Richard Brody recommends Claude Lanzmann’s <i>The Patagonian Hare: A Memoir</i>

 

People in America tend not to have seen Shoah for a very silly, practical reason: its unavailability on DVD. You can buy a copy from absolut MEDIEN, but very few people know that this version is code-free. So if you didn’t get a copy when the DVD was in circulation a decade ago, or if you weren’t an adult in the mid-eighties when Shoah was in theaters or on public television, you’re kind of out of luck. We’re talking here about a generation of Americans in their twenties and thirties that don’t even know what Shoah is. Of course, watching the film on YouTube is a literal option, but not an ideal one. I’ve certainly watched plenty of films on YouTube, and I also consider the website to be the cinematheque of the future. But Shoah is a grand-scale movie, and it gains a lot from being projected onto a large screen. Conversely, the smaller you see it, the more reducible it becomes to a mere delivery of information, and devoid of its—how should I put it?—unique beauty.

Beauty isn’t the opposite of horror—it’s the sublimation of horror. It’s the transcendental redemption of horror, but certainly not its absence. When you see the beauty of the Polish forests in Shoah, you realize that only the knowledge of what took place there actually despoils it. Visually speaking, there’s nothing left that evokes murder—a point also brilliantly made in the beginning of Alain Resnais’ Night and Fog. The killing fields, in their post-war state, reveal nothing. In comparison to Resnais, Claude Lanzmann raises the aesthetic risk in Shoah to an even higher level by bringing the actual survivors—his interview subjects—back to these places of indescribable pain and suffering. Simon Srebnik on the boat or in front of the church in Chełmno are images of theatrical daring stronger than any method. They carry with them incredible aesthetic risk and reinforce that what you’re seeing is, in many instances, drama—not a documentary, though entirely the truth. You don’t need to see piles of bodies to know that a colossal crime was committed. And if you do, you’re probably morally obtuse.

Every film and every book is actually two films, two books. There’s the work itself and then the making-of. Especially with non-fiction, where the author or director spends so much time travelling, interviewing, and researching. The experiences that go into the production can’t all be reflected in the results. Also, these experiences, even if related to events of complete horror, don’t have to be horrifying themselves. Lanzmann’s memoir, The Patagonian Hare, is often humorous, and that wasn’t shocking for me in the least. I was more blown away by the life he led overall. Before reading it, I knew next to nothing about Lanzmann’s biography, with only the vaguest awareness that he had been together with Simone de Beauvoir and was a friend of Jean-Paul Sartre. But I didn’t know of his adventurous nature; his involvement in the Resistance; his experiences of anti-Semitism in Paris in the thirties; his athleticism; that he would go out of his way to confront physical danger. I suspected he was a tough character because I had interviewed him in 2003 in Paris for my book about Jean-Luc Godard—who had proposed a joint film project to Lanzmann that was never realized. Lanzmann was very generous and it was a good discussion, but I found it very intimidating to talk to him. Lanzmann had an intensity in his gaze when he looked at me that seemed to contain a condensed and extraordinary strength, an amazing moral authority. It was like interviewing Moses.

After reading The Patagonian Hare, I realized this strength was built on experience, on the willingness to confront grave physical, emotional and moral danger. Lanzmann has lived his life running the risk of nonexistence, running the risk of death. The Patagonian Hare made clear that Shoah didn’t come out of nowhere. I had always wondered, “Who is this man who made this film in the middle of his life?” I felt as if I understood, because I myself didn’t write professionally until my forties, and Lanzmann didn’t complete his first film, Israel, Why until he was around forty-seven. Waiting that long to undertake his first big work is, in Lanzmann’s case, an incredible act of bravery—and he topped it by putting twelve years into Shoah, which he didn’t finish until he was almost sixty. Somebody with such an overflowing mind, soul, and energy being patient enough to wait to accomplish something so great, is nothing less than astounding.

