An interview for Straight Jacket Guerrilla film festival

Our feature experimental collaboration with Saint Octobre will screen soon in England :

Nouveau Noum @ Straight Jacket film fest

*How did you get into making films?
Katia Viscogliosi and I (Francis Magnenot) were living in Canada at the
same time the Kino movement grew up. We where both involved in the
 »independant cinema industry » to make a living (Katia as an actress
and I as a scriptwriter) and at the same time repeatedly stunned by the
amount of incompetence and huge waste of time in this business. So we
bought a DV cam and started making our own films. They were screened in
various experimental, underground and kino events. It was fast, joyful,
with close contact with the audience and we kept doing it this way…

*What inspired you to make your movie?

First was the energy that came from the encounter between the poetic
texts and the strong raw electro music of Saint Octobre, then the topic
– nuclear craziness of the Soviet Union in the 80’s – and then we
discovered online tons of sovietic, russian and american found footage
about atomic concerns… Most of the film is made with this material. The
other part was shot randomly following inspiration, with tiny hdcams or
even smartphones, bringing the human, street life side to the film.

*How has your style evolved?
We use much less found footage now, and get more interested in our last
projects in making films  »In vivo » – guerrilla style to say it Straight-Jacket style
– capturing some glimpses of life wherever we are, sometimes fictional, sometimes
only observational. We feel closer now to slow cinema: taking
time is a very radical way too, specially today…

*Tell us any strange or funny stories while making the film?
Well we had bearely started to work on it when Fukushima happened…
Then it’s not while making the film, and maybe not funny either, but a few
weeks ago Russia launched their first Nuclear plant ship, the Akademik
Lomonosov; which is also one of the strongest parts of the film New
Noum… So what was first the poetic intuition of a potential nightmare as
become reality; cheer up folks!
A funnier story now: once we were performing the film on stage with
Saint Octobre, mixing the images live while they play, someone collapsed
at the fifth minute. We love telling it to nourish our legend.

*The Misrule Film Movement & Pink8 manifesto bring what to mind?
Our first film – You will think I’m crazy – was shot randomly, then only
written, like reverse engineering in a way. So we can only deeply agree
with the term  »misrule ». Then we also agree to some of  »festival
industry » problems you’re pointing at, and we also always thought that
the technical perfection means nothing.  »Ex perfecto nihil fit », said
the alchemists.

*What can we expect from your next film?
Our name  »Cinéma Fragile » is also a manifesto in itself: we aim to
make films as fragile and at the same time as strong as life can be. In
this violent and stupid world we are convinced that, today more than
ever, fragile is beautiful. That will be our way to reveal some of its
inner beauty in our next films.
We’re currently developing some projects in this way, all settled in
the south Italy and Mediterranean area. And we’re finishing the editing
of two features made of our haiku-films series shot in the 4 past years:
no dialogues, no story, just japanese poetry rythm. All you need is a
loving eye…

Rome, June 2018



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