Director Ronny Carlsson (FilmBizarro – Sweden) on the Feeding Fingers “Detach Me From My Head” Music Video
From Ronny Carlsson, Director of the Feeding Fingers Music Video, “Detach Me From My Head”:
I first found out about Justin Curfman when and friend and I (Preston Carnell) were starting up our movie review website (FilmBizarro.com) in 2008. We wanted to find some surrealists that had gone unnoticed in the movie world and Preston mentioned Justin Curfman and more specifically I think he mentioned “Tephrasect”, one of Justin’s short films.
“Tephrasect” became a big influence on the films I make, because around the same time I made my first experimental short film, “Video Geisteskrank.
Anyway, we looked into this oddity of an artist a little closer and we knew we had to do an interview with the guy. When I was searching around for info about him for the questions, I noticed what a great multimedia artist he really was – this was also my first encounter with his band, “Feeding Fingers”. I didn’t think much of the band at first except that it really wasn’t what I could relate to at the time. Time passed and I got the first batch of answers from Justin. I was blown away by his little stories and ideas, and for some reason I instantly went back to listen to “Feeding Fingers” because I had some more meat on my bones about the front man of the band. Then I stumbled upon the song “Manufactured Missing Children” and it hit home. It was such a simple, sad and surreal little song, I didn’t understand how it had gone unnoticed to me before.
Jump ahead to April of 2010, when I was writing my short film “Récompence”. Unlike my other films this wasn’t gonna be a chaotic, loud and dirty little trip, instead I wanted to make something that was the absolute opposite. While writing it I only listened to two bands for inspiration, “Feeding Fingers” was one of them. The three songs that were repeated the most during this time was “Manufacted Missing Children” (of course), “She Hides Disease” and “Fireflies Make Us Sick”. These songs, more so than the other band (“Sopor Aeternus & The Ensemble of Shadows”, if anyone is interested), opened my mind and laid the path to what I wanted my film to feel like.
I have had contact with Justin through-out the years since the interview, but it wasn’t until “Récompence” was finished that I think it was noticed by Justin that I made my own films – or at least not something that would fit his little world. He contacted me in the end of 2010 out of nowhere and offered me to make a music video for him. He hadn’t seen the film, just screenshots, so I wasn’t sure how serious this was. The more I talked to him about it, it was clear that he trusted me (and he still did after seeing “Récompence”). It’s an odd feeling to have a band you look at for inspiration to the extent that I did with “Feeding Fingers” for the film, and when that film is finished you are contacted by the band and get an offer to make them a music video. Makes me wonder, did my inspiration really shine through? Would this have happened if I had went elsewhere for inspiration that very week of writing it?
I started the writing of the music video without really knowing what I wanted out of it myself, or what I wanted to make. I have always wanted to make a music video because in all of my experimental films I have worked with music and no dialogue – it just seemed like something I would enjoy doing. But at first I was drawing a blank, I was afraid that I would make something really shallow and boring to get it over with. Not that I didn’t care what I was making, but I didn’t feel inspired to make something. At this time we hadn’t even decided which song I was gonna make a video for so that could’ve been it. When “Detach Me From My Head” was finally picked I started getting a more solid starting point and ideas started flowing. Slowly.
The “story” started off with exactly what you can see in the video now (something that isn’t too far off from “Video Geisteskrank”, just with less of a sarcastic “blame TV” statements and brief comedy). “Video Geisteskrank” was about a man who watched a few notorious films and goes insane from doing so. The film was a tribute to a certain trilogy of films. I used a TV in similiar fashion again in this music video, but for different reasons. It’s a way to represent what I want to make. I want to make complete fiction. I don’t try to make films that will help you get to terms with problems in your life – I want you to get away from real life all together. Putting a TV in the video and having that hypnotize our character is just a way to simplify what I’m going for. Without sounding too pretentious about it – a metaphor of sorts.
The rest of the video came pretty naturally after that. I have a certain fascination for stale masks and faceless faces. Visually I think it hits harder than human faces and their emotions. The figures from “Tephrasect” is one example of the faceless faces, but the greatest inspiration on the music video for this part was the Film Bizarro favorite “La femme qui se poudre” (The Woman Who Powders Herself). Two other films I think people could find in it, that are always close to heart when I make something, are “Tetsuo: The Iron Man” and “Un Chien Andalou”. I love trying to mix what those two movies did – one being complete chaos and a attack on all senses, the other one a lot calmer, but perfect surrealist art. Out of all the films I have made, the music video for “Detach Me From My Head” is probably the one I can see the most of these two in, without ripping them off. The music video has became the most fulfulling trip into my head to date. TV, masks, blood and babes are all part of my own equivalent of Tephra.
When it was time to find a crew, I knew I just had to work with the same people as I did on “Récompence” one more time, minus a few and one additional (who plays the lead psycho. I met this guy in school). It became literally just a weekend with a bunch of friends in my apartment, and we had so much fun making this together. I have everything to thank them for, as they put themselves into the film as much as possible. I especially have to mention Mikael Johansson, my trusted camera man. From the moment we started working together on “Récompence”, he just knew what I wanted out of the shots. I tell him what it is I want and then we barely speak until after the scene and I ask “Did we get it all?”, and the response is always a simple “Yeah”. I rarely need to guide him during the actual scene because he just gets it. I kept the script for it very loose and vague because I knew we needed some brainstorming together to make the best of it. I never write a script that is a 100% – if I can’t change it up while preparing, shooting or editing, I’d go insane. I’d be so damn bored with my stories. Luckily I make the kind of films where you can change things. The weekend was intense, but fun, and we got every little shot done.
A few days later I could sit down and start the editing, and by this time I was still convinced that I wanted to make the video in color because I usually don’t want to make two black and white films in a row, but after trying every possible combination of colors and talking to Justin about it (who already assumed I was doing it black and white anyway), I settled with black and white and couldn’t be more happy about the decision.
The video for “Detach Me From My Head” has unintentionally taken fragments from all my past work – I have taken everything I’ve learned and made use of it somehow. I don’t want to ruin it by dissecting it with my own interpretations of the story, but just remember that I just want to make fiction. I don’t want to reflect my mood in the films, I want to reflect the mood of the characters. Take “Récompence” as an example here – it’s not a story of what I think happens after you die. Not at all. It’s a story about what happens to this exact character when she dies. Big difference. Take that as my only lead for my “understanding” my work and make your own little worlds with it.
The Video in a Censored and Uncensored Version:
Feeding Fingers: “Detach Me From My Head” – CENSORED
Feeding Fingers: “Detach Me From My Head” – UNCENSORED – NOTE: You may or may not have to turn off a “family filter”:. Follow this link: