ATLFF Filmmaker Russell Sheaffer Waltzes With the Mix-and-Match Questionnaire

Complete this sentence: "If you liked _________ or _________, you'll love my film."

"Portrait of Jason" or Derek Jarman's short, super 8 films 

Is your film for cat people or dog people? Why?

I suppose it's for cat people -- it takes its time and wanders toward you while demanding your attention.

What's the most challenging part of making a film for you? Do you enjoy the challenge or is it something to be avoided?

I really love making films that wholeheartedly commit to their own aesthetic and logic. Taking that risk can be definitely a challenge; you have to totally buy into what you are doing and it doesn't always work, but when it does it's glorious.  

Of the filmmakers working today, whose talent do you want to steal?

I am endlessly impressed by Barbara Hammer. Her ability to create new visions that brilliantly explore history and bodily representation is something of which I am always in awe.

Name three films you consider unappreciated and explain their hidden genius.

I love films that push on the lines of documentary -- exploring the space between fiction and nonfiction. Shirley Clarke's Portrait of Jason, although it has certainly been canonical in some circles, brilliantly explores the limits of film as a time-based medium. John Greyson's Uncut manages to take on seemingly unrelated subjects and forms to beautifully tell it's story. Len Lye's A Colour Box (although also canonical for some) has been really inspirational for me, too. The film manages to blend color and sound in ways that are so emotional (for me, anyway) and yet totally abstract -- and it's watchable online.  

What are your three favorite ways to eat potatoes?

I love roasting root vegetables with some soy sauce and olive oil -- they get so soft and salty. Truffle mashed potatoes can be pretty stellar, too.

Russell's filmstravaganza begins TONGIHT with his short film "Broken Jaw," screening with the "Experiments in Cinema" block at 7 Stages at 7pm! Then get back to The Plaza for "Masculinity/Femininity" TONIGHT, March 23rd at 9:15pm! Get your tickets to this controversial cinematic experiment for your chance to meet Russell himself!

"Experiments in Cinema" tickets:

"Masculinity/Femininity" tickets: