Being Weaned On MTV and The Sound Of Björk’s Past
I’m a fan, you know? I admit. I remember her videos on MTV. I remember hearing Post and Debut, but the first time I saw Björk was in that Hunter video. Not that I could vocalize it at the time, but the combination of the optimism and futurist, kind of future-facing mentality of her music, you know?
The embracing of electronics with vocals, which at the time, when we were saturated with grunge, her music just punctuated the scene with these amazing beats. And her collaborations with Mark Bell – for me, she was actually my entry into dance music. It was through her that I felt like I really explored more electronica. Actually, it went further in her career, like her really broad interest in fusing technology with nature and music. It’s a lot of the underlying subtexts of her work that I find so fresh and inspiring, and kind of what the present is all about.
It kind of makes sense when you think about, too, learning more about Iceland and how they’ve been in this paradoxical struggle to update themselves after World War II. It was in the ’40s that they were still living in stone huts basically, right? There’s this rush to catch up and industrialize, but at the same time, there’s this acknowledgement that where they come from is the natural landscape and the natural resources they have is one of their hugest assets.
When I was a kid I would always make a lot of puppets, because I was also a big Jim Henson fan, but I would never want to actually perform. It was a little too scary for me to actually be the one performing. I think that’s kind of translated into a hesitancy towards... I just admit that I’m so very new to dialogue and I’ve also just really wanted to make sci-fi and fantasy. I was more interested in the world-building than I was about making a budget film with two people in a room talking.
Actually, one of the very first things I directed was a heist thriller written by the writers from Prison Break. It was a web series that no one will ever see, but I have done narrative dialogue, and I enjoy it. I think when it came time to make my own statement, I thought, “Okay, well, I can still make a film that has three acts, but doesn’t have dialogue, and there can be conflict with characters but it’s a physical dance,” you know? In Solipsist, it’s only ten minutes, but there’s three acts in it. Each act involved two or more characters that are struggling to merge into each other, or collide into each other. I’m still able to create a three act film with characters that are engaged in conflict, but do it in a visually progressive way rather than using dialogue. I think that’s why maybe it feels more intuitive for me to work with dancers.