Friday, October 8, 2010
Alex Cox interview
Whenever I talk about film to people I always bring up Alex Cox. I do this as Alex Cox, for me, is an example of what film can acheive. When I read about Alex having funding problems, I realise that film is doomed.
I first watched Repo Man when I was about 14. It was the greatest thing I had ever seen. I wasn't interested in Star Wars or anything like that, no Repo Man was what got me interested in film. Here was a film playing with conventions, playing with symbolism, and making social commentary - this wasn't some Hollywood blandism. No, this was the work of a great director with a unique vision.
I could go on all night about his films which I love, Sid and Nacy, Three Businessmen, and the recent Searchers 2.0, but instead here is a short interview with Alex Cox himself.
You can notice again that I ask stupid questions. It's times like this I wish I was better at this sort of thing, so I don't have to end up sounding like an idiot. Anyway...
GVE: Can you tell me how and why you got into film?*
ALEX: The answer can be found in the pages of my book X Films, which your
readers might enjoy.
GVE: Has your attitude towards film (what it is and could be) changed over
ALEX: Yes, I was very passionate about feature films when I was younger
and thought making them the most important thing, at least for me.
I no longer think this.
GVE: Westerns are a massive influence for you, as seen in the recent
Searchers 2.0, what is it about this genre that you like?
ALEX: It's a great genre, very pure and malleable. But perhaps past its due
GVE: Has it been a battle for you to work on films the way you would like? Has making movies become easier or more fun now you work more independently?
ALEX: Always a battle. Easier because one gets better at something by doing
it more. More fun? About the same.
GVE: Because they are such cult classics how do you feel now about Repo Man,Sid and Nancy?
ALEX: I like Repo Man, but am unhappy with the end of Sid & Nancy, which seems
sentimental and a cop-out.
Your writing seems such a good fit for the recent Waldo graphic novel. Any plans for more comics?
ALEX: I've done some Godzilla comic books also, and most recently the illustrations
for a children's book -- an anarchist fairy tale by Danbert Nobacon,
entitled 3 DEAD PRINCES.
GVE: I heard you were contacted to direct Running Man. I really can't imagine you being a normal 'director for hire'.. is Hollywood and you a good mix really?
ALEX: Seemingly not, as that was the last Hollywood film I was offered.
GVE: Is it also true that you were kind of blacklisted in Hollywood after Walker? Walker is a fantastic film, so is Hollywood such a fickle place?*
ALEX: I don't know if fickle is the word. How about corrupt and evil?
GVE: You are well know for being a punk director. What was punk to you, and
is it an influence on your work?*
ALEX: It was a revolutionary movement, as well as a music thing. That was
what I liked the best about it. Still waiting for the Revolution, though.
GVE: What did you make of the government's decision to cut the film council?
ALEX: Excellent. Independent British cinema doesn't benefit from London-based
bureaucrats in a snazzy office earning a hundred thousand pounds a year. But it does need money! And state support for production and distribution.
GVE: What do you make of this Clegg/Cameron coalition thing?
ALEX: I have no opinion. I am glad they cancelled the extra runway at
Heathrow & the ID cards. But my vote is always for the Greens.
GVE: Growing up, Moviedrome was such an inspiration. What I really enjoyed was your enthusiasm for the films. Is your passion for films and film making the same as it ever was? *
GVE: I still have my prized version of Repo Man with the funny edits in (melon farmers etc) Just for people who don't know can you explain the problems you had with the studio and how happy were you with the finished film?
ALEX: Read my book.
GVE: Any new films or projects coming up that you want to mention?*
ALEX: STRAIGHT TO HELL RETURNS, with long-deleted scenes, digitally-enhanced
violence and cruelty, a 5.1 stereo track, and a new color scheme by Tom Richmond, the
GVE: Finally, what is GOOD (something you enjoy or like) and what is EVIL (something that you hate or annoys you)*
ALEX: Good is my dog, Pearl. Evil is the studio system and the lousy bloated
movies and violent, stupid mind-set it promotes.
Say hello to Alex HERE
Buy X Films HERE