Editor’s note: Fandor has initiated an innovative collaborative project with a group of five FIX filmmakers to create original films under the ‘FIXshorts’ banner. From over thirty submitted script-and-budget proposals, Fandor chose five diverse and dynamic short film projects to help develop from start (funding) to finish (distribution and promotion). Today marks the second of five FIXshorts filmmaker Q&As, which, we imagine might provoke even more questions than answers—as we hope you’ll explore their work further on their Kickstarter campaign pages.
The new film Maximón Monihan is working on is called Sea to Shining Sea, described as “an epic road trip with a consummate outsider exploring all the wonderful, horrible, strange and surreal things America has to offer.”
Keyframe: Where are you from?
Maximón Monihan: From an area of Seattle called the CD (the Central District). It’s where Jimi Hendrix, Quincy Jones, Bruce Lee, Ishmael Butler and a bunch of other interesting people grew up too. A little pocket of flavor surrounded by some not so interesting sectors in the Pacific NW. When I was a kid I took it for granted, but now, after being exposed to so many wack places over the years, I’m really proud of the environment I came up in.
Keyframe: What inspired you to make this FIXshorts film?
Monihan: I’ve been really tight friends with Boerleider, our star, since like ’87, when we were skateboarding around Europe. The Inter-rail days. He has always been the funniest person from a scene full of characters. So I’ve always dreamt of writing something for him to shine in. But the truth is, he’s already a character—he doesn’t need to be anybody else. When this opportunity came up, to make a film of him driving across America, something he’s been fantasizing about his whole life, it was like some sort of cosmic gift.
Keyframe: What three directors or artists most influenced you (and why)?
Monihan: I wouldn’t want to limit a list of directors to three, so I’ll just name three people from different creative fields.
George Carlin, for his bullshit demolition, ethical fortitude and sense of rhythm.
Poly Styrene. She was so original and fearless, she even scared the shit out of Johnny Rotten. And her lyrics still seem profound almost forty years later.
And Paul Beatty. I haven’t read all the books in the world, but to my mind, he’s the best writer the planet has produced in a long ass time. He can pack more wit, bite and wisdom into a single line than most writers can muster in a whole career.
Can I say one more? RuPaul. RuPaul is quite possibly the most grounded famous person ever. I don’t believe in the whole Presidency thing, but if I had to actually vote for someone, I’d happily cast my ballot for Ru.
Keyframe: What’s the one film you’re embarrassed to say you’ve never seen?
Monihan: Eraserhead, mainly because our first film La voz de los silenciados (The Voice of the Voiceless) has been described as ‘Chaplin meets Eraserhead‘ in the press. And we’ve been using that as a pull quote, since it seems to pique a lot of interest. Could be completely wrong for all I know.
Keyframe: What is the first film you remember seeing?
Monihan: I’m sure I went to some horrible matinees, like Herbie the Love Bug or some cornpone. But the first movie I remember seeing in a proper nighttime theater was Perry Henzell’s The Harder They Come. My momma was a crazy hippy and loved that album (as did I), so when the film was finally shown in Seattle, she took a gang of us kids from the neighborhood to see it. Maybe some of the Jamaican Patios went over our six-year-old heads, but we all loved the “Don’t F#%k Wit Me” face-slashing. Mama Monihan always took us to crazy movies.