Grant Falardeau

"Anyone who says they have a favorite flower is fucking crazy."
Interview by Asher Penn 
Portrait by Elena Aragón



Over the past decade Los Angeles based film-maker Grant Falardeau's mercurial output has included short films, music videos,  television series, novels, poetry and drawings. Working consistently in collaboration with a tightknit community of friends with little regard for the hollywood or "independent" system, Grant Falardeau's films show a rare combination of sincerity and play- a joyful reflection of a beautiful mind.

How do you flirt with people?
You just focus on the butterflies... I’m flirting with you right now. You gotta duck and groove around them. Focus on that sweet spot. Keep your eye on the prize. Remember, we’re all just livin’ it for the good juice. 
Have you ever done drugs?
I dabbled... but a lil dab'l do ya. I only occasionally drink alcohol now. But I always say, “I wish I was high on every drug, feeling exercise endorphins, swallowing food, having an orgasm, all at the same time.”  Wouldn’t that be the best moment? 
How old were you when you first fell in love?
Supposedly, I kissed the doctor on the cheek as he held me upside down to spank me when I was born. Momma tells this story every once in awhile. I believe it’s the truth.  
Do you have enemies?
Everything. A bad sandwich. Getting the flu. Flubbing up a sentence. A button popping off my pants. I’m battling my enemies all day long, man. I’m learning to be zen about it, though. Sometimes a bowl of cereal will fall on my lap and I just look up happy.

White Dove, Sister, 2012

Are there any people you hate?
People, no. I have nothing but love and compassion for people. Even the jerks out there. Even the rotten self-centered assholes rubbing coffee grinds and putrid tapioca on themselves at a dump.  
What kind of car do you drive?
A big blue one. She's falling apart. She’s filled with props and wigs and costumes, just in case. Half her doors won't open and her speedometer is on the fritz. But let's keep going.
Do you ever talk to kids?
I live for children. Around Halloween, I saw a little boy dressed as a cop in a book store. He was a couple feet away from his mother, looking at some magnets, out of her line of vision. I was waiting for a friend, just browsing too. I thought up several cop questions to ask him. But the more I refined my quips in my head, the more I felt my questions go down the wrong path.  What started off as “So, officer, catch any bad guys today?” became “So, you’re a policeman? Find any criminals?” I could just imagine his mother stealthily whipping around to clobber me with her purse, so I abandoned the effort altogether and just waited for my friend. I should have gone with my gut, then that kid and I could’ve shared a chuckle.
What's the most disgusting thing you have ever eaten?
Fiberglass. 
What is your favorite flower?
Anyone who says they have a favorite flower is fucking crazy. 
How much time do you spend alone?
I spend a lot of time alone. I'm alone and then I'm surrounded by people and we are all laughing. And then I’m alone again. 

Zewesawam, 2008

Have you ever written something or made something and said "this is too much?"
Yes. As a matter of fact, a few questions ago you asked who my first love was and I immediately thought of the joke, "Does jacking off to Mary Poppins count?" But I didn't say it because it was too much
Have you ever had a near death experience?
I was in a car wreck in Wyoming as a teen. We spun off the highway and slammed into a parked eighteen-wheeler because there was black ice on the road. Invisible ice. It wasn’t even raining or snowing. I had never heard of this before the crash. Look into this if you are planning to travel cross country in a car. Anyways, nobody was injured. Things really seemed to go in SLOW MOTION in the moments leading up to crash. Funny, because when I dance things seem to be going in FAST MOTION.  
Are you religious?
Everything is a miracle. 
Have you ever approached a celebrity?
No. Celebrities deserve extra privacy. Unless I’m introduced, I try to keep my distance. I think the general public should make a conscious effort to ignore celebrities. We need to level the playing field and ignore them for their own sake. Trust me, it’s good for them, it’s the next best thing to anonymity.  
Have you ever committed a crime?
Yes. Who hasn’t? Even nuns j-walk.  

