Although Steven Ellison is primarily known for his work as electronic music producer Flying Lotus -- and headlines the Eagle Rock Music Festival on the Low End Theory stage this Saturday, October 1st. -- his first love was film. He studied it in college, where he worked on student projects as a sound designer and director of photography. Since his school days, he's scored bumps for Adult Swim, directed several mind-bending music videos for Bilal and Tim and Eric, and collaborated with Brainfeeder audio-visual artist Strangeloop on a live scoring of the 1962 avant-garde animated classic Heaven and Earth Magic at the Ann Arbor Film Festival.
A couple weeks ago, Flying Lotus asked his Twitter followers to recommend the most bugged out psychedelic Bollywood movie that he needs to check out right now. What he got were suggestions to see films like Enter the Void, nothing new to the film buff. "There should be a law against suggesting Enter The Void to me," he says. "Get out of here with this shit." We recently talked to FlyLo about his favorite Asian movies, his most exciting recent discoveries, and the feature film he's about to direct.
What movies are you into now that aren't like Enter the Void?
I just saw this movie called Final Flesh by Vernon Chatman. He does "Wonder Showzen" and "Delocated" and PFFR--that's his company. But he's done a lot of stuff with my friend David O'Reilly. Really good stuff. Final Flesh is a really bizarre movie that was commissioned by Vernon Chatman. He commissioned porn companies to produce these scripts for him and they're like three different terrible scripts with no sex in them but they have these weird underground porn actors acting out this insane script. It's really hilarious but it's really dark and bizarre. If you get through the whole thing, I commend you! Definitely worth looking into. It's really fucking weird.
What kind of films do you know the most about and what kind of films do you want to see more of?
I think I know a lot about Asian cinema I think. Left field, cult cinema. Yeah, that's my expertise. I want to see more Bollywood. I'm trying to find some of those psychedelic movies with deities and stuff. Like Krishna. Shit like that. Hindu gods flying through the sky. I haven't found any of that but it was kinda fucked up because I was under the impression that there was a lot of stuff out there like that, you know? And maybe there is, but it's hard to find!
What's your favorite recent release?
I really enjoyed Attack the Block by Joe Cornish. It was produced by Edgar Wright. He's the guy who brought you Scott Pilgrim and Shaun of the Dead and Spaced. And lots of good stuff. But Attack the Block was a really good representation of east London and the vibe there. Along with like some crazy monsters. A really good comedy action movie.