At its core, Lanzmann explores in his memoirs the most basic question of his life: What does it mean to be a Jew? For him, the very idea of the survival of the Jewish people went hand in hand with the promise of resistance: the founding and endurance of Israel, the willingness of Ben-Gurion to fire on the Zionist paramilitary Irgun as they were bringing arms into the country for their own militia—these were integral parts of the promise of a Jewish future, the willingness of Israel to function like a state. The concept of resistance was also a main theme in the last part of Shoah and one that people don’t talk about very much. In fact, the film ends with the acknowledgement that Jews weren’t only passive victims, but also attempted to fight back as best they could. Or, to put it in Lanzmann’s terms, Jews attempted to “reappropriate violence”. Jean-Paul Sartre wrote in Anti-Semite and Jew that Jewish identity is defined by the anti-Semite, without whom Jewish identity would be lost. After Lanzmann went to Israel for the first time in the fifties, he claimed to have found proof of the opposite. Indeed, his life and work are dedicated to fighting against Sartre’s definition. I’m not sure he’s been entirely successful, but The Patagonian Hare undoubtedly succeeds in exposing the paradox of his struggle. ~

 

Richard Brody is an author, staff writer and movie-listings editor for The New Yorker. His most recent book, Everything Is Cinema: The Working Life of Jean-Luc Godard, was published by Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt and Company in 2009.

photo: © Medien GmbH, www.absolutmedien.de

This text appeared first in Electronic Beats Magazine N° 30 (Summer 2012). Read the full issue on issuu.com:

Continue Reading

They Wanted to See Something Different: An interview with Katja Wiederspahn

The special program They Wanted to See Something Different is a highlight of this year’s Viennale Film Festival. In fact, as far as I’m concerned, it’s the highlight.

In the early 2000s, I spent a couple of years working at a video rental spot, which even back then should have been called a DVD renting spot given how quick the market was to jettison VHS. But since my boss was an incredible horror nerd, who also directed some of the cheapest, trashiest horror-sex-flicks himself, the room behind the curtain was not filled up with porn, like it was in all other video rental places, but with slasher movies. And of course most of them were on VHS, as it had been the genre’s preferred medium for years. After all, it was easy to copy (for decades nearly everybody had a VHS recorder), and besides its ease of use, there was always the danger of being liable for having an undesirable influence on the moral development of young people, which led to film indexing and thus a shitload of films were produced as direct video release without ever getting near the big screen.

And though the VHS loophole made the production and distribution of these films possible, it also creates one of the biggest problems when organizing a special program consisting solely of such movies at a film festival, which dedicates itself to screening real (9 or 35 millimeter) film. You see, there’s no film festival warehouse you can call up that has every film ever made on hand and ready for shipment—no, somebody has to go out and find these suckers. This is the reason why we sat down with Katja Wiederspahn, head of the Viennale program department, whose job it is to seek out these cinematic gems for big screen projection.

 

Katja, you are responsible for the acquisition of the actual film copies for the They Wanted to See Something Different program. How much time did you have to find all these movies in the right format?

In the middle of June, Hans [Hurch, the Viennale director] asked Jörg Buttgereit if he wanted to curate a program. Jörg Buttgereit responded enthusiastically and with lightning speed and less than two weeks later I had a list with his films of choice on my desk.

And henceforth, your work began.

Exactly. At first I asked the curator himself if he had any tips regarding the rights and the whereabouts of copies. Then the actual research starts. By now it’s something of a fact that IMDB is a very helpful source of information. This has been the case since about two or three years ago, especially when it comes to technical details. Via online research I also discovered, for example, that Matango, the Japanese mushroom horror flick, was screened in a new, remastered version in New York a few years ago. I found out that the screening was made possible with the help of the National Film Center Tokyo, which meant I was already hot on this one’s trail.

Sounds like a lucky strike. Most of the other film copies probably weren’t that easy to hunt down. Especially since it’s typical for the genre that a lot of copies are cut, right?

The declared goal of the Viennale is to show the movies exactly as they were filmed. This includes the format, as in whether it was filmed with HD cam or in 35 mm, the original cut and of course the audio version. For example, a digitally remastered Blu-Ray release of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre came out recently, which claims to be the most complete version ever. I had to contact the company who did the release, because they also own the cinema rights for Austria, and they couldn’t understand why we wanted to screen the 35 mm copy instead of the digitally remastered version.

