Your new short Nihilism - in a few words, what is it about?
The story is about a woman battling with the question of the existence of her
The story is told through a poem/monologue. When I was writing it I
was thinking of the battle people go through about questioning God and when
they lose that faith how one can feel like nothing exists. Hence the name
With faith and lack thereof, Nihilism covers some
pretty big topics - so what's your personal take on faith, religion, God,
and the like?
I'm anatheist but not one of those angry
atheists. LOL. I feel religion and spirituality is a personal choice. I
think a lot of the world's problems could be solved without religion - but
at the same time if someone believes and that's what gets them through the
day and makes them a good person who am I to tell them what to believe. I
studied this topic for a long time and my choice is Atheism. Funny thing
is I love religious artwork and churches. When I go to a museum the first
thing I do is look at all the religious art, it has so much passion and
it's dark! I went to Italy a few years back and I loved just walking into
random churches and looking at the structure and art they have. It's
amazing. I also love religious art from Mexico. As far as faith goes I
believe more that hard work pays off and trusting in yourself. Does God
really exist? Unfortunately I can't say but I don't have many reasons to
believe. If he does the more interesting question is which religion is the
right one? And where have you been?
(Other) sources of inspiration when
I was reading some of Edgar Allan
Poe and William Blake. Some personal experiences as well, but when I was
writing it I tried to make it work for Aurora. I wanted to tailor it to
her a bit. For the images I thought of an old Spanish painting from an
artist I can't remember. LOL. Silent films and nature photography inspires
me as well.
Now so far, most of your films
were of the narrative variety, while Nihilism is rather
experimental/avant garde in approach. In a nutshell, how come, and which
approach do you actually prefer?
I made a bunch of these
films with super 8 while I was taking some classes at the school of the
museum of fine arts in Boston. Since then my skills as a filmmaker have
grown leaps and bounds. I felt like getting back to my roots and I wanted
to make a film where I did everything but act. I've been trying to do this
for a while but my films keep getting too big and I end up needing help.
I've always loved avant garde films like those from Maya Deren. If
she doesn't have an award named after her there needs to be one. She's a
great filmmaker and an important female figure in film history. I think I
like the experimental/avant garde filmmaking approach better than the
traditional way. You have complete freedom.
Your movie's sole
actress Aurora Grabill - you just have to talk about her for a bit, and
why her, how did you find her, and what was your collaboration like?
Grabill is amazing! We worked on my first feature Livestock
together. Again my skills have grown a lot since then. Having known Aurora
for a while I knew this type of film would be a great fit for her. The
direction I took was because I had her. I could just see Aurora in it.
Working with Aurora was so much fun! It was one of the best shoots because
it was just me and her chatting about stuff while enjoying a beautiful
day making a film. She's a really nice person and it would be hard not to
like her. I thought her performance was great. She was graceful and
elegant. The way she expressed sadness was perfect. She made it work
and kept it from being just another pretentious art film.
film uses some rather impressive locations. Want to talk about those as
well as your movie's aesthetics in general for a bit?
shot at my house which I tried to make look like a portrait painting with
dramatic lighting. Then we shot at Mt. Auburn cemetery which is an amazing
place. All you need to do here is point the camera and make sure it's in
focus. A great spot for inspiration. For a film like this to work it not
only needs a good actor but needs to be visually pleasing. So I had to
really think about that. We also shot at a train station in Belmont, MA. I
felt the big old wall Aurora was up against reminded me of Russia. I've
been scouting most of these places for a while not knowing it because I've
been doing a lot of photography there. This film allowed me to put them
all together and I think it was beautiful if I can say so myself. The
locations were the main way I could set a tone and add to the story.
what can you tell us about the actual shoot and the on-set atmosphere?
was a one day shoot and it was really fun! Like I was saying it was just
me and Aurora hanging out making some cinema. When you work with good
people it's always great. Even though the film is dark, on-set was relaxed
and positive. One funny thing Aurora and I were talking about was the last
time we went to Mt. Auburn cemetery and it was about a week or two ago
around the same time and I think also the same day. It's just funny when
you think about how you and someone else can be at the same place without
knowing it and then a few weeks later you're both making a film there.
can you tell us about critical reception of your movie so far, and any
idea when and where Nihilism is going to be released onto the
The film has gotten one review so far and
it was a really good one! I'm very happy about that. The reception has
been great so far too. The people that have seen it have encouraged me to
do more like it. People seem to be taking away something from it and
that's all I could ask for. I don't know if I'm going to release it to the
public now or try a few festivals first. This is something that I'll be
deciding on soon.
Any future projects
beyond Nihilism you'd like
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Yes. I'm trying to raise funds for Under
The Dark Wing - https://www.facebook.com/UnderTheDarkWing.
Pedro Alvarado and I are working on a new feature script. I'm
talking with someone about making more films like Nihilism.
Here's a little bit on
Under the Dark Wing: A mysterious
young girl enters the lives of two small time thugs. Without warning her
presence forever alters their fates.
Christopher's Under the Dark Wing-interview here]
Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever
Me - http://www.christopherdinunzio.com/
Nihilism - https://www.facebook.com/Nihilismthefilm and
IMDb - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2990810/
Also check out my new feature film A Life not to Follow
almost done! - https://www.facebook.com/ALifeNotToFollow
and IMDb - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2179734/
Anything else you'd like to mention and I have
merely forgotten to ask?
I think we've got everything for
now. Thanks again for the interview and for your support!
Thanks for the interview!