the director of 2007 straight 8 'the surrealist brothel' talks about the world, the universe, we humans and getting arrested for stealing super 8 film…
see julia’s selection.
my whole reason for wanting to be a filmmaker is to inspire people... to be free from all the weird human shit we get attached to us along the way. there's so much freedom in a film.
you can fly in films, you can turn into animals or fluffy clouds or whatever. if you have a good imagination it can take you with it and you can go everywhere.
as a human being you have so much power over the universe through your heart.
i started when i was a child to take photos and at 6 or 7 i'd build sets outside my grandma's front door. i was always planning a story. i got my first camera when i was 17, i made a short film about saving the planet.
i got arrested for stealing super 8 in boots. i had this deadline to get into film school. it was christmas and there was this really really long queue in the chemists and i thought i'd just nick this one roll because i had to get it in to get it developed and i had to this one shot i had to do. one of the other customers told on me and then the police showed up and arrested me and i had to go to prison and stay in the cell all day. and missed my deadline.
i got in to film school anyway and then didn't go as i got a job as an assistant to the director tony kaye.
the two films i can watch again and again are harold and maude and being there. also a face in the crowd. they all teach you something really profound about humans. that's why i made the surrealist brothel — the men were looking for something to change them.
i've spent some of the most difficult times of my life watching films and they have rejuvenated me. i was starved of movies till i was older and had my own flat and tv. i'm like an addict, i can't stop. i love films even if they're shit.
i love super 8. it's my favourite format of all. it makes you into an artist. it's for everyone.
when you have an idea that you don't make it's really debilitating somehow. you've got this kind of egg and you need to lay it.
doing it and having somewhere to show it — if you're lucky — is such great inspiration. it makes you do it. the competition is a positive thing. it makes you charged knowing everyone's doing it. you think i've got to make a really good one. you're really excited when you're posting it off.
i drew a tibetan symbol on my straight 8 envelope to protect it and make it get there.
i've always had this theme to show us how ridiculous we are. i find being human so ridiculous compared to the trees or animals… my theme seems to be to show how mad we are. we're so hung up, we have no symbiosis with ourselves or the planet, we're like alien beings! i'm still trying to work it out actually. that's why i'm still making films.
julia directs short films and commercials through crossroads films.