Probably quite an odd request in our digital age.

Yes, it seems to be. But from our perspective it’s not odd at all. Another great example is Cannibal Holocaust. From the moment it was filmed there were several audio versions. We screen the English version, which is especially interesting in light of censorship. According to experts there is no uncut Italian copy.

But wouldn’t it be more fitting to play video in order to be true to the origins of the genre, which indisputably lie in VHS?

When it comes to the question of the perception of the horror genre, there are a number of different approaches. It’s true that 99% of the experts in this genre are almost entirely accustomed with video. Like when I asked the curator of the special program, Jörg Buttgareit, if he knew anything about the original version of Cannibal Holocaust he answered, “I’ve exclusively seen the film in the German version on VHS.” But there is also a longtime tradition of cinema as well. For example, the Werkstattkino Munich. They have played genre films since the beginning of time and it always has been their concern to fight censorship and show original versions. There are even a couple of films of their own that we are showing this year. And there is the interesting anecdote Bernd Brehmer told me, he said they recently played the uncut Blu-Ray version of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre I mentioned earlier. But after the screening he and his team came to the conclusion that they liked the original 35 mm copy better and will show this again instead of the Blu Ray.

So it isn’t always the case that VHS is best. Thanks for talking to us, Katja.

 

Continue Reading

Documentary fever

Documentary fever The Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival is always a great excuse for many Praguers to get out of the city for a while, spending their days at a movie marathon and nights partying in the infamous film-fest tent until the wee hours. Jihlava is simply a great get-together for filmmakers and fans alike to hobnob and worship the art of cinema.

This year, there’s Wim Wenders‘ 3D feature Pina, Athina Rachel Tsangari’s triumphant drama Attenberg, The Night Watchman a film quietly depicting the reality ravaged by incessant drug wars in Mexico. Then there’s a great showcase of experimental cinema, films dealing with the Isreali-Palestinian issue and reality tv as well as a comprehensive showcase of Czech and Central European docs. A special section is dedicated to the American videoartist and electronic performer Bill Viola and to Lilian Schwartz, a trailblazer of computer-made experimental films.

The festival starts today, October 25th, and continues until October 30th, 2011.

Continue Reading

Ready for the Weekend?

Ready for the Weekend? Weekend was the darling at this year’s SXSW festival. Opening alongside Duncan James’ highly-anticipated Source Code – a tough film to be up against; the low-budget British movie triumphed – and the praise continues. Two men meet in a club on a Friday night and enjoy an alcohol fuelled one-night-stand. Their chance encounter matures into an intense bond and their lives become entwined. Passionate, gritty dialogue and intimate, the film has picked up film prizes throughout the US – and soon, it will come to Europe.

Set to be released this autumn, Electronic Beats caught up with director Andrew Haigh to talk about his acclaimed second movie.

For me, Weekend is a film about the human condition and it’s irrelevant what sex the two main characters are – it’s not a niche “gay movie” as some reviews have referred to it. Are you hoping to challenge people’s preconceptions with the movie?

I hope so. I always knew that if I told a story about gay characters, people would automatically try and pigeon-hole the film. People are very quick to try and define something in its narrowest terms. They sometimes forget there can be many ways to define a film just like there are many ways to define a person. It seemed obvious to me when I was writing the story that first and foremost it was about two people with very universal struggles, but simply being told within a gay context. I also think that I was quite excited at the idea that an audience would watch the film expecting one thing but that it would become something different, resonate in other ways. That was always part of my intention.

Are you frustrated that the movie is still referred to as a gay movie? Especially as that’s less important than the content?

I try not let it drive me crazy because you have little control over how people perceive it, but I do find it frustrating. The problem is that the minute the film becomes defined as a ‘gay movie’ it puts people off from going to see it. And I say this not for commercial reasons but simply because if you make a film you do actually want people to come see it. Plus I do want straight people to give it a go precisely because I wish this separation that seems to exist would disappear. I go and see films about straight people all the time and those films resonate with me and I’m gay – so I find it frustrating that it can’t always work the other way around. I also think there is a tendency among some people to look down on a ‘gay movie’ as if it is not as worthy, or equal as other films. There is certainly an element of homophobia attached.

