Your film Silver
Bullets - in a few words, what is it about?
is about the filmmaking process.
Bullets is said to be an autobiographical movie. To what extent is
that true, and where does Joe Swanberg, the man, end, and your movie
With this film, it's difficult to tell
where the line is drawn. I've chanced since I made the film, so it's
easier now to separate myself from it, but while we were shooting it felt
Bullets has a werewolf theme to it. Why werewolves, is that a
genre somehow dear to you ... or did you just happen to have the proper
Werewolves are a metaphor I'm using to talk about actors. I think there
are some interesting similarities between the two.
Other sources of inspiration for Silver
Chekhov's play The Seagull. Larry
Fessenden's film Habit.
How would you describe your directorial
My main effort as a director is to be
collaborative. I want to create films based on everyone's ideas, not just
Bullets contains two films-within-the-film, the guy's erotic
arthouse movie and the girl's werewolf flick, both of which are only
touched upon though. Was either of them ever mapped out in more detail?
had full ideas for each film so that we could talk about them believably
and make references to things that the viewer wouldn't see in Silver
it comes to making the werewolf film in Silver
Bullets, your film seems to be full of anecdotes (many only
touched upon). Now where did these come from?
Most of these come from the actors' lives, especially Ti West's. He
helped walk me through the process of making a horror film at that level
and shared many of his stories.
you describe the relationship between the indie arthouse and indie horror
today's filmworld, and have you ever considered or would you ever consider
crossing the line and making a bona fide horror film?
I did make a horror film recently. It's a segment of the film V/H/S,
which will be showing at the Sundance Film Festival in 2012. I like the
horror film scene, especially the dedication of the audience. I wish art
house films had such a dedicated and passionate audience of young people.
Bullets, as well as your films in general, has been labelled mumblecore.
A label you can at all live with, and how would you label your films
My films keep changing, so it's hard to label them. Mumblecore will
probably stick with me the rest of my life.
What got you into filmmaking in the first
place, and did you receive any formal education on the subject?
decided I wanted to make films after watching Raising Arizona. I've been
very dedicated to the idea ever since then. I went to film school at
Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL.
can you tell us about your first feature Kissing on the Mouth, what
were lessons learned from it, and would you do it any differently today?
I treated Kissing on the Mouth as a second film school. I tried to
approach filmmaking as an absolute beginner, with no preconceived notions.
I wanted to see if I could avoid references to other films and make
something original. The only way I knew to do that was to make the film as
if it were a documentary and I was always reacting to the actors, letting
them be in control of everything.
Kissing on the Mouth and Silver
Bullets (and even after that one), you have done quite a lot of movies.
Where do you find the energy and also the inspiration to make them at such
There are always several things and people that
interest me and if I wait too long to make a film, the idea will disappear,
so I'm trying to capture everything as quickly as possible now.
who inspire you?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
In no particular order: John Sayles,
Jonathan Demme, Lars Von Trier, Eric Rohmer, Maurice Pialat, Marco
Ferreri, James Gray, Roger Corman [Roger
Corman bio - click here].
Your favourite movies?
Stop Making Sense, Jackass: The Movie, Dillinger Is Dead,
Chloe in the Afternoon, Two Lovers, Punch Drunk Love, Breaking The
Waves, We Won't Grow Old Together.
Your website, Facebook, whatever else?
for the interview!
way: Silver Bullets will be the first film to be released in the
limited Joe Swanberg: Collected Films 2011-subscription - http://www.factorytwentyfive.com/joe-swanberg-collected-films-2.