Monday, 28 November 2011

Interview with director Fabrizio Federico

Did you have much experience in film before you made Black Biscuit ?

Nothing but a love for movies. I’ve always been into underground cinema, stuff like Andy Warhols early Edie Sedgwick films, Tarnation, Julien Donkey Boy, Buffalo 66, The Last Movie by Dennis Hopper which is my favorite film. I wanted to change the rules of cinema. To improvise like Jazz, and to be adventurous.
To get rid of professionalism, actors, plot, story boards, traditions and create a film that stands alone and new.

How did you finance the film ?

I didnt sit down one day and say ‘Im going to get a budget together, then Im gonna find some actors, then locations…’ no, I just did it on the run.
Filming took about 1 year. If I met someone who was interesting, or charismatic I’d ask them if they wanted to be in a movie with me.
Whatever. Some of the cast were people who aspired to be actors but I had them play themselves. We’re surrounded by superstars and we don’t even see it.

I was working as a life model, and I just fed that money into the project. I also went from door to door asking people to donate 1gbp.
The film cost about 500gbp to make. It was shot on my mobile phone, and some childrens cameras. I was going through a Jim Jones cult, vampire, psychedelic 60’s faze when I made it.

It’s a very distinctive film, what gave you the concept ?

I just thought that there were a lot of unwritten laws, rules, and targets that filmmakers subconsciously have tattooed on their brains about cinema.
That cinemas should look and be a certain way.
All this film dogma come’s from critics, film teachers, internet trolls, and some of the film festival submission rules. And for a young filmmaker all that can really kill your style.
I don’t like being told what to do when it comes to being creative, so I made a film that would burn all these misconceptions on how to make a feature film.
You don’t need experience, technology, money, or even a plan to do it, just let the love of being creative take over you on the spot.

Theres a lot of footage ?

There’s a lot of life out there.

What is the plot of the film ?

The film is more about a spirit than a plot, I guess I wanted to capture today’s zeitgeist.
I see a lot of disappointment and isolation. Young kids who cant find direction or work, mass social surveillance with CCTV, celebrity culture, governments you cant trust.
We’re living in an untrusting world, we’ve almost got too much freedom, but no freedom.
This century is going to be a Catch 22 I can feel it.
I chose to look for the most common character of our times. Lost misfits.
People that don’t belong anywhere, a Black Biscuit. They live way, way out on the outskirts of society.
Whether your homeless, or a internet media whore your still missing.
I wanted to show the world these characters, and to get rid of some of the myths that surround’s the lonesome drifter anti-hero. The Film director as the new modern rebel.

The films technique is very diverse, what led you to this style ?

I just work off the cusp, I don’t plan at all. I sit down and follow a path. Some days I’ll feel like Im from the 1920’s, another day I might be choppy or in a cinema-verite mood.
Im constantly changing, shedding my skin, Im like a rolling stone not gathering any moss. I don’t follow trends, I live in my own strange universe.
I guess Im a bit like that character from American Beauty, the one who films the plastic bag….Ricky something.
I see beauty in a lot of trivial things, stuff that gets lost in this fast world we live in.
The types of films I love often get called pretentious, but I feel that’s just from people who don’t have an open mind and are scared of the unknown.
Try something new, and be a creator not a critic.

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