Hacía mucho que no escribíamos en nuestra sección de películas y hemos decidido poner fin a eso de una forma grandiosa.
THE GHOSTS es el corto de un notas americano de 22 años llamado Eddie O’Keefe en el que cuenta la típica historia de teenagers de los suburbios en los años 50/60. Hemos charlado un poco sobre la película con el director, pero primero centrémonos en el argumento de THE GHOSTS, la entrevista estará debajo.
La historia en sí no es nada del otro mundo. Un pueblo aburrido de Estados Unidos en el que de repente irrumpe una banda de moteros malotes que no gustan a las madres pero encantan a las hijas. Es una historia que habrás visto mil veces, pero eso no quita que mole un huevo.
Una versión un poco más larga del argumento es que una chica, aburrida de la sosez del pueblo y de sus habitantes, se enamora del líder de los malotes y tienen un romance difícil porque la gente apestosa del pueblo no quiere que estos malotes estén en sus tierras. Como resume el propio director:
Girls, Boys, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Sex, Guns, Leather, Summer, Humidity, Suburbia.
Solo dura 13 minutos pero me pareció muy entretenida, la banda sonora es la polla (ya hablaremos de ella próximamente) y lo más importante: es extremadamente dandi.
En resumen, la película mola. Checkead vosotros mismos:
Por si esto fuese poco, aquí teneis nuestra simpática charla con el creador Eddie O’Keefe, una interviú que me parece de las más molonas que hemos tenido en Le Vibe. Leed:
First of all, introduce yourself. Who is Eddie O’Keefe and what does he do?
I am 22 years old. I grew up in Chicago, Illinois and currently live in Los Angeles, California where I am attending grad school at the American Film Institute.
How did you give that early 60s visual feel to the film? Did you use modern equipment?
To achieve the “look” for The GHOSTS, my Cinematographer, Lane TEICHLER, and I did extensive camera tests. We initially wanted to use 16mm film stock but when we tested out the modern films they all looked too nice and we had to degrade the quality in the edit anyway. Instead we chose to shoot on a friend’s High-Def Panasonic and apply the “look” of the film in post-production. We wanted the movie to look like “Don’t Look Back,” the famous Dylan documentary directed by D.A. Pennebaker.
The main influence of The GHOSTS gang was The Black Rebel Motorcycle club from Brando’s famous “The Wild One.” We also looked at a lot of Danny Lyon photography which features plenty of 50’s/60’s greaser and motorcycle gang iconography. I actually used to work at a movie theatre with his daughter, Rebecca, and she introduced me to his work. I’ve been a huge fan ever since.
Did you live in a suburban “stupid, slow and completely average” town? Is there any kind of autobiographical stuff in the film?
The town where we shot The GHOSTS is actually Elmhurst, Illinois — the town I was born and raised in. There are definitely autobiographical elements to the movie, particularly in the treatment of the town. I love where I grew up but there is certainly that sleepy, slow, gossipy suburban thing which gets under your skin a little and I think the movie reflects that.
Where did you get the idea for the film?
The idea for the movie came from an image I had while day-dreaming about a bunch of juvenile delinquents who rise from a trash pile in a junk yard. It was really that simple. I told my co-writer, Jack GUIMON (el que hace de Chad en la película), this idea and we immediately started to craft a story around it.
Was it very difficult to gather all the necessary resources to make a film? How did the shooting go, was it easy?
It’s always difficult to make a movie. It’s never fun, really. I mean, it is and it isn’t. It’s rewarding; you’re glad you did it after the fact and you’re proud of the product, but there are definitely moments where you’re trying to raise money or you’ve spent three hours on one shot, where you really question why you’re putting yourself through such torture. That being said, I can’t imagine doing anything else with my life. However, The GHOSTS, compared to many other projects I’ve been involved in, went very smoothly. I had such an incredible cast and crew and the production team was flawless. Those things make making a movie much, much easier.
It looks like you are a great fan of american teen culture, what do you find appealing from it?
I really respond to Americana. I have no idea where this come from actually. I think I like it because Americana doesn’t exactly have anything to do with America. It’s all a part of some idealized, dream version of our country and I enjoy that sort of thing when it comes to art. When something feels familiar but also elusive and unreal — American iconography is sort of like that. I also definitely respond to teenage culture. Being only 22, I’m still in many ways a teenager. It’s what I know best. I’m also really enamored with the idea of youngness. I try to stay young in some respects and I think my work reflects that sometimes.
I really enjoyed the soundtrack, did you have to ask bands permission to play their songs in the movie?
I personally know most of the bands who contributed to the soundtrack. My girlfriend wrote the score and my little brother plays guitar in the band The Orwells. My friends recorded a lot of the original music.
Why did you set the film in a kind of early 60s, late 50s atmosphere? What do you think those times had that we don’t now?
Actually, The GHOSTS was meant to be set in present day but none of that comes across in the finished film so we just kind of decided to let it exist in some weird timeless bubble. I don’t really think those eras had anything we don’t have today. They’re probably not better in any practical way (save the music perhaps). But we project this idea of simplicity onto the past. Time washes them clean of their anxieties and problems and instead we get a glamorized, fictional version of a decade. I’m attracted to that idea more than the reality of the 50’s or 60’s. I think I like the collective memory we have of those times more than the truth.
There’s almost no dialogue in The Ghosts and its all narrated by the girl. What advantage do you think this has? What made you decide to do it this way?
I really wanted The GHOSTS to feel like a pop song or something. I wanted it to have a very quick rhythm and musicality. The Narrator allowed us to go from place to place quickly and efficiently while maintaining the emotional truth behind the scenes and characters. In a broader sense, I love narration. Most of my favorite films use it. I don’t know why this is. I think I like the camp-fire quality of it. Movies with narration feel more like a bedtime lullaby or something to me. I also like how narration can comment on the film itself and provide a subtext to the shots.
Finally, what future plans do you have? Any upcoming short films or even planning a full feature?
I’m always writing. Right now I’m working on a thesis short film for school which is kind of a Bonnie & Clyde thing. I will shoot that sometime in the next year. I’m also developing some feature ideas as well. We’ll see what happens…