Your first Dazed cover was in 1998, alongside the release of your directorial debut, Gummo. Any memories from the shoot?
It was my first trip to London. I stayed with Jefferson – they were running the magazine out of his apartment back then. I showed up for the shoot super high, and I was running around the studio writing on the walls with a magic marker, and they were taking pictures. I was trying to mess the place up. Dazed was actually the first magazine cover I was ever on.
In the interview you talked about your approach to filmmaking as being a ‘mistakist art form.’ You said: “What I mean by mistakist is almost like anti-Hitchcock. When Hitchcock would make a film, before he made it, it was finished. When I make a film, the script is the script and that’s the bare bones and it’s dead. All the accidents, all the life that come to it, that’s the film.” Do you still believe this?
A large portion of what I said there is still true. I called it mistakism because I liked what would come out in the mistakes. I liked when things got awkward, and I saw a beauty in the randomness. Looking through the lens of a camera can feel like witnessing a chemical reaction, and I liked the idea of documenting the explosion. I still subscribe to that in some ways.
What was most important to you at that time in your life?
Crashing cars, smoking dope, robbing convenient stores and boning chicks.
In your films, as well as in the media, you seem to play with truth and lies. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell fact from fiction.
It’s all true, and none of it is true. What’s true about me or what’s made up in my movies, it’s all the same, and it’s perfect. The ultimate truth is boring, and it doesn’t mean anything anyway. [X]