Monday, April 24, 2017

In Focus with Matthias Von Braun: Dark Surrealist Filmmaker

Matthias Von Braun proudly describes himself as a science fiction fetishist and dark surrealist filmmaker. He has screened his short films at renowned art galleries, film festivals and fetish play parties around the world including Zara duRose’s Welcome to the Pleasuredome party in London and the Friendly Pervs play party in Berlin. He makes his home in London, England, and behind the lens of a camera writing and directing his own short subject films.

His short films include Decay, Decay II, Slave (to technology), Switch, Lost in Transmission, and several short films and an hour long film in production. Matthias works in Black & White which provides an ideal medium for exploring the relations of light and shadow as well form, line, space and texture.

Matthias Von Braun has several upcoming films he is working on. Evolution and Orifice are two ambitious short films, by his very words the most ambitious short films he will have ever made. They are surreal science fiction fetish films featuring male and female nudity. Post-Human Perversions is an hour long film he is working on set in a post-apocalyptic world. More information on his films can be found on his YouTube page, his IndieGoGo page, his IMDB page, his Website and you can follow him on Twitter.

It's always thrilling for me to discover the work of different filmmakers, and I have a particular fondness for indie films. Indie filmmakers like Matthias Von Braun are their own people doing their own thing in the world of cinema. Yes, they are influenced by those who have come before, but that is just the spark, one of them, and the resulting passion from that spark culminates in a very personal work of art put onto a canvas called film.

To learn more about Matthias Von Braun, about his work and the man behind the work, I have asked him several questions, and got some insightful answers.

Fletch: When did you first become interested in filmmaking and how did you get started?

Matthias: I’ve suffered from depression for my whole life and withdrew into television at a young age. I’d watch anything but I found classic science fiction films the most absorbing. I’ve never really taken to reality so filmmaking seemed like a perfect career. I made short films with friends and eventually went to film school. I lived and breathed film for four years working part-time at an independent cinema while at film school. I went through a bad breakup in my final year and emigrated. I currently make disturbing little films in London.

Fletch: Why did you choose to work in Black & White?

Matthias: I make films in black and white for a number of reasons. I love the aesthetic but I also like how it’s perceived by others.

Fletch: People will, as we all naturally do, have their own assumptions about what terms like science fiction fetishist means to them. How would you define it to someone?

Matthias I’ve always been interested in science fiction and I’m also interested in BDSM. I’ve been to fetish clubs and enjoy kinky sex. I find certain ideas in science fiction erotic. 

Fletch: Who and/or what have been your influences as a filmmaker?

Matthias: Ridley Scott’s Alien and Blade Runner, David Lynch’s Dune, Clive Barker’s Hellraiser films, Shinya Tsukamoto’s Tetsuo films, Alex Proyas’s The Crow, The Wachowski’s The Matrix Trilogy, Nice Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson.

Fletch: When I first watched Decay, the first thing that came to mind for me was the work of Wilson Bryan Key who wrote on subliminal manipulation in advertising, and specifically the use of sexually charged images not consciously recognizable as such.

Are you familiar with his writings, or similar writings?

Matthias: Yes I distinctly remember lectures on the subject at film school.

Fletch: Do you incorporate a deeper meaning in your work beyond the imagery, or is the imagery more raw so the interpretation is left to the individual viewer, or both?

Matthias: I would have to say both.

Fletch: Reading on your website I see you have film festivals and fetish play parties scheduled for showings of your films.

What kinds of places show your work (art galleries, film festivals, etc.)? 

Matthias: Screenings of my work include Modern Panic VII Art Exhibition in London, Sexhibition Sex Convention in Manchester and many more.

Fletch: Being you use the word "fetish" in the description of your work, have you ever been denied a showing because they felt it was too taboo?

Matthias: No I don’t think any of my films have ever been rejected for screening.

Fletch: You've completed a film and are showing it at a venue, whether online or at a festival. What is your objective for the audience to get out your work?

Matthias: I’d like the audience to feel something, some kind of emotional response. I don’t care what that response is as long as they feel something.

Keeping Up With Matthias Von Braun

In the works for Matthias Von Braun are two short films, Evolution and Orifice. Evolution will be a terrifying glimpse into human evolution featuring Post-Human cybernetic slaves. Orifice will be his most sexual short film to date. An inhumanly cruel dominant female Post-Human will seduce and destroy her human male victim.

Additionally Matthias Von Braun is working on Post-Human Perversions, a longer feature film of an hour in length. Post-Human Perversions is set in a post apocalyptic underworld inhabited only by Synthetic Androids and Organic Biomechanoids. They are cursed with human sexuality and share our capacity for Love and Depravity in equal measure.

Keep up with Matthias Von Braun via Twitter and YouTube. Check out his credits and works on IMDB and his festival appearances and further information about his work on his Website.

Toxic Fletch

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