Weekend went head-to-head with Source Code at SXSW – were you apprehensive about going up against such a highly anticipated movie?

Yes! I was convinced that no-one would come and in fact that’s almost what happened. The turnout was pretty small and I was sure the film would die a death. Luckily it was actually the perfect time to have the screening as all of the distributors had no interest in seeing Source Code (because they couldn’t buy it) so they came to ours instead. In fact I’m pretty sure we had more industry people than actual punters in the audience. I felt sick throughout the screening but luckily they all seemed to like it and the so-called ‘buzz’, whatever that means, came from that first screening. Being an underdog is a good sometimes, as is showing a film when no-one knows much about it or has any expectations.

How did the story of Weekend come about?

It initially came about from being frustrated with the films I had seen about gay characters. It was rare that they ever said anything about how I see the world. I also wanted to make something honest and real; that was about life as it is lived and not as it is seen in films. I’m also pretty obsessed about themes of identity and self-definition – how we as individuals work out who we are and how we decide to portray that to the world. Telling a story about two gay people seemed the perfect way to address those issues.

The dialogue is incredibly real – did you script or were many scenes improvised?

The film is pretty much scripted but there are elements of improvisation in the scenes. I always wanted the actors to feel free to try different things and nothing was sacred. I think it’s essential to allow actors the freedom to play around with what is written, and for me it is the only way the words can actually come alive and feel real. I did though spend a lot of time when writing trying to make it feel as natural as possible. I would walk around my bedroom having a lot of conversations with myself. It wasn’t pretty.

You filmed using mostly master shots – was this to enhance the documentary feel to the film?

It was always my intention to shoot like that. Many people told me not to but I completely ignored them. People worry that you will get yourself into difficulty but I knew the actors were good enough to sustain the style of shooting and it was certainly used to enhance the natural documentary style feel. It always makes me crazy how often people cut nowadays and usually for no reason whatsoever. I think shooting with these long takes actually draws you in. It makes things more intimate. You allow the audience to engage more with what is on the screen. You don’t hold their hand, forcing them to look at a certain thing, feel a certain emotion. It is also great for the actors. They don’t have to worry about continuity, they can try different things in each take; they actually get a chance to act for longer than a minute.

I’ve heard that it can be difficult to get backers for a gay film, what were your experiences?

It is difficult. We got turned down by a lot of people and some of their responses were interesting to say the least. I wouldn’t say it’s homophobia as such but there is certainly an element of fear. People worry that it will be to niche – although as I keep telling people at least the film has an inherent audience they will want to see it. I think people also feel that if you are going to tell a gay story it has to be about coming out or the effects of violent prejudice. It’s as if telling a story simply about two gay characters and the quiet dramas that happen in their lives – isn’t enough. Let’s just say there were a lot of times I wanted to go burn down some buildings and scream at people for being so narrow-minded. In the end we did get some funding from a great organization called EM MEDIA and they were completely behind us all the way, understanding exactly what we were trying to achieve.

Is there any particular reason that the movie is set in a provincial UK Midlands town?

Firstly that is where the money came from and secondly I was really keen that the film was not set in London. I wanted it to be in a provincial town that was virtually nameless. People seem to forget that people might live outside of the big liberal cities and have normal jobs and normal lives and don’t hang out in hipster bars and play in bands. Also one of the influences for the film – Saturday Night, Sunday Morning – was shot on many of the same locations, which was great for me

What’s next in the pipeline?

I’m working on a few new things but won’t really know exactly what they are until I finish writing them. I usually start out with a firm idea of what something is about and by the end of writing it, it becomes something very different.

Continue Reading

Laurent Garnier

Laurent Garnier Pioneering techno producer, DJ and worldwide ambassador for electronic music – there are few people who have stayed as relevant and on top of their game in the fickle world of club music as Laurent Garnier. Part of the reason this enigmatic Frenchman has maintained his position at the top of the pile is his willingness to experiment with new ways of remaining musically open minded. Tweaking his show by incorporating machines and musicians he is constantly searching for new ways of presenting music in a club environment. Because of this he is perhaps one of the most respected figures in the worldwide techno community.

