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Friday, September 26, 2014

An Interview with Matthew Bauckman and Jaret Belliveau

Jaret Belliveau (left) and Matthew Bauckman (right)January 19, 2014 - Source: Larry Busacca/Getty Images North America
By Joshua Handler

The following is an interview with Matthew Bauckman and Jaret Belliveau, co-directors of Fantastic Fest Best Picture (Documentary) and Slamdance Grand Jury Prize-winner Kung Fu Elliot:

How did you meet Elliot?
We first found out about Elliot after reading several local newspaper articles written about him and his partner, Linda Lum. In the articles, Elliot was promoting himself as an accomplished martial artist and award-winning filmmaker. When we watched the trailer for Elliot and Linda’s first movie They Killed My Cat, we were intrigued. We tracked down some of his films at a local video store and then contacted Elliot about making a film. He invited us down to the set of Blood Fight and filming began... 
Do you believe your presence influenced any of the events in the film preceding the climax?
In any documentary, the presence of filmmakers influences events to a certain degree but we were unaware of the argument which precipitated the final scene and had no intention of being part of the story.
How did you walk the line between portraying Elliot as an eccentric character and as a human being?
We did our best to choose moments which captured the complexity of Elliot. He is eccentric, but he's also a person struggling with the same issues as anyone else. We see him on set directing his films, but also at home, dealing (or not dealing) with issues in his relationship. 
What did you originally imagine this film to be and how is it similar/different from what it came out to be?
We initially thought this would be a Canadian version of the US documentary, American Movie. We thought we were dealing with a likeable underdog, obsessed with being a movie star, and an eccentric group of dreamers along for the ride. Instead, we ended up with a study of ambition and human frailty. 
Have Linda or any of the other subjects seen the film? What did they think?
Unfortunately, we're no longer in touch with Elliot or Linda, so we're not sure if they've seen the film, but Blair has seen it and we look forward to showing it to Blake and other people featured in the documentary.

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