Interviewed by Hanna
Cult filmmaker Dave Markey’s new movie The Reinactors premiered at the 37th Rotterdam International Film Festival in January. Detailing the complicated lives of the character impersonators that work on Hollywood Boulevard as tourist attractions, it was one of the greatest successes of the festival, with all showings sold out. It was also one of the highest rated movies in the audience polls.
Popshifter: How has The Reinactors been received, and how do you feel about the premiere?
Dave Markey: Well, it’s been amazing. I mean, we just came out of a 9:45 a.m. screening, and it was packed. And it just isn’t the kind of movie you wanna see first thing in the morning; it’s quite a rude awakening. I mean, to me, this is definitely a midnight movie, but it has potential to burst out of that.
So far, the response has been really positive. All the screenings so far have been sold out. We were in the top ten rated films at the entire festival a couple of days ago. It’s all the more amazing because there’s been no promotion for it, and what’s happening with this film is obviously organic. There are so many films at a festival, and we just sort of came in at the last minute, and were very much low on the radar of the festival. It’s been working out really great.
Popshifter: At the showing, a lot of the audience didn’t know you as a filmmaker. Some of them thought this was your first film. Has that happened before, or does it strike you as odd?
Dave Markey: I don’t expect most people to know what I do. It’s more a surprise to find out people know me. Since 1991: The Year Punk Broke [Markey’s tour documentary movie featuring Sonic Youth and Nirvana—Ed.], a lot of my stuff hasn’t been mass distributed. But I have a feeling things are going to change with this movie, and I’m really excited about that.
Popshifter: Do you think the film’s success here has anything to do with cultural difference? Holland is a place with a pretty strong preference for cult movies.
Dave Markey: I think cult is pretty mainstream everywhere now, to be honest. This film really plays with the reality TV format, and it’s a format I think people can really get into. It wasn’t a conscious choice when I was making it, but I am aware of pop culture anyway, so I think something could happen with this movie. My work has been all over the map: it’s part documentary, part fantasy, part something else. But I had a hunch pretty early on in the process that this was probably something that would appeal to a lot of people.
Popshifter: Do you have any plans for what you’re going to do after promotion for this film is over?
Dave Markey: I have no idea. I have five festivals lined up now, as of last week, it’s all happening now. And so I guess I’m going to be doing a lot of traveling this year. I also wrote a book a few years back that I wanna adapt, so. I’m not quite sure yet. My schedule doesn’t allow for much except traveling.
Popshifter: How about Sin 34? I noticed you reformed last year but you haven’t really done much yet.
Dave Markey: We haven’t played any shows yet. We’ve just rehearsed seven or eight times, because my schedule’s been pretty busy. We are starting to play, and the first thing is a really small bar. We’re not really promoting it; we’re just going to show up and play.
Popshifter: There does seem to be a buzz for Sin 34 getting back together, I’ve seen a lot of interest online.
Dave Markey: Yeah, it’s funny, the MySpace age. That’s how I can tell there is an interest in the band. And it’s pretty surreal going back to where you were as a kid. I started the band when I was 17, and now I’m in my forties and returning to this very primal phase. I like being in the band, because it’s a good way of dealing with the craziness and pressures that build up in the business of being in movies.
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