Five Questions With... Uwe Boll
Posted by Guest, Sep 21, 2008 06:33
Uwe Boll gets his fair share of grief from the critics (indeed, even our own Chris Rick has shown him the sharp end of his reviewing pencil), but there’s no denying the German writer/director/producer has a clear and progressive purpose permeating his career – video game-to-movie adaptations.
But this isn’t a guy who’s even remotely interested in entertaining the critics. Sure, most Hollywood types will claim precisely the same thing (it takes the edge off of a bad review if you can say you don’t read them), but few can make such assertions with a conscience as clear as Boll’s. This guy genuinely aims for the late night cinema goer, the grindhouse creeper, the top-row video shop nerd and the independent viewer when burning his celluloid.
And that’s the kind of filmmaking that solicits antagonism from the journalistic community. A director who stands up and brazenly (even aggressively, in Boll’s case) points out that the critical area of cinema is a redundant concept – that it’s a parasite feeding on the pulsing veins of the creative – casts a shadow across a critic’s career that any journo is professionally bound to try and protect. Boll, however, is not in the business to provide fodder for journalistic exorcism – his remit is one of sheer and unpretentious entertainment.
I’m not saying I believe he’s had an unparalleled level of success (House of the Dead hurt my brain), but even one of the least appreciated filmmakers in Hollywood is still a long way up the ladder from the thousands of filmmakers whose films never even get made. The only man who never makes mistakes is the one who never does anything, as my grandmother used to say.
He’s also a guy who cops a lot of flak for his stolid, often belligerent personality. While Boll has answered that question himself on plenty of occasions (including the infamous, and indubitably hilarious, Raging Boll series of boxing matches between the director and his most outspoken critics), the most defining reply is the Postal movie itself. It’s gross, obscene, offensive, unrestrained – everything a contemporary comedy based on the equally outrageous antics of the original game should be; attacking the viewer’s funny bone with a sledgehammer and tickling them with a blow torch as they’re curled up in a ball in hysterics. If Boll had made this film to please the critics, there would have been nothing to watch.
Watching Postal, it’s clear this is a guy who doesn’t just love cinema – he simply loves good storytelling, regardless of the medium. There isn’t a big name game developer in the industry who, with each new title, doesn’t proclaim to be actively working toward combining the game playing experience with cinematic entertainment. Working in the opposite direction – attempting to unite movies with games - Boll has done more to find this Holy Grail of modern entertainment than most anyone else.
On to the questions...
Rating: 4.0, votes: 3