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An Interview with Christopher Di Nunzio, Director of Nihilism

by Mike Haberfelner

June 2013

Films directed by Christopher Di Nunzio on (re)Search my Trash


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Your new short Nihilism - in a few words, what is it about?


The story is about a woman battling with the question of the existence of her faith...

The story is told through a poem/monologue. When I was writing it I was thinking of the battle people go through about questioning God and when they lose that faith how one can feel like nothing exists. Hence the name "Nihilism".


With faith and lack thereof, Nihilism covers some pretty big topics - so what's your personal take on faith, religion, God, and the like?


I'm anatheist but not one of those angry atheists. LOL. I feel religion and spirituality is a personal choice. I think a lot of the world's problems could be solved without religion - but at the same time if someone believes and that's what gets them through the day and makes them a good person who am I to tell them what to believe. I studied this topic for a long time and my choice is Atheism. Funny thing is I love religious artwork and churches. When I go to a museum the first thing I do is look at all the religious art, it has so much passion and it's dark! I went to Italy a few years back and I loved just walking into random churches and looking at the structure and art they have. It's amazing. I also love religious art from Mexico. As far as faith goes I believe more that hard work pays off and trusting in yourself. Does God really exist? Unfortunately I can't say but I don't have many reasons to believe. If he does the more interesting question is which religion is the right one? And where have you been?


(Other) sources of inspiration when writing Nihilism?


I was reading some of Edgar Allan Poe and William Blake. Some personal experiences as well, but when I was writing it I tried to make it work for Aurora. I wanted to tailor it to her a bit. For the images I thought of an old Spanish painting from an artist I can't remember. LOL. Silent films and nature photography inspires me as well.


Now so far, most of your films were of the narrative variety, while Nihilism is rather experimental/avant garde in approach. In a nutshell, how come, and which approach do you actually prefer?


I made a bunch of these films with super 8 while I was taking some classes at the school of the museum of fine arts in Boston. Since then my skills as a filmmaker have grown leaps and bounds. I felt like getting back to my roots and I wanted to make a film where I did everything but act. I've been trying to do this for a while but my films keep getting too big and I end up needing help. I've always loved avant garde films like those from Maya Deren. If she doesn't have an award named after her there needs to be one. She's a great filmmaker and an important female figure in film history. I think I like the experimental/avant garde filmmaking approach better than the traditional way. You have complete freedom.


Your movie's sole actress Aurora Grabill - you just have to talk about her for a bit, and why her, how did you find her, and what was your collaboration like?


Aurora Grabill is amazing! We worked on my first feature Livestock together. Again my skills have grown a lot since then. Having known Aurora for a while I knew this type of film would be a great fit for her. The direction I took was because I had her. I could just see Aurora in it. Working with Aurora was so much fun! It was one of the best shoots because it was just me and her chatting about stuff while enjoying a beautiful day making a film. She's a really nice person and it would be hard not to like her. I thought her performance was great. She was graceful and elegant. The way she expressed sadness was perfect. She  made it work and kept it from being just another pretentious art film.


Your film uses some rather impressive locations. Want to talk about those as well as your movie's aesthetics in general for a bit?


We shot at my house which I tried to make look like a portrait painting with dramatic lighting. Then we shot at Mt. Auburn cemetery which is an amazing place. All you need to do here is point the camera and make sure it's in focus. A great spot for inspiration. For a film like this to work it not only needs a good actor but needs to be visually pleasing. So I had to really think about that. We also shot at a train station in Belmont, MA. I felt the big old wall Aurora was up against reminded me of Russia. I've been scouting most of these places for a while not knowing it because I've been doing a lot of photography there. This film allowed me to put them all together and I think it was beautiful if I can say so myself. The locations were the main way I could set a tone and add to the story.


So what can you tell us about the actual shoot and the on-set atmosphere?


It was a one day shoot and it was really fun! Like I was saying it was just me and Aurora hanging out making some cinema. When you work with good people it's always great. Even though the film is dark, on-set was relaxed and positive. One funny thing Aurora and I were talking about was the last time we went to Mt. Auburn cemetery and it was about a week or two ago around the same time and I think also the same day. It's just funny when you think about how you and someone else can be at the same place without knowing it and then a few weeks later you're both making a film there. Faith? LOL.


What can you tell us about critical reception of your movie so far, and any idea when and where Nihilism is going to be released onto the general public?


The film has gotten one review so far and it was a really good one! I'm very happy about that. The reception has been great so far too. The people that have seen it have encouraged me to do more like it. People seem to be taking away something from it and that's all I could ask for. I don't know if I'm going to release it to the public now or try a few festivals first. This is something that I'll be deciding on soon.


Any future projects beyond Nihilism you'd like to share?


Feeling lucky ?
Want to
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?

The links below
will take you
just there!!!

Find Christopher Di Nunzio
at the amazons ...


Great Britain (a.k.a. the United Kingdom)

Germany (East AND West)

Looking for imports ?
Find Christopher Di Nunzio here ...

Your shop for all things Thai

Something naughty ?
(Must be over 18 to go there !)

x-rated  find Christopher Di Nunzio at

Yes. I'm trying to raise funds for Under The Dark Wing

Pedro Alvarado and I are working on a new feature script. I'm also talking with someone about making more films like Nihilism.

Here's a little bit on Under the Dark Wing: A mysterious young girl enters the lives of two small time thugs. Without warning her presence forever alters their fates.

[read Christopher's Under the Dark Wing-interview here]


Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?


Me -

Nihilism - and IMDb -

Also check out my new feature film A Life not to Follow - almost done! - and IMDb -


Anything else you'd like to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?


I think we've got everything for now. Thanks again for the interview and for your support!


Thanks for the interview!




© by Mike Haberfelner

Legal note: (re)Search my Trash cannot
and shall not be held responsible for
content of sites from a third party.

Thanks for watching !!!



Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD