I wanted to be a filmmaker at fourteen or fifteen. Becoming a Hollywood player wasn’t my destiny. In my twenties, I switched gears and began chasing after more spiritual rainbows. In the early 2000s, when the digital revolution made my adolescent aspirations attainable, I started making movies off the fly, as part of a quasi-movement I called “Dogme Surrealism.” That led to The God Game and Being the One.
Much as I love filmmaking, I’ll probably never make a conventional narrative film (though I’ve written a load of scripts). I make films for the exploration which the camera opens up, as much as or more than to reach an audience. The idea of Auticulture is to encourage expression in all media, to bring what’s inside to the outside, and film is still probably the most all-encompassing media.
My feeling as a filmmaker is that real stories are more magical and fantastic than made-up ones because they are real. I don’t want to dictate a vision to a subject or an audience, but use it to find what’s already there. The camera doesn’t lie and it’s a great listener. It uncovers hidden, magical depths of reality and people. Filming isn’t simply recording stories, either, because the act of recording influences what’s being recorded. That’s probably why I always end up including myself in the films I make: because I am already included, and I want to include the audience too. I want to bring what is usually kept behind the scenes into the mise en scene, and abolish the illusion of the “4th wall.” The line between fact and fiction is an illusion. There’s only one story, the story that all of us are living, but only a few are telling.
Auticulture Movies (YouTube channel) is here.
One = Infinity: 18 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me When I Was 18
Birthday gift for my niece, who turned 18 in 2014
with thanks to the various artists for use of music.
Garbanzo, the Three-Legged Big-Hearted Cat(alyst)
The story of Garbanzo the world’s best-traveled three-legged cat and his current crisis with an enlarged heart. Song “Never Let Me Go,” by Big Blood.
This is the Auticulture V-Log. It will explore and hopefully communicate the “autistic” way of perceiving the world and the self. I will be experimenting with the digital video medium, using music, still images, titles, animated sequences, and audio recordings in a partially non-linear, impressionist fashion. The aim is not only to tell but to show what my inner world is like. Film is a language and it’s my sense that the ways in which it can be used are still largely untapped. I also think it’s naturally suited for communicating the autistic experience, since it comes closer than any of the other arts to being a synesthetic medium.
Messages from the unconscious (like dreams) are awesome in their seemingly incoherence and randomness, beneath which if we look closely enough, there is a meaning and logic. Just not the same as that of our conscious minds.
Beyond Dirt: The Enlightenment Prospect
The idea of Beyond Dirt is simple: in order to find gold, you have to go into and beyond mere dirt. For the amateur prospector, all there is is dirt, because even gold looks like dirt without the eyes to see. The trick of finding gold is to be able to keep your attention on the gold even when you can’t see it. Developing the eyes (the wisdom) to discern gold from dirt is what prospecting is all about.
The spiritual quest is much the same. In place of gold, we have “God” or enlightenment. In place of dirt, we have “the world.” Enlightenment means to move beyond the world, not by transcending it but by getting all the way to the core of it, the nuclear heart of molten gold that is the living soul-center of existence. Only by going all the way into the blood and grime of our corporal selves can we source the “god atom” of our forgotten heritage and birthright, and tap the alchemical gold of the ancients.
Being the One: Document of a Delusion
Being the One: Document of a Delusion was shot in 2002 and edited in 2008. It tells the story of a man who believes he is the world savior and destroyer in one. Having apprenticed under a shaman in Guatemala and then seen The Matrix, he becomes convinced the movie was made to let him know that he is “The One.” He embarks on a mission to bring about the end of consensus reality. Settling in London, UK, he begins to recruit players for a “surreality TV show” called The God Game (An Investigation into the Illusory Nature of Reality). As part of the filming process, the players are invited to enact their imaginary deaths. Gradually the project becomes derailed, as the director allows his cameramen to persuade him to put on a black suit and shades, and begin administering the “red pill” to his players.
Being the One is a retrospective “documentary” about a surrealist “mockumentary” that was never completed.
The God Game: An Investigation into the Illusory Nature of Reality
The God Game: An Investigation into the Illusory Nature of Reality was a digital feature film project begun in 2002 that aimed to explore both inner and outer reality through a collection of intimate and searching dialogues combined with creative imagery. It was an experiment in film documentary, “the cinema of schizophrenia,” Dogme Surrealism, or method realism, which fused the documentary form with the dramatic form. My intent (working with Michael LaBurt) was to create a kind of “surreality TV,” turning non-famous but remarkable individuals into subjects of psychological investigation, to tap the archetypal under layer of their lives and turn them into movies that were neither fact nor fiction, but a strange hybrid of the two.
Each subject was interviewed intensively for a single day about his or her beliefs, philosophy, life experiences, dreams, goals, views on society and religion and “the big picture.” They were guided to undergo imaginative exercises and to recreate themselves in specific ways, and to contribute their own personal recreation of the Afterlife, existence beyond the body and the self.