THE BLOODY BIRTH OF A SCARY SPIRIT MEANT TO MOVE YOU
An Interview with GHOST SCARE Director/Writer/Editor Patrick Larrivière
I met Patrick in a bar during the 2011 Montreal Fantasia Film Festival. I found him on top of a table ranting about the meta-contextual nature of a live action remake of SPEED RACER vis-à-vis the Nixon Era politics through the filter of SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2 (Knuckles Edition). The Bouncers were about to throw his drunken ass out, but I cleared up his 300$ drink tab, and we spent the rest of night walking through Old Montreal discussing the politics of BRIDE OF RE-ANIMATOR (Uncut Edition). It was pure magic.
His ideas were at once flabbergasting fascinating, erotically terrifying, and paternally engrossing. Patrick doesn’t use the internet, so when I received a letter on the back of a WHEATIES CEREAL BOX a few month later, I was humbled to find he wanted me to act in his 4th feature length directorial opus GHOST SCARE. Yet, even after spending a whole night with the man in an undisclosed location (he blindfolded me on the bus ride there), I still had no idea what made him tick. He was gracious enough to allow me to interview him for this website in a public location where witnesses were present.
Patrick Larrivère at Burger King
How are you doing?
I’m living in my mother’s basement. All I want to do is cinema and no one will pay me for it, so I sit in the darkness, and watch the flickering images. It is blissful slow death. I watch BASKET CASE 2 a lot.
I’m sorry to hear that.
If it wasn’t for Cinema, I would be a bloated corpse rotting under my moth ridden Aladdin sheets.
You obviously love movies, so why would you make one where nothing happens?
Because the nature of cinema is expectation
Could you elaborate on that statement?
When you watch a film, you go with preconceived expectations of what you are about to receive through your ocular and audible receptors. It’s kind of like Antonioni’s LA NOTTE. I wanted to make something that was a direct translation of the experience of those expectations through the experience of an experience that is experienced through the expectations of the viewer.
Ghost Scare Storyboard #121
Were you influenced by the work of experimental pioneers like Michael Snow’s WAVELENGTH?
No. I find them a horrible bore. I’d rather watch SHERLOCK JR.
So, is that why the people are WATCHING a movie in the movie that is GHOST SCARE?
Originally, the concept was four people sitting in a maize room playing a game of SPACE RISK. It ended with a mongoose jumping out at them screaming in Latin “YOU ARE THE LOW.”, but due to commercial pressure, I changed it to a Ghost and shrunk the cast to a Dolt and a Princess. In retrospect, having them watch movie says a lot more about filmic expectation then having them play SPACE RISK. I should have thought of that one first. Silly me. I just freaking love SPACE RISK.
Are you a fan of horror films?
I am a fan of ALL film genres, in all of their forms, on every plane of being known and unknown to man. So yea, I like it when things jump out and go BOO!
"Pure Terror in its Purest Form."
Why the title GHOST SCARE?
Because there’s a ghost and it scares people…I could draw you a picture in my blood if it would help. Or you can watch 2 OR 3 THINGS I KNOW ABOUT HER to really see what I was going for.
What movie are the two characters watching?
In the first half, it’s a mixture of failures, forgotten treasures and guilty pleasures. Originally one film was supposed to play through the entire length, and on some copies that may still be the case, but I wanted to create a collage that would disappoint and disarm the casual viewer.
Why is it all in one take?
Expectation is linked intrinsically with the pain of wait and the fear of rejection. I felt it would let the audience off the hook if there were cuts, even hidden wipes (which the audience would know because they’re savvy cats like that) so I decided that two actors had to suffer through the experience AS IF IT WAS REALLY HAPPENING. Plus, you’re a terrible actor, and I was hoping the pressure would make you better, but it really did the opposite.
Self Portrait of a Director
Is the film autobiographical in any way?
No. Every movie I have ever shown to anyone has been universally loved. It’s actually based on a 14th century Russian folk tale…Idiot.
Why does the clip play twice?
Because once natural expectation is met, the expectation turns into something ugly, and it that leads to excess. Once people see something happen, people will expect more of it, and that is all about excess. It is the lust for the thrill once more. The second part of the film features audio from an uncompleted film by a group of enthusiastic, but deluded, filmmakers that have more hope in their heart then sense. It’s the worst kind of navel gazing maturational backflips.
Why the twist ending?
Because the nature of cinema is expectation
This has been enlightening. Thanks for your time.
Can I have some money for the bus home?