Friday, March 16, 2012


In the late 90's, filmmakers like Lars Von Trier ('The Idiots'), Thomas Vinterberg ('The Celebration'), Harmony Korine ('Julien Donkey-Boy') and a few others proved that you don't need a big budget, cast or crew to make a great film. In somewhat recent years, filmmakers like Johnathan Cahoutte ('Tarnation') and Shane Meadows (who made a short film using only a camera phone) have been carrying that independent, guerrilla style, low budget (although not low QUALITY) film making torch to the next level. But in my opinion no director in recent years has shown the kind of independent spirit as Haitian/French director Djinn Carrenard, who's 2+ hour long feature film; 'Donoma' (a movie we discussed on here last year) screened at Cannes and ended up on the top 10 lists of many French film critics (most notably Cahiers Du Cinema, where he also landed on the front cover last year a few issues back).
Instead of waiting on a co-sign from George Lucas or Martin Scorsese, he used what resources he had and ended up making a great film which is still quite popular in France today (make sure you read his answer to question #4). Additionally, his tireless promotion and closeness with the cast & crew of 'Donoma' mimics that of John Cassavetes or even Rainer Werner Fassbender.

1. What are the last 3 movies you saw? (feel free to elaborate on any of them)

Djinn Carrenard: 'Dangerous Method' - not enough Freud, just enough sex. 'Shame' - Very disappointed. I had great expectations. Take Shelter - To me...a great movie. I was really moved for several days after seeing this one.

2. Who, in your opinion, is the best active filmmaker working right now?

DC: Very good question. At different periods of time I would say: Tarentino, Inaritu, or Spike Lee. I think that right now the concept of the genius is gone. You're not even sure you're going to laugh in a Woody Allen movie anymore !

3. Given the TRUE independent nature of 'Donoma' ($200 dollar budget, guerrilla-style film making, small close knit cast & crew) as well as the success you've received, do you feel it belongs up there with other great independent films like Robert Rodriguez's 'El Mariachi', Kevin Smith's 'Clerks' or 'John Cassavetes' 'Shadows'?

DC: I fought for that, I can tell you. I carried the torch for guerrilla film making. I wanna be part of that club. Let me in !!

4. Was part of the reason you made 'Donoma' to inspire other people to make films without having to worry about budget, permits and other intimidating factors that can cause film making to be difficult?

DC: I made this movie with no budget to make talented filmmakers understand that they should not beg for a producer, instead, scare him by not needing him...

5. The soundtrack to 'Donoma' is great! Will it ever be available on itunes or in stores?

DC: Yes, you just remind me that I have to handle that also !


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