Sunday, 21 March 2010
How did it all start photography-wise?
I went from snapshots to photographs about three years ago. I had a friend who worked for Lomography in Vienna, and they hooked me up with an LC-A. I've tried other film cameras since, but the LC-A wins every time.
Looking at your pictures, you're the master of travels. If you'd have to guess, how many pictures did you shoot while traveling?
It varies. While I was in India I shot about ten rolls, whereas in Morocco I only shot two. Sometimes I'll use a roll in one day and then go a week without taking a single shot. It all depends on how inspired I am by what I'm seeing. I lived and worked for a few years in China and in Poland, and after a while in one place you start to forget the 'exoticism' of a place and see the normality underneath. I'd like to think a mixture of both comes across in my photography.
Also, while you traveled, which cuisine did you like the most?
My perfect day in food would be thus: I'd wake in the morning and have Moroccan mint tea with crepes in a French colonial-era street cafe. For lunch I'd eat a huge plateful of homemade pierogi ruskie from Poland, with a side of pickled cabbage, carrot and beetroot. Mid-afternoon I'd stop off for some tasty hot Indian gulab jamun, and at night I'd spend a few hours sitting outside a filthy little family-run Chinese barbecue restaurant eating anything-and-everything-on-a-stick and drinking Tsing Tao beers.
Why did you call your short film The Darjeeling Unlimited?
I know that Wes Andersen has his haters, but I think his films should be taken for what they are; namely stylised fictional worlds. Personally, I'm a big fan.
India has always been a big draw for me, as I'm sure it has for many people. My grandad was stationed there with the British Army for 6 years before the outbreak of the Second World War. That interest was passed on to my dad, and in turn to me, so when I heard Anderson was releasing a film set in India, I was intrigued.
I loved the film (The Darjeeling Limited) for what it was, a romanticized portrayal of India. The reason I called my short film The Darjeeling Unlimited was half-laziness, half me trying to say that we scratch the surface of India. We saw a bit more of what a tourist normally sees. We got off the beaten track and took risks, had death threats, got caught up with unsavoury characters, battled monkeys, which at the time were silly and sometimes scary, but we came out of it with awesome memories and experiences.
In The Darjeeling Unlimited, what exactly is going on in those street scenes with people cheering-dancing starting from 3:40?
That's at the border with Pakistan near Amritsar, where they have a daily ceremony whereby soldiers from each side take turns to do ridiculous marches towards the border gate and square up a each other. It's kind of like a military breakdance competition. We happened to be there on Indian Independence Day, so the crowd was even wilder with patriotic fervor than usual.
Do you agree with the notion of the world being shrunk to a "global village"?
Absolutely. I'm still deciding whether it's a good thing or a bad thing.
Next to film and photography, you're making music, too. What is taking up the most of your time right now? And how does it all fit together?
My dayjob is taking up the vast majority of my time! Music fits around that, and photography fits around everything.
Is there a London based band you're fond of?
Stairs To Korea, aka Will Vaughan. I first heard about him after he asked me to shoot some promotional photos of him, and I've since become a friend as well as a fan of his work.
What would you say is overrated and what is underrated in photography?
Overrated: Photographs of people standing in the 'Crystal Castles' pose, naked people, backs of heads, triangles, hipsters, fisheye, live music photography, bokah.
Underrated: The understatement.
Is there a photographer you admire? What is your favourite picture shot by him/her?
I admire photographers whose photographs of places I've never been make me want to go.
You favourite movie character so far?
Totoro, the ultimate benevolent being.
Amazing collection and work. Be sure to visit his flickr/website and check out internet forever!