In 1998 Duncan Reekie of the London Exploding Cinema Collective and
Karsten Weber of the German Filmmgruppe Chaos got together and decided
to make a Super 8 feature film of the infamous novel by Lautreamont.
They selected around fifteen underground filmmakers/film groups from
England and Germany and sent each one a chapter from the book and an
invitation to make a film out of their chapter. Each maker could use
different techniques, styles, actors and locations but there would be a
voice over narration by one narrator over the entire feature.
There was no budget for the production, the filmmakers had to put up their own money, although Karsten managed to raise some post- production finance. The makers dug out their cameras, blackmailed their friends and relatives into assistance and began to shoot. Some of them studied the novel, some of them read their chapter once through and then immediately lost it. Film came back overexposed , underexposed, out of focus, friends split up, equipment broke down, an irreplaceable roll of film disappeared. Three filmmakers dropped out. Two years later the surviving twelve emerged bleary eyed from darkened attics and smoke filled cupboards with edited films which were then enlarged to 16mm and assembled into the feature length film.
Premiered in Germany in April 2000, Maldoror has hypnotised and thrilled both audiences and press... a cult classic for the price of a second hand car.
The action takes place somewhere behind an
impossible mesh of sex, violence, emulsion, bacteria, oil, bleach,
petals, glue, dirt, abrasion, acid, superstition, glare, fur, insomnia,
amphetamines and deep blue cold water. At first this mesh appears to be
on the screen but slowly you realise that it is in fact behind your own
eyes ! Despite its subject matter Maldoror is perhaps the most realistic
feature film ever made, for although the big budget multiplex features
strain with every tense and twisted fibre to conjure a world of carefree
spontaneity they cannot compete with the reality of filmmakers who
really don¹t give a fuck. Whilst the multiplex constructs its reality
with narrative, style, action and music, Maldoror uses all these
techniques but also adds real human conflict, chance, technical
distortion, film surface scrimshaw, creative democracy and diversity.
Maldoror does not just conjure the illusion of reality, it is actually
real at the same time. Its got something that the multiplex cannot
offer...... WILDNESS. We have identified a gap in the market and we have
turned that gap into a terrible breach. Make no mistake once you have
seen it all other films are meaningless. After Maldoror, filmmaking is
no longer possible; in fact, it no longer has any purpose.