Your new movie An
Approximation of their Barbarous Manners - in a few words, what is it
Dogma, actors, colonialism, the overconsumption of coffee and foolishly
waiting for someone or something to save you.
Basic question, why make exactly Bruce Glover the (basically
absent) center of your movie's attention?
Bruce Glover epitomises a type of actor that is unfortunately becoming
increasingly rare. He is a true character actor who acts whimsically,
freely and with great mystery. There is something of the eternal in
Bruce, yet he also belongs to a very particular time in film history.
sources of inspiration when writing An
Approximation of their Barbarous Manners, and is any of this based
on personal experiences?
The film was conceived during an all day coffee binge in North Africa.
The combination of caffeinated mania mixing with all those flavors and
aromas created a histrionic outburst of ideas. I went back to Berlin
with some poetry I had written and started to form the basic outline of
the film --- although I intuited that I should leave room on the set for
chaotic elements to find their way into the fabric of the film. I had
been listening to a lot of Ornette Coleman and wondered if I could
capture the spirit of those records cimematically.
It is undoubtably true that my own experiences on film sets crept into
this film but I have yet to find myself in the peculiar situation that
the characters in the film have been burdened with.
In my view at least, An
Approximation of their Barbarous Manners boasts an associative
rather than linear approach to storytelling - so would you like to
elaborate on the narrative structure of your film, and how easy (or hard)
is it not to literally lose your plot that way?
The melody of "Where the f*** is Bruce?" was strong enough
that I could go off on tangents, improvise and still somehow find a way
back despite abandoning classic story structure. Losing the plot can
also lead to exciting discoveries.
you tell us about your overall directorial approach to your story at hand?
My approach is to remain open on the set to suprises and the impulses of
the cast. I tend towards leaning away from rigid pre-conceived notions
and use the set to explore (in unison with the cast and technicians).
I played a lot of free jazz in between takes (for rhythmic purposes)
and would encourage improvisation whenever I could. The key for this
film was to create one-off moments and then curate them with vitality in
the editing process. My intention was to hold the audience's attention
but to throw them off and hope that they initiate their own realignment.
talk about An
Approximation of their Barbarous Manners' key cast, and why
exactly these people?
What a cast! I am beyond lucky to have somehow convinced these wonderful
thespians to have trodden the mad and creaky boards of this film. Their
talent is evident but they also all have faces you want to study and
muse over. Dulcie Smart is a born actress and acting runs through her
veins -- she has the facility to play any part with vitality and grace.
Bruce A. Woolley can build up a mania to Gene Wilder levels of
brilliance. Jade Willis oozes idiosyncratic charm and always shows up
totally prepared. Daniel Brunet is a one-off -- he will never bore an
audience, the camera is fascinated by him, and he is honestly my favorite
actor in Berlin right now.
A few words about the shoot as
such, and the on-set atmosphere?
I hope (and reasonably suspect from what they have told me) the actors
and crew felt a sense of freedom and playfulness on the set. It was an
intense, fast-paced yet joyful experience.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Anything you can tell
us about audience and critical reception of An
Approximation of their Barbarous Manners?
Film critics have so far given us very good reviews and we have had a
good start on the film festival circuit. We premiered in Italy at Mostra
Internazionale del Cinema di Genova, where the audience response was
mostly positive as far as I could tell. Next screening is at the Chicago
Underground Film Festival on November 7th...
future projects you'd like to share?
I will keep you posted, Mike, but nothing solid right now.
website, social media, whatever else?
you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
I'm good my brother.
for the interview!
Thank you Mike!