One day Chet sees an ad for a film competition and decides to enter into it. This is a baby step for him to make sense of his life, so he decides to become an artist. Only problem is you still have to take care of your bills, and food, so he cant turn down his prostitution gig yet, but will he ever be able to distance himself from all that and focus on his dream goal, that’s the bottom line. But it’s about making that baby step in the right direction. That’s why Im a huge fan of the Venus Project, I wanna get free and not be a slave.
The manner in which the project is filmed is very striking, what led you to this style of film making and what does it mean to you? I got into a few fights with more ‘established people’ such as film teachers and cameramen. I’ve never been to film school, and Im glad because I feel
Universities are raping the youth of their money and artistic identities. I would never dream of ever paying to have someone teach me how to make art, I think that’s crazy. So I wanted to break every rule, piece of advice, and just do my thing. I just listen to DVD commentaries, and director interviews, that’s how I learnt my craft. It will save you thousands. I want my films to be deranged, challenging, outrageous, but to create a poetic bliss - if you cant take it close your eyes. I wanna take chances and fuck with values. I am gutter film making. The person should be the art, I understand that not everyone’s gonna get it, but I hope people reading this will see that as a challenge to themselves – can I take it, have I got balls to alter my state of perception, to step out of my comfort zone. Let me make you numb. I do believe in getting high, pushing your self mentally. I used many forms of digital technology, mainly mobile phones to film Black Biscuit. Plus I edited most of the film high on weed, and LSD as a fuck you to the establishment. Technology has gone way over board we don’t need HD, or better pixels or any of that shit, and this is my way of inspiring new film makers. Make a feature don’t bother with a short, it’s easy. Hand held is so exciting; it gives you a rush, like being in a battle zone. I believe in filming people when their unaware that a camera is on them. Steal reality. Black Biscuit is a film within a film within a film, going all the way.
Did you use actors/actresses in Black Biscuit? No professionals that my motto. I didn’t tell anyone what the film was about. Im an anti-director, I’d lie about the scene, give the cast fake ideas and mainly confuse them. Everyone in the film is for real, I have no control over what happens. If I saw someone in the street; like a street superstar, I’d ask them to be in the film. I looked for people who were on the verge of having a huge nervous breakdown, these people mean a lot to me. I want people to learn what it’s like to be a part of a society of individuals who live on the outside. Only different is these characters live WAY on the outside. Adventure is what I look for, it’s such a drug. If someone called me up and said make a movie of me, I’d say yes. As long as their for real.
Where do the real and the fictional cross over in this project as a result of this style of film making? It’s very very very close, I’m not telling you where, but to capture a lot of what’s in the film I had to lie, because people get paranoid once they see a camera on them, that did surprise me a lot. The fear that appears in peoples eyes once they realize that their being filmed, such poetry. Why ? We live in a society where we’re filmed 24/7 cameras everywhere, I would love to compile a film out of CCTV footage, can you imagine the performances ? They would shit all over those phony Oscar winners.
What is the Pink8 manifesto about and how did it come to be? I just created it. Pink8 is about starting a revolution in film, we need one badly. There’s a few new films that are pushing cinema (Greek Pete, This is Not a Film) but there isn’t a big movement that’s influencing people to become experimental film makers. The only books I see in stores are Tarantino, and the director from Clerks memoirs. The film world is getting too comfortable, and predictable. I want the Pink8 manifesto to vomit all over established film making. You don’t need scripts, or actors, or money to make an interesting cutting edge film. The Punk movement is ground zero for DIY ethics, we can do it. I got knocked out several times making my film, my computer fucked me by wiping out my files, the police literally told me to stop production on the film, and just being constantly told no, no, no over and over again really gave me determination. Pink8 is about inspiring, because directors like Dennis Hopper, Harmony Korine gave me courage and I’m forever grateful for that. I want Pink8 to take over, basically there are no rules, the sooner you realize that the better.
What do you think of other movements like DOGME 95? These grass roots movements mean more to me than religion. Dogme95 created some extraordinary films, way better and exciting than either Titanic, or Space Cowboys. I mean come on that example should be enough to turn everyone onto experimental film - Space Cowboys Vs The Idiots. I’m not blind, I do understand that people want to be entertained in a light hearted manner, but all the time? That’s cotton wool entertainment. People are smarter
than that and we’re being made fools of by being exposed to crap like Mission Impossible 14. What was so wrong with the New Hollywood blue print that existed in the 70’s? Who’s got the gun to Hollywood’s head ? Do you feel that the accessibility of technology could lead to a dilution of quality in filming? Yes, but I’m prepared to face that chance, quality is a very strange word anyway because everyone’s got different forms of quality control. I’m more interested in getting people started and giving them an alternative path, I don’t think we need another James Cameron or Spielberg. That’s what puts people off from being creative, will it be good enough, will I make money. Just try it, I had a fantastic time making Black Biscuit. We are living through a film renaissance at the moment. All Im saying is lets push our outrageous ethics forward. I’d like to take the film industry through the sewer, we’re not bad people just shinny and new. How does film exist as a medium of expression for you? Film is everything, what other art form can you incorporate so much into (art, sculpture, music, fashion….) plus it immortalizes, you’ll live forever. I’m a happy ghost.