I am a big aficionado of “the art of the interview.” As a reader, I don’t really require for a journalist to spell something out for me. I’d rather hear what the subject has to say for themselves, but this hardly means that the interviewer is a superfluous part of the equation. Take if from someone who knows, you have to show up properly prepared if you want to achieve good results with an interview. A well-done Q&A can take the form of an interrogation or a narrative. I like both styles. A good interviewer knows how to get someone to reveal what makes them tick.
Longtime underground journalist, cinema festival organizer, filmmaker and screenwriter, Shade Rupe’s new anthology, Dark Stars Rising: Conversations from the Outer Realms (Headpress), is a collection of his interviews conducted over the past 26 years with some of the more transgressive and—okay, I’ll say it—dangerous minds out there. Many of the folks interviewed in Dark Stars Rising are even friends of mine, or people who I’ve met and interviewed before myself, so when the book came through the post the other day, my reaction was a pretty swift, “Yes!”
And chances are that if you’re a regular reader of this blog, you might feel the same way yourself about a slick, well-designed 568 page collection of terrific interviews with the likes of Richard Kern, Alejandro Jodorowksy, Udo Kier, Tura Satana, Teller, Brother Theodore (incredible!), Divine, Floria Sigismondi, Hermann Nitsch, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Dennis Cooper, Gaspar Noe, performance artist Johanna Went Dame Darcy, Stephen O’Malley, Crispin Glover and many others. A lot of this material was original published in various underground zines, but here the interviews appear in their unedited form. Visually, it’s a treat. There are photographs (some in color) on nearly every single page and the “documentation” and ephemera contained in the book embellishes the discussions nicely.
If, like me, you appreciate being able to eavesdrop in on smart conversations between smart people—and if you’re nostalgic for the fast disappearing world of zine culture—Shade Rupe’s Dark Stars Rising, is a book you won’t want to miss.