Bomb It! – Jon Reiss interview
Danielle Marsland speaks to Bomb It! director Jon Reiss
Fri Jul 16, Astor Bar, Beaufort St, Mt Lawley
SixThousand pre-party 5.30pm (incl. Cut & Paste DJs, King Brown Mag stall, Last Chance Studio mini-exhibition, door prizes, complimentary beer thanks to Gage Roads)
Here is sneak peak of Danielle Marsland’s interview with Jon!
Danielle Marsland: People call you a ‘badass’ director. What’s the most ‘badass’ thing you’ve done lately?
Jon Reiss: Climbing through a fire ant infested tree to get to an abandoned building in Bangkok with four graff writers. Or descending into a Hong Kong sewage drain. One of those.
DM: You ever get arrested?
JR: Almost – in Sheffield and Berlin. But all the graff writers I’ve travelled with have had an uncanny sixth sense when it comes to police.
DM: What was the spark that ignited the Bomb It! flame?
JR: A Hollywood studio approached me, since I’m the ‘subculture guy’, to pitch a film about graffiti – a narrative action film for fucks sake! I immediately thought about it and said, ‘great subject, but it would suck as a feature – make it as a doco.’ They declined – ‘we don’t do docos’. And hence, history was born.
DM: The terminology of the street art world confuses me. ‘Graffiti’ seems to have negative connotations, stuff like tagging. ‘Street art’ seems to be more PC.
JR: Both terms are used in the US and I use them both for convenience. However I view it all as graff and to me graffiti is (my def): ‘any illicit artistic interference in public space.’ This includes a limitless amount of styles, techniques, attitudes, motivations. Who cares if it’s a spray can or yarn.
DM: Pick up any sweet lingo during the filming of Bomb It?
JR: Grapixo. It’s a melding of graffiti and pixacao in Sao Paulo.
DM: What’s the stupidest graf you’ve ever seen? You don’t have to name names.
JR: I’ve seen writing on incredible, architectural buildings and sculptures that are works of art in their own right. There are plenty of fucked up buildings, banks or billboards around to write on. Writing on beautiful buildings seems chickenshit, to me.
DM: Have you ever tried your hand at graf? Pick up any tips from the pros you followed around in Bomb It?
JR: Tried it once in Barcelona. Total shit. Worse than the lowliest toy. Makes me appreciate the skill of the writers and artists. I’ll stick to film.