In this in-depth interview, which is an extended version of our interview from Slices issue 2-11, we look at how his L.B.S. project came to being, discuss his love of all kinds of music and find out about his desire to branch out from playing in clubs.

You are playing with the other guys tonight so maybe we can start with looking at what the L.B.S. project is about and who is involved?

L.B.S. is the result of having played live with a band for nearly two years. Basically when I released the ‘Kleptomaniac’ album I went back on the road with the boys. I had done a lot of live shows before and we went on the road to promote the album with the band. So I had a saxophone player, a trumpet player, a keyboard player and then Scan X with me on the machines so there were five of us. The music completely changed from the first show. The boys are very into jazz and I was kind of directing. We worked a lot on the tracks and there has been a big evolution within the music with what we were performing. Basically the way I saw the show at the beginning and the way it ended up a year and a half after was completely different.

The problem with a DJ set is you play on a fixed format so you know when a record comes out, that is the way it is. Unless you edit it you just play things in the way they were designed. I would like to be more organic with my DJ sets and I thought that the most organic thing I can do is play live as I thought it would be quite nice to combine the two. Bring only two people to make it easier to set up. No microphone, so there isn’t any feedback. I thought let’s just keep Benjamin on a keyboard and Stéphane on the Maschine and so we stopped with the saxophone player and trumpet player. Just to make it easier. The idea behind L.B.S. is to reinvent the story every night and to perform for the people at a special time. So we always perform tracks in a different way. It is very different than the live show because the live show is usually shorter and the set is prepared and thought about before so you can’t really move things around too much in a live show. With L.B.S. you know let’s do ‘Man with a red Face’ and we never do it in the same place or the same time. And the length of the track and the way we interact with each other is always different every night. I really wanted to bring that to the clubs and make something more freely than what you can do when you play fixed formats.

A lot of DJs and Producers like Carl Craig and Herbert are exploring more musical directions and you also did with your band project -why do you think DJs are doing these more musical things more now?

The band project is not a new thing for me; I have been playing live with a band for 12 years now. I know a lot of people know me more from my DJ sets. I met Philip the sax player 12 years ago and we have toured since then – always with a band. I have two things; I have always done my live show with the musicians. The more musical side has always been in my work, first in my productions, I guess when I started doing tracks like ‘The Man with the red Face’ I was very attracted by jazz and improvisations and stuff like that and this is when I met all these guys. So playing live and making it more musical then what a lot of techno acts are as well, was always something I wanted to go in. It was my thing.

We all need to try new projects and do different things because otherwise if you keep repeating yourself and doing the same thing it is getting boring and I guess this is when you are starting to dig your grave. So for me to be excited I need new projects all the time.

I have been doing this for 20 years. So I guess the key of the fact of me being there for 20 years and still doing it and it looks like I still attract a crowd and they still like what I play I think it is the fact that I always try to give them something new and bring new projects. Music is very important in techno music and unfortunately now we are living in a time where a lot of producers are forgetting this. They forget the basics of what music should be – it should be musical sometimes!

You need the challenge as well?

Of course, I need the challenge! I need to be excited. I think if I would DJ the same way I started 20 years ago I would of disappeared. I am sure. I am someone who needs to be excited, needs new projects to move on. This is why I worked with contemporary choreographers, this is why I worked with the cinema, this is why I did a jazz band, this is why I did a tour with Jeff Mills, and we only played funk and soul and stuff like that. This is why I do a radio show. This is why I am still there because all these things keeps me awake.


Do you see yourself as a teacher or more as an entertainer?

I never liked going to school so I can’t consider see myself as a teacher. A teacher is someone who is imposing something to you. We are not imposing anything. Maybe a little bit when you play as a DJ in a club. My job as a DJ – the first thing I have to do is to watch the crowd and try to read the crowd. A teacher doesn’t do that a teacher will tell the kids to shut up and he will do his lesson and that is it. He is not going to work with the mood of the kids. My job as a DJ the first thing to do is to look at the crowd and try to read them, understand them and then you go with them. And it is a relationship. So no I can’t see myself as a teacher, no not at all. I’m a DJ, I’m like everybody else I do the same thing as everybody else. Maybe I am getting a bit old now, so I am an older kind of DJ but no I cant consider myself as a teacher. I am just doing my thing.

But by showing the people that there are more shades to dance music than say just techno or house is what I mean by being a teacher.

Of course there is but it should be obvious. It should be obvious that there is more then techno. Luckily there is more then techno because if there wouldn’t be all these other styles of music techno would never be here. What is techno? Techno is twenty styles of music put together. It is a condensation of so many different things. Without funk, without soul, without jazz, without synthetic rock, without all of this we would never have what we call techno. Without hip-hop, techno would never be here. Without electro at the beginning we would never have techno. In Detroit at the beginning, they were jazz guys who were making techno. Mad Mike from Underground Resistance – he was playing for Motown. He was a musician for Motown for god’s sake. Without all this we would never have the actual real world techno, so it is obvious there’s other things.

How do you keep the music exciting for you?

I think we are living in very exciting times music wise – there has never been so much music before. I see it because I receive a lot of music and I have never received as much as I do now. Dubstep is a really funny example because it started being pretty dark and pretty hard. It was very influenced by grime. And reggae of course. But it was more like a grime thing and something quite nasty. And in the last two years dubstep moved more towards techno, more towards musicality. Dubstep is really becoming quite light and quite dreamy and spacey – really musical which is really weird to see as these guys who were quite tough and it became very musical. I think techno is a big thing for them and now a lot dubstep guys are mixing techno beats and stuff like that. It is really interesting. Dubstep is moving on.

I think rock and roll has moved on a lot as well – a lot of people that are making pop and rock are incorporating electronics within their music. Rock has really changed within the last five years; we have seen a lot of hybrid bands, which are making really strange stuff, and it is becoming really exciting and this was not exactly like that before when you were making rock or making techno or making jazz. But then now I feel like everyone is kind of meeting and there are lot of different influences within all styles of different kinds of music. I find the moment really exciting. I mean everything has changed. You don’t sell records anymore and the approach that the kids have with music is very different then the way we were 20 years ago. The way they listen to music, the way they buy music – or not. The way they consume music is completely different and the bands are the same in the way that they make music completely differently as well. I like when things mutate and go to another place or another area and I think we are living in an exciting time. Hard times, but it is quite exciting. I like it.


It sounds like music is really number one for you, but you have a lot of colleagues who also work on the ‘image’ that surrounds you – what do you think about that?

I feel that one of the biggest problems nowadays is the lack of content. There is a lot of really good packaging and unfortunately we are at a time now where packaging sells better then content. Which is completely different to what the idea was behind techno at the beginning. It is kind of weird because 15 years ago, the whole thing with techno was ‘faceless techno’. A lot of guys had a lot of different projects under different names. One guy; ten different projects and all different names. The whole motivation was like “I don’t want people to know it is me. I am not important what is important is my music”. And I guess I am part of this thing. I am part of this world where the music is the main thing for me. And it’s quite true we have been touring a lot with a band and now L.B.S. and we are crossing paths with a lot of guys that care a lot for the packaging; they have great lights and great designs and stuff like that but sometimes the content is a bit poor. And I found that a little bit weird. I mean going live we had to look a little bit at the packaging. So after a year of touring live we decided to have some videos and we built a big screen. A screen that was moving and it looked really good and we toured for six months with that. It cost a lot of money but it looked really good, it was wonderful but it is another hassle. It’s complicated. A lot of the new bands should think of the quality of the music and the content – they should think about that first and once they have that they can start thinking of the surrounding. I know next year we are going to go back to live – proper live. I guess we are going to have some visuals because otherwise we can’t compete. The problem now it is like a big competition if you don’t have a big show, festivals don’t want you. It’s weird. Now festivals book a lot of acts more for the show than for the music. I was saying to you before the way we listen to music and the way we consume music is completely different. But it still doesn’t make me nostalgic because I still have a lot of things to say. I care more about the essence which is the music.

