Ben Peek (benpeek) wrote,
Ben Peek

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The Five Question Interview

i figured that this journal could use something of interest. over at ashamel's livejournal, a spread it around interview came up. it has a set of basic rules, which i will list in a moment, but basically, it looked kind of fun, and it'd bring some different content to this here journal. so, below you will find the interview.

these are the rules:

1 - Leave a comment, saying you want to be interviewed.
2 - I will respond; I'll ask you five questions.
3 - You'll update your journal with my five questions, and your five answers.
4 - You'll include this explanation.
5 - You'll ask other people five questions when they want to be interviewed.

the interview should follow this cut.

1. Can an interest in film survive working in a cinema?

sure. in fact, if you don't know anything about films, one of the best things you can do is get yourself a job and become a projectionist.

i got a job as an usher when i was eighteen, out of high school, and without much of an interest in films. i went to a cinema every now and then, but i honestly couldn't say that i had a big film interest. thought star wars was neat, but otherwise i was pretty ignorant. next thing though, i had this job in a cinema, and i'm surrounded by people who watch films all the time, and who have these huge interest in film. most of them want to do something in film, either direct or write or act, and the majority of them can't act, direct, or write themselves out of a box, but they all carry this cultural knowledge of film around in them. just by hanging around in that sort of environment, you'll learn about films you've never seen before. people'll lend you european versions of luc besson's the professional (called leon), tell you about necrophilia films banned in every country but germany, point out that john woo once made good films, and that tarantino ripped reservoir dogs off ringo lam's city on fire, just for examples off the top of my head.

and there's an odd romantic quality to working with film that helps the interest along. i became a projectionist pretty quickly, and ended up working that for five or so years. there's a particular tactile pleasure that comes from handling film, and threading it up through a projector, and the sound it makes as it runs along rollers and through the gate.
the same tactile pleasure is there for books, at least for me.

but, of course, working in a cinema is a dead end job. it's why you find out of work actors and directors there. indeed, the longer you stay in the job, the more fucked up you become, and the less you're able to interact with anyone anywhere else... though in fairness, i reckon that's the end product of most long term employment, which molds your mind into a little soldier for that job, so that you're unable to connect fully anything outside the frame.

2. Have you ever found people in your classes who write really well? Can you see potential talent struggling to come to the fore?

hmm, well, you know, that's a bit of a hard question. when you say, 'write really well', it sort of implies that maybe i've found, for example, salman rushdie fully made and born before the age of twenty... and the answer to that is simply no, i haven't found that. i don't really think i will.

i see a lot of potential, though, some of it more than others, but most of it just the mark of something that could emerge as a writer. that doesn't mean that i don't think they're publishable, as a couple have been, but just being publishable doesn't mean you've reached the point where you're this shining example of literature and everyone ought drop to their knees and kiss your little toes. mostly i view being publishable as just another sign of your potential getting bigger, cutting a larger mark through your flesh, scaring you for what you might become.

3. How is the thesis/novel going?

yeah, that. a walking tour of the dreaming city. i like saying the title every now and then, cause i don't think i'll end up with it once i've finished.

it's going, neither good nor bad. it's best not to think of it in those terms right now, i figure. i've spent the last month and a half laying down the rough draft, sorting out what needs to go where, and getting the basic ideas and structure out. i've got about another month of that left, i think, and then it's back to research, rewriting, research, rewriting, that sort of thing. i rewrite a lot, so it's not a big deal that i have so much rewriting ahead of me, though i still have to write the essay part of it, hence the research.

last year i hit a period of hating it, which was expected, and i reckon that i'll hit the same thing towards the end of this year. whenever that times rolls up, i call everyone i know a crack head, get into a foul mood, and end up doing something that aids society not at all, like maybe writing a short story.

the hardest bit about writing this is not getting distracted and writing something else. it's a bit of the itchy fingers thing, i think, and i like the quickness of a short story. but i really mustn't.

4. Do you think modern civilisation is on an inevitable spiral into destruction?

well, i do suspect that the continual success of reality tv shows does signal something, but i don't think its an inevitable spiral, alas.

humanity is a virus with shoes, as the bill hicks quote goes. we'll just keep going on and on and on. no jesus coming back, no mohammad with a shotgun, none of that shit. oh sure, things'll change, but that's nothing new either. in fact, we all ought to be looking forward to change, and a time when our musicians weren't made on the telly.

5. What sort of music do you like?

depends on the mood. for most of the time i spent typing this reply, i was listening to iggy pop's beat 'em up, but i recently changed that to zwan. the album isn't perfect, but it's not as bad as the smashing pumpkins got towards the end. i like godspeed you black emperor and the bands that circle them, such as a silver mt zion and set fire to flames. the john butler trio are always listenable too--and fantastic live. lets not forget the flaming lips, who i didn't get to see live last weekend or so, sadly, cause i didn't have the cash. i apparently missed nuns on stage too, which was a deep regret, because when dancing nuns are put on stage, things often get better.

i'm not really into most pop music except as a voyeuristic experience when watching the film clips of britney and christina and whoever is cute, you know. shows like australian (or whatever) idol just piss me off.

this could go on longer. i could list jeff buckley, my morning jacket, SNOG, rage against the machine, the jesus and mary chain, tori amos, ani defranco... i could keep going. i listen to bits of orchestra music, though mainly off the radio, hence the lack of names. it just all depends on the mood, and i'll pretty much give anything a listen too once. i'll pretty much give anything a whirl once, so long as it holds a bit of initial interest, which, you know, is why i filled in this interview thing.

which we've reached the end of.

much thanks to david, and the hotel that kept us, and to the good people at livejournal. feel free to add and ask more or have your own five questions.

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