Desafianado excerpt, 2009

Do you collect anything? Do you have any prized possessions?
I collect Hats by accident. I don't wear hats, they're for my movies! I prize the art I have acquired over the years... I wish I could afford to frame it. 
Have you ever broken someone's heart?
Absolutely. On a daily basis. It’s a tragedy. And no one is the same after it.  
Have you ever seen a ghost? 
I saw a ghost. I was walking through a nice neighborhood one night and I looked in a window and I saw a ghost sitting at a table feverishly reading a dictionary.  
Do you believe in "research"?
Appropriate planning and research is key in any process. But as far as art is concerned, in it’s truest sense, no. It’s dangerous to the artist because research helps form techniques and style. Art has nothing to do with a search, it has to do with experience. The wayward search. The artists have found out. Creation has nothing to do with the past, so research ultimately means nothing. It’s like conceptual art. I don’t believe in conceptual art. It relies on a concept from the past, usually by way of research, that doesn’t exist in the experience. It’s bullshit. People get research tangled up in the act of making art constantly. This produces failed art. Or no art at all.  
What's your motto?
Love a color rainbow.  
What do you think you'd be like if you were a woman?
Tall and sexy. I’d make love at least twice a day. I'd eat apple wedges and nifty little tea sandwiches.

The Tales Of Momsin Cloud, Part 1, 2012

Have you ever been in a fight?
Nothing major. Just pushing and punching and shoving and yelling and screaming. Nothing cool, like a brawl that happens on the tops of classic cars at drive-in movie theatres where the rules are nobody can touch the ground. No, nothing like that. 
Have you ever met an Indian?
I am an Indian. Apache. I'm from Geronimo's family. 
What makes you cry?
Thinking about my mother dying.  
What is the funniest thing Miles has ever said to you?
That's a tough one. Just the other night, we drove by a strip club I said, “It would be funny if I rolled down the window and screamed, ‘Baby, you’re a star! Fuck you!’” Miles immediately impersonated the voice of a stripper with a string of hilarious comebacks. In his impersonation, she referred to us as "kids" in a sort of crumbly, world-weary Latina accent. It was funny.  
What kind of music do you like to dance to?
I like to dance to a new type of music. I have the names of all the musicians written down on a slip of paper somewhere. I could draw the instruments on a napkin for you. Really... I like this kind of music... it’s real world class... spot on, kind of stuff.
Do you think smoking is cool?
I think smoking is spiritual. I'm Geronimo's boy- what do you expect?
Do you see a tailor? 
I don’t have the money for that now. Although my cousin just recently embroidered a flower onto his shirt at a shop in Atwater for a couple of bucks. Supposedly they have a big binder of designs to choose from. It’s like a “Grandma approved” way to get a tattoo. I like that. 

The Parrot Gang, 2009

How do you feel when you're writing?
In the moment.  
Is it true you were a fat kid?
Yes I was. I would just hunker down in front of the TV and eat food all day. One of the saddest moments at that time was when my very skinny best friend was teased by one of his older brother’s friends for having a tiny gut. I stood there waiting from him to tear my ass to shreds. But he didn’t even acknowledge my presence. I was so fat, so utterly large, I wasn’t on his insult radar. When you are fat you know what it feels like to be invisible.
What do you like to spend your money on?
Making movies. 
How's your Spanish?
Bueno.  Bueno. 
Do you ever read movie reviews?
Yes, though I find that very few critics share my views. If somebody writes a review of my work I vow not to read it. It's not conducive to the artist. People say you need to grow a thicker skin or learn from the mistakes critics write about. It doesn't work that way. The only way to get better is to make mistakes. A critic once told me that a specific movie I made failed because it lacked "establishing shots" and had "bad sound." He was right about these problems, but now, in hindsight, I know the piece did not fail. But he said it so knowingly, he seemed so sure about it, that I took his suggestions on the spot. I remade the movie with the added shots and better sound. That was a failed piece. I learned two things by doing that: never listen to critics, and never do the same thing twice and expect the same results.
From Sex Magazine #2 Winter 2012
Labelled Film