TS5Q: Andrew Bujalski

Posted: January 17th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: More Than 100 | Tags: , | Comments Off

Over time, I had hoped to not only ask questions of people on my immediate radar, but those who’d be suggested by respected pals. Mike Steinberg is a curator of both a year-round film series and an annual documentary festival, and, as such, he’s got a remarkable knowledge of today’s finest filmmakers and videographers. Upon his suggestion, we cast a net to a quartet of interesting directors, working in both the narrative and doc forms; the first response has come from Andrew Bujalski, director of several introspective, indie works through the 2000s.

Most artists blanch at assigned nicknames, especially if they’re bound to a genre. But you can’t help but notice the preponderance of references to Bujalski as the “Godfather of Mumblecore” online. Perhaps we’re even continuing to plant that seed with noting the nick here, so let’s quickly note that Bujalski’s work has been greeted by a fair bit of critical praise, and his work with other DIY filmmakers (as an actor) proves he’s open to collaborative efforts alongside his own personally-driven pursuits. To get a taste for his works, we’ll include trailers below the following interview.

You can also find information on his features at imdb.com, of course. You can watch his titles affordably and in the comfort of your home via Netflix streaming. There are also deeper, individual sites, for films like “Mutual Appreciation” and “Beeswax.”

We thank Andrew for his time. And Mike for the hook-up.

One. Which of the seven deadliest sins make for the best art?
They all have their uses & I suspect that different sorts of sinners are drawn toward different media. While wrath and pride are probably the big motivators for most dramatists, I am a big softie and can always get excited about something lust-driven.

Two. For what are you going to need a little more evidence?
That anybody’s social/political/economic theory “works.”

Three. For personal creativity (or productivity), are you better served by contentment or restlessness?
I am a serial committer of the sin of sloth in either case so, all things being equal, I’ll take contentment.

Four. Likeliest occurrence within your lifetime: true peace, total war, or the arrival of spacemen/spacewomen?

What a depressing question. Are you trying to weed out the raging optimists here?

Five-a: You lost it as a child and you want it back.
Attention span. I loved spending all day lying in bed with a book. Something like The Stand was so utterly absorbing to me then, and I miss that feeling terribly, I’ve got a lot of books on the shelves here but I don’t know if I have the time, or indeed the imagination, to find my way that deep into any of them these days.


TS5Q: The Angel

Posted: January 4th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: The List of 100 | Tags: , , | 1 Comment »

Those of us who value music go through phases. Maybe it’s a month of listening to nothing but barbershop quartets, or a few weeks hunkered down with Tuvan throat singing, or even a couple days of unironic rifling through those old K Records singles. Whatever. We’re not here to judge.

For a bit, I wanted to hear nothing outside the electronic and during that cycle I found an album by The Angel, “No Gravity.” It fit perfectly into the stylish, urban, sophisticated stuff that was playing in the cool STL clubs of the moment, alongside like Thievery Corporation, Andrea Parker, Neotropic and the like. After dropping some real coin on all kinds of import alt-singles, ten-inches, white labels and the like, I gradually cycled back ’round to rock, but I still treasure my “No Gravity” CD and have picked up on a few other The Angel projects over time, like 60 Channels‘ “Covert Movements.”

The LA-producer’s dealing with a full plate these days, according to her site, which details her work scoring films and television, remixing and running a label/publishing house.

Thanks to Kevin Herlihy at Supa Crucial Recordings for working with me, for no small amount of time, on this one.

One. Which of the seven deadliest sins make for the best art?
Since I never think about things in terms of sin, I actually had to research the list.  Lust is the only sin that I perceive to have the kind of impact on a person that would lead them to create something exceptional, i.e. “best art”.  Equating lust metaphorically with passion gives a real sense of purpose and focus to one’s creativity.   Lust, or hunger, or craving to create something, can move anyone into that superlative “art” arena. According to Wiki, “Pope Gregory’s revision of the list subsumed Despair into Acedia,” though, in my books, “Despair” would also qualify as a powerful propellant to making great art.

Two. For what are you going to need a little more evidence?
That blood is thicker than mud.

Three. For personal creativity (or productivity), are you better served by contentment or restlessness?
Contentment serves me way better than restlessness. Restlessness is it’s own form of distraction, like the natural enemy of creativity and productivity.  In fact, the only time I really get restless is when I’m in a situation that actually prevents me from being creative or productive.

Four. Likeliest occurrence within your lifetime: true peace, total war, or the arrival of spacemen/spacewomen?
I’m no raging pessimist, but if I have to choose one of these three, it would sadly be total war.

Five-a: You lost it as a child and you want it back.
The feeling of a year being a really long time.

Five-d: For you, this is the book, play, recording, painting, poem, scripture or (item X) that made all the difference.
A simple line from “Blade Runner”: “I want more life…”

(Let’s dial it back a decade for this cut, “Destiny Complete,” featuring Mystic:)