I still love Abba.
I think the first music I ever heard was Abba. I took my mother's cassette recorder and went into the bushes to listen to Abba when I was four or five-years-old.
My mother died in 1997 and I spiralled into this self-destructive vortex of trying to annihilate my consciousness. I was afraid to face the grief of losing her, because she was somebody I loved more than anybody else in the world.
I realized the modern equivalent of a broadsword duel would be a chainsaw battle.
Black Rainbow' is about control and your emotions being repressed and controlled, and 'Mandy's' about all a volcanic eruption!
The way I work is I'll basically become kind of fixated on a very stripped-down genre, like revenge or something like that, and just start layering on top of that and entering in thoughts and ideas, and then the story just kind of builds up that way.
There was a time in my life when I would literally go see every single film that came out in the theaters. No matter what. I just became obsessed with movies, and wound up getting drawn to the pulsating grain of film and the flickering of the light.
I feel happy working in the low-budget realm, doing stuff that is a little bit more esoteric, and personal.
My goal from the very beginning was to make very visually lush, juicy films that you can really sink your teeth into. That's always been part of my modus operandi.
I think what I was unconsciously expressing in 'Black Rainbow' was a very abstract and metaphorical grief, in the way I had suppressed my grief about my mother dying. In retrospect I realise I started writing 'Mandy' as a sort of antidote to that, to sort of express those emotions, to purge that grief.
When I was a kid I wasn't allowed to watch horror movies at all. And actually, one of the genesis points for 'Mandy' and 'Black Rainbow' was this memory I have of being in video stores, reading the backs of videos and looking at the art, imagining some kind of non-existent imaginary film based on that.
I feel like I thrive in the red light.
In the '90s, I kind of put aside all those things I loved in the '80s and I got really into watching foreign films and art films and stuff like that, and sort of soaking those up.
I want my films to be very tactile, visually and sonically.
The thing I do miss about the way some sequels were in the past was that each film felt like its own unique, complete tone. Now, sequels are tonal facsimiles of the ones before them, like a television series, whereas back in the past sequels would often be radically different from the ones before.
A huge part of my writing process is listening to music as I write, almost creating an unofficial soundtrack to the film I'm working on, a sort of playlist. But the specific songs change rapidly as I write.
When you're working with an actor who's prepared and brings it when you need it, it's just a very validating creative experience.
Mandy' came from grief and depression. I wanted this to be an outward volcanic expulsion of the emotion of my first film.