People claim punk is dead…I disagree. It exists in places like underground film sets where fallen angels are given a chance to show their hearts to a jaded world. Hailing from Europe comes a filmmaker who’s behind the scenes exploits are just as entertaining as his films.
Fabrizio Federico kicks open the door of the underground film world with a manifesto giving a middle finger to Hollywood and the goons that run the mainstream film world. His refreshing perspective both shocks and attracts. Fabrizio kindly took the time to discuss his latest film with me as well as his views on the current underground film world.
What inspired you to make Teddy eBars Live Forever?
I’ve always been enchanted with famous ”It Girls” such as Edie Sedgwick, Gia, Paris Hilton, Karen Carpenter, even Harley Quinn. I find they are very pure even though they are incredibly fucked up. The film ‘Lilith’ starring Jean Seberg hit a twisted nerve, I find deterioration very inspiring and sexy. Dark themes inspire me, I wanted Teddy Bears to be possessed with the dead souls of these beautiful tragic souls. Women are incredible muses, they take you places where you don’t wanna go as an artist, they help you grow. This film is a poisoned love letter pop-culture wise.
What is your view on aliens?
I think we would be incredibly arrogant to assume that we are the only living planet in the whole universe. All the other planets in are solar system have been extinguished so it’s only a matter of time before the same happens to the earth. So hopefully we should start being nice and pray that the aliens come and rescue us before it’s too late.
Have you ever seen a UFO?
No but my mother has, and I’ve seen ghosts before in a hotel and at an abandoned corrections center in Salem village. I’m interested in the occult, UFO’s and voodoo spells. In a way cinema casts a spell so I’m in the right business.
What is your experience with cults?
Well I was raised a Catholic so in a way I’m part of the most successful cult in history. But I’ve stayed at Sunseed and taken part in rituals over the years and it’s been enlightening for me. I now have an insight that most people don’t have. As long as no one gets harmed I don’t have a problem with cults, all they are is mystical communities.
What do you think the future of punk filmmaking is?
It’s got legs but the filmmakers need to push boundaries to keep the concept of punk cinema alive. The beauty today is that its global so it can be shared quicker. I want Beatlemania, worldwide success and then to just vanish like a notorious comet. Like Sid Vicious, Rimbaud or Jean Vigo did.
What was your first movie?
I was completely broke in 2012 when I made Black Biscuit, but I had a tremendous amount of energy. I was in love with making low-budget trippy cult movies, so I figured I’d jump into the deep end. The film looks like a self-destructive mood swing, and to shoot it we used children’s cameras and cheap mobile phones. We even stole a HD camcorder one night from a university wearing Clockwork Orange masks, because we heard they were ripping off students’ tuition. In the end Black Biscuit looks unlike any other movie ever made because of its Pick-A-Mix style. It pops and became infamous.
What filmmakers inspire you and why?
The film that really caught my eye was The Last Movie by Dennis Hopper. It’s completely original and it’s an outlaw movie that got the filmmaker blacklisted. Too much cocaine and money. I love anything silver or avant-garde, doomed poets & artists, or the experimental films of Andy Warhol, Vincent Gallo & early Jim Mcbride, D.A Pennebaker, Barbara Loden. Just saw ‘You Are What You Eat’ (1968) it’s a trailblazing mind bender.
When did you write the Pink8 Manifesto?
After I got deported from America I came back to England and did a day course in Cinema and the teacher told me that it would be impossible to make a feature film with no script, with non-actors, and on a micro-budget, so I set out to prove him wrong. PINK8 looks grittier and sleazier than Dogme 95, its the ultimate film manifesto, and the Misrule Film Movement finished what the French New Wave started which is why I think Godard is a fan of my films.
What would you say is your most memorable moment on a film set?
1. When I was being stalked by someone who was being investigated for being a serial killer. I didn’t want him in my movie but he kept turning up to the film sets un-announced.
2. The other was filming with a dominatrix and I had to wear a dress while a German millionaire was serving us tea and cakes in a dipper. I’ve had so many.
3. I was stabbed with a fork during the making of LOON 4. Got lost in a desert high on LSD while living with a cult in Spain. I’m surprised I’m still alive, but I’ve just had a new baby so I need to be less wreckless.
Are you working on anything new?
I’m waiting for editors to finish “The Confessions Of Aleister Crowley”. We filmed it in Loch Ness at Crowley’s old Boleskin Home which Jimmy Page used to own. It set on fire, we lost our passports and almost drove off the cliff in a freak snow storm on a Scottish mountain, so all in all it was just another day in the life of Fabrizio Federico.
I really do and sincerely hope Fabrizio continues to make films. I appreciate this breath of fresh energy and vigor. Any squares who want to say otherwise can go watch more safe films on mainstream platforms. But as for me, I enjoy diving into the daring.