♥+|Nymphetamine-Girl|+♥ (covetous_gashes) wrote in dita_and_manson,

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Manson Interview with i-D magazine

[iDM]How did you discover Lewis Carroll in the first place?

[MM]As far as I know, it’s the second most read book after the bible. Everybody’s been forced to read Alice in Wonderland, or they’ve chosen to read it as a kid. The interesting thing is Disney has imprinted us with the idea of a blonde girl with a blue dress but the truth is when you read it there’s no real description of the characters. So it gives you the opportunity as a director, without having to change an artist’s work, to interpret it in different ways. I wanted to stay as close as possible to his work, with the idea of trying to find out who he was through his work, because I think that’s where the story really laid.

[iDM]You could apply that to yourself maybe?

[MM]I think it does go for me as well. People want to ask me questions about my life, but if you simply look at the things I’ve written, that’s where you find the story.

[iDM]Didn’t you initially plan the film as an interpretation of Alice in Wonderland?

[MM]The whole premise changed from my digging deeper and finding that the creation of Lewis Carroll is a more interesting story than the creation of Alice in Wonderland. Charles Dodgson and Lewis Carroll were two very different people, much like Robert Louis’ initial description of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

[iDM]What was your starting point?

[MM]A lot of the film is inspired by his diaries. It’s not widely known but the family tore out a lot of passages from his diary, so that gives you a bit of leverage to use your imagination.

[iDM]So, what’s your take on him?

[MM]I think the mythology of Lewis Carroll has completely changed over the years, some people think of him as a paedophile or someone who was obsessed with young girls, but he was someone who was very much tied to his childhood. I think when he eventually found that he had nothing left to hold onto from his childhood he just gave up on life. The only thing he felt very prolific and accomplished with was his photography, and when photography became easier to do, he gave it up and that was shortly before his death. I think he felt he had nothing else to add to the world, I don’t think he realised at the time that his creativity was the one thing you can’t reproduce. Anyone can buy themselves a program me to write a song or book, but you can’t create the human soul and that’s what the movie is about. It’s the darkest story I could ever tell.

[iDM]Why did you decide to cast yourself in the lead role?

[MM]It wasn’t a vanity project. If anything, it was out of humility, because the character is very vulnerable. I think it just came out of me finding myself relating to a lot of the sorrow that he was living in him. It made me see a lot about myself just reading the work and looking at in a different way – and he had two names, which was something I could really relate to.

[iDM]There was a rumour Angelina Jolie was considered for a role in the film…

[MM]I have met and spoken to Angelina Jolie, but it’s something the journalists have turned into something else. But I do know she was quite taken by the teaser trailer and liked the idea.

[iDMHow extreme will be the sex, violence and dismembering?

[MM]I don’t think there will be any dismembering, there was already a lot of “Off with their heads” in Alice in Wonderland. It’s strange, there’s probably more violent references in the writings than what I plan to actually do. There is sex and there’s obsession, because here is a person who is believed to have lived and died, without ever having a woman or having a family, and I think that consumed him and it was definitely part of his insomnia and his depression. So there’s a lot of fantasy, it’s seen in his writings and I wanted to interpret it in a way that pushes people to see something they haven’t seen in the cinema before. I’m not trying to set out for anything, other than to redefine the horror genre and put it back where it once began with great directors like Polanski.

[iDM]Wasn’t one of your intentions for the film to scare people shitless?

[MM]Well I don’t want to be merely shocking – that’s elementary. I think that as a challenge wouldn’t be a big ask to be more frightening than the current horror movies. While they’re very successful, I don’t see myself alongside the horror films of today. Of course, people are assuming I will make a music video for one-and-a-half hours bit that’s not the case.

[iDM]You mentioned Polanski, are you looking to do psychological horror like Rosemary’s Baby and Repulsion?

[MM]That’s my favourite type of horror films, but it’s hard to compare. As far as making you walk away and feel something different, then yes. They’ll be moments of sadness and characters you can relate to. I aspire to make something that is very original most of all.

[iDM]There has always been a macabre sensibility to all your work. Do you feel it’s given less value artistically, because of the knee-jerk reactions it often provokes?

[MM]I’m so sick of people who think that art has to be beautiful and pleasing to the eye. Art can be beautiful but at the same time it can be scary, grotesque and frightening. It doesn’t make it less valuable. If people are scared or shocked, they should question why, rather than seek reactionary censorship.

[iDM]You paint as well, so I take it you consider yourself an artist as well as an entertainer?

[MM]Yes. The difference between the two is an entertainer will stop when they finish performing but artists live for art.

[iDM]You’ve changed the people you’ve worked with over the years, including your band members, has this been due to your evolvement as an artist?

[MM]There was a real conflict with the people that were working with me, so I’ve changed the people who I surrounded myself with in my life. I wanted to find a group of artists and friends who would be able to approach life the way I see it: that art isn’t art unless the artist is living it. I wanted to find other people like that, and I did and it became this window that opened and the window this window led to the film.

{iDM]You’re one of the pioneers of horror in terms of music, with the nightmare visions of your videos and art shows. How do you see the film adding to your palette?

[MM]I’ve always felt I’m more a student of film rather than a student of music. Every time I’ve made a record, in my head, I’ve tried to see it was a movie, and film is a place I see as home, a haunted home maybe. With film you get performance, music, cinematography and all these things I love and when I put them all together I think I’d be able to convey a much more important message than I’ve ever been able to in any other art form.

Curtousey of i-DM and mansonusa.com

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