You wrote a book ‘Elektroshock’ some years ago and I heard you are planning a movie as well. What is happening with that?

The movie is going on. The book came out in 2003 in France. We have signed with a production company to do the movie. We have been working for the last four years on the scenario. I think we need a time before we can move on with this movie situation. At the beginning with David, the guy I wrote the book with, I think we needed time to digest the book to be able to start writing a story for the cinema. So when we were contacted at first we had not yet digested it. So we said we don’t want to do the book. We don’t want to repeat what we said already so lets just do a completely different story. So we started writing something and went on and on. We wrote about 10 different scripts, and that took about two years. And after two years we came up with something which was quite big and when we read the story again and then we shared it with a couple of close friends, they all said “but where is the ‘Elektroshock’ in there?” And it is true. We went “where the fuck is the ‘Elektroshock’ in this project of a movie?” So we threw everything away.

I think we needed this time to digest the book. And now we are working with two new people and we are writing a new story and are nearly at the end of it now. So we are really happy with what we have written. The actual story of the book has a much bigger space into the movie. It is not going to be the film of the book but we are going to make a movie that will talk a lot of history of techno and Detroit and all of this but it will link into fiction as well so it will be half documentary and half fiction. We are very involved with this at the moment and we have the director to shoot the movie. Cinema takes a long time so I think it looks like we might film next year for a release end of next year or maybe in 2013 or something like that. It’s coming slowly. Cinema is too slow for me. Everybody says it’s usually seven years to release a proper movie. We have been on it for about four years so I guess in three years it will be there.

Are there any plans for another like ‘Elektroshock’ – people seem to love books about dance music history and culture?

Well I think it would be quite nice. David is a really busy guy doing his own things, but we would love to sit down for six months and write another 50 pages of the last seven years because it has been very interesting. The funny thing with the book it was a real therapy for me because when we did the book David interviewed me for two years solid, every single week, one day a week. He was coming and interviewing me for four or five hours and once you pass the normal questions after the first two or thee months you just carry on and dig deeper and deeper. It was like a really strong therapy and he got a lot of things of out of me that we didn’t put in the book. I think now we are on the level together where we can go back and work [together] and do another chapter and do something really interesting. Since the book came out a lot of things came out as well within my work. Things I wanted to do, I don’t know, my way of playing, a lot of things changed after the book for me. So I think it will be really interesting to now talk about what has happened since the book.

Do you have any visions or plans for the future?

There is one thing I would absolutely love to do and I am going to start working towards this now; I would like to do some consulting for the cinema. Helping them find music or make a little bit of music but more consulting. Finding the right music for the scenes, being like a musical director. I love music so much and I have so much music at home from everywhere; all different kinds of music. I could be ready for almost anything cinema-wise – from a comedy to something really dark. I have a radio station on the Internet where I just use my record collection to provide music and play for people. I would like to dig deeper into my record collection and bring this s to the cinema because I think there is a lot of work to be done there. There are a couple of people that do it very well. Of course Tarantino is a wonderful guy. You remember his films and then you always remember the music in his films. He is very talented. This is one thing I would definitely like to do in the next two or thee years and do it very seriously.

Besides that the plan is that we tour with L.B.S. for another good year. The idea with L.B.S. is that it is like a lab. We go and we try new tracks, play them live and if it works we might record them. Yesterday on the way to Time Warp in Mannheim I was making a track and it was the first time we did this. I was just trying to find a bass for a track and I said to the boys “I’ve got a track I did in the bus today, lets play it.” And L.B.S. is about this. We just rehearse two minutes in the afternoon. We started yesterday with that track and we blew the roof with it. So we thought great this is what we like to. Now we are going to play it again tonight and see how it works and see what is missing and the guys will interfere with the track and of course we might record it later. This is why I want to do it for another year because I feel we have a lot of things to say with L.B.S. and then next year the idea would be to record something, release maybe an album and then go with a live show with L.B.S. And in also three years time I think there will be the film and so I am going to be very involved in that. There is quite a lot to come.

You can order your copy of Slices Issue 2-11 here.

Continue Reading