Life doesn’t have many pillages in it. There is the occasional moment where some bitch cuts you off in traffic and then you get speed up to her car and yell “Your Mother is a cunt” to her 4 kids sitting the back of the car while giving the family the finger. Beyond that there’s cheating on your taxes and every now and then you get something very special dropped into your lap.
Uwe Boll got dropped into my lap. Well, I guess that might be the wrong way to phrase it. The chance to get a few interview question to him, feel into my lap.
There is a short list of directors who I would consider to be my favorite directors… Boll is one of them. Typically introduction paragraphs like these do a whole career highlights type deal but I feel at this point if you don’t know who I’m talking about you might as well be asking me about Stephen Spielberg who has kind of fallen off.
That all said, I’m excited to say Dr. Boll got back to me quickly with questions about his career and about his new film Rampage: Capital Punishment (review here). This interview is one of the few privileges I feel like I’ve really had, how I feel that Dr. Boll may have lied to me on the very last question…
In Rampage: Capital Punishment the main character mentions how people need to read more, in other interviews you have mentioned that Gustavus Myers’ The History of American Fortunes is one of your favorite books, what are some others and what about fiction and/or poets?
I read a lot of fiction because I studied literature up to the doctorate. Thomas Bernhard, Thomas Mann and others. In the last 10 years I read only documenting books and articles …… I’m really into FACTS.
You have made some of the best films about American culture that I have seen “Rampage: Capital Punishment,” “Rampage,” “Assault on Wall Street” and “Heart of America” come to mind first, however you do not live in the US and you are not a native, what was your first taste of America and why make films about America?
America is moving the world and I grew up with American movies. I follow what POWERS control the earth and most of those powers are located in USA – the military and the banking complex and most of the superrich.
Rampage: Capital Punishment and Rampage are films that where the main character feels oppressed by the US Government and takes action in a way that is “extreme” in fact one could argue is contradictory –he’s trying to “liberate” or “wake people up” but you can’t wake up if you are dead. A lot of what is expressed in the “Rampage” films is true as far how America has become an oligarchy, what can be done? Aside from shooting billionaires (as suggested in the film)?
The good thing in a movie is that you can put out radical ideas to confront an audience with possibilities. The violence of Bill Williamson is senseless but he makes a point that we are all the on opposite side of him: passive victims. In ASSAULT ON WALLSTREET it is different: that guy has tons of reasons to kill the bankers and I think he is doing a good thing. 6 mill Americans lost their houses in the crisis and not one banker went to prison. If there is a absolute injustice in a system the people must go out and get their own justice.
“Little guy bullied/tortured/slaughtered by a far greater force” is a reoccurring theme in a lot of your films, yet you obviously can handle yourself in a fight (least in a boxing ring) is that something personal or does it come from simply being entertained by that kind of story?
I would not say it so simple as you said it …in DARFUR , STOIC etc…also HEART OF AMERICA it is different…. But I like underdog stories. But I don’t like happy endings ….
“Auschwitz” is one of the most powerful films about the Holocaust made, how old were you when you learned about he Holocaust, how did you first learn about the Holocaust and what was your initial reaction?
In my generation in Germany we learned about the HOLOCAUST in school nonstop and in all detail……that is the reason I made the movie now , because the schools now in Germany don’t have to teach it anymore .——a lot of school kids watching in school SCHINDLERS LIST and this is it ——That is the reason in one of the interviews [in the film] I included a kid saying that Auschwitz was about a cooking pot factory ….what actual Oskar Schindler factory was doing in the movie.
I have read “Postal” was one of your favorite films to make, what is your happiest memory of making the film and weird thing to happen on the set?
I loved every scene but most the scenes with Bush and Bin Laden ——showing them as buddies ….and the funny thing was that the Bush double actually was a big Bush fan ….and didn’t really get it what we were doing with his character. But he was super nice. And Larry nailed it with Bin Laden ….
I read this lovely review about some of your earlier works specifically “House of the Dead” and “Alone in the Dark” and this guy [Steward Wood] wrote like 5000 words (or so it felt) on German tax law and other nonsense etc… It was kind of angry and boring, that said how much of film making is commerce? I know H.G. Lewis or William Castle might argue “the whole thing” and I’m sure Jean Luc Goddard’s opinion might differ, where do you fall in?
I think most of the real filmmakers are in the business because they love movies. I made my first 3 films without any money and I lived in my parents basement till I was 30 because all my money went into my movies. When I was 30 I started making some money working as a producer for a TV company. But at one point it kicks in: MONEY makes projects happen and only with money you get NAMES to play in your movies and only with good actors and a good crew can you deliver movies to a worldwide audience. Since 2005 the German tax write offs for investors are CLOSED and now almost 10 years since then I operate only with my own money and sales of my movies. I had 5 years between 2000 and 2005 where I had my own film fund in Germany and from over 120 film funds in the market 5 of my funds were in the top 10 in regards of performance. All German investors combined spend 20 billion $ in Hollywood. “LORD OF THE RINGS”, “MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 2” and many more were made from cash flowed from Germany. I was the only filmmaker collecting money and making his own movies. Everybody else just wired the money to Hollywood and hoped for the best. Avi Lerner, Brad Krevoy and many others would be nowhere without the German tax shelter funds. And what is also completely wrong in the articles about that situation is that the investors want to loose their money. They all wanted to make money but in almost 100% of the funds it didn’t happened and so the only thing they got was a 100% tax loss so they recovered 50% of their investment. But they still lost the other 50%
I feel like you’re films are very daring, not in the way that say John Waters’ films are but you seem to look for buttons to push and then you do just that, are there any subjects you don’t want to touch?
I would touch any subject as long I can find a story to tell.
Why a doctorate in literature over film? Is there an advantage?
My dissertation was about serials in film and literature. We had at this time only 2 film schools in Germany and they were packed with idiots. So I studied somewhere else literature.
You write, produce and direct but not all 3 all the time on all projects, what facets of each job do you enjoy the most?
I love directing and most and mostly stuff I wrote —like RAMPAGE —-
Did this interview suck?
Not at all …