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Joined: 19 Aug 2004
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|Posted: Sat Oct 29, 2005 1:46 am Post subject: Bakshi Board Exclusive Interview #1
|Hello Bakshi Boarders:
This is Brother Rabbit bringing the first of what I hope will be many iquasi-interviewsi with Ralph Bakshi. Basically, Victoria asked me to call up Mr. Bakshi every once in awhile and ask him a few questions. We finally got to chat a couple days ago and this is what I was able to type out while Mr. Bakshi was in classic form and wit and talking my ear off.
I tried to work in more things from the postings on the board in this session, but there was a lot of ad-libbing. Some of it may seem a little choppy too. Thatis because it is. Please remember these are not quotes, they are what I could capture with my meager typing skills and piece together afterward.
*The first question I asked was based off of this post from a few months ago*
What question do you think people should ask you.. that they haven't asked? In other words, what should people be asking you about in interviews that they just aren't touching?
What's really behind my films and the many American photographers, painters, and writers that are driving me...and the whole beat, Jazz, Jackson Pollack that I grew up with.i
*So I took that basic idea and came up with this questiono*
Rabbit- Can you remember the moment in life that you latched upon the notion of beat and the beat generation?
RB- Listen Rabbito Can I call you Rabbit?
Rabbit- Go right ahead. I appreciate it.
RB- I didnit latch upon a notion. I didnit latch onto it, cause I grew up with it. My generation, in other words, 30-60is, was the same time as Miles Davis and Coltrane and Jack Kerouac and Jackson Pollack. Hubert Selby had written Last Exit to Brooklyn. Burroughs had written Naked Lunch. You know and the swing. I was a part of it. Letis call it a revolution, that 60is revolution. We all were, cause we were artists. We all came through the same sort of thing. We liked Charlie Parker cause he was brilliant. Jumping in a e49 Ford and driving to Florida. That was what we did then. Iim just a beatnik animator, though I wouldnit want to be categorized as anything. Thatis where I come from.
So I guess if the question is when I latched onto the beat generation. I didnit latch on to it, I am it.
Rabbit- How do you feel about the fact that people among different genres of art and music today are latching onto your work?
RB- The generation today, and I could be wrong by nuance, but the generation today is controlled by the corporation, because thatis what they grew up with. In my generation there wasnit mass distribution. You didnit have [insert large corporation] owning everything. We werenit doing it for the money. We all needed to earn a living. Donit get me wrong, we needed to make bread, but the bread wasnit there. [laughs] We werenit doing it to merchandise it, or any sort of bullshit. We just wanted to get our ideas out.
If people are latching onto that, they are people who are trying to stay honest. Like the rap groups and such. Theyire looking back to a time that corporations werenit in control. Faced with the huge dollars they can make though now, they tend to sell out. Not all of them sell out, but the majority do. Cause thatis what they grew up believing in.
In my generation guys did things because they loved it, not cause of how much money they could make from it. Iim from a time when you could go to *I think he said California, could be wrong* and go to almost any jazz club and pay $3 to hear Miles Davis or Coltrane. You didnit have tickets costing $50, that keeps a lot of people from being able to enjoy the talent. Thatis how we grew up. Everyone wasnit going to film school. Maybe Iim getting old, but itis all such bullshit today. So few corporations own so much of American media itis unbelievable. Thereis a different structure. Itis gotten out to a world global market. Itis not enough to sell to America now. You have to appeal to a wider market and tastes.
The whole beat movement was thought up by 10 people.
They just painted. They thought abstract and so thatis what was expressed in their work.
Rabbit- You say the animators today are coming out of school thinking theyive got it made and can go work at Disney and not worry about the art. On the message board there is mention of you hiring John Kricfalusi right out of school and I think Ian Miller as well. How do you feel that fits into what youire saying?
RB- It seems like today people donit wanna give secrets away. I canit change my ways now. I could work for Pixar and spit out movies. People would pour into theaters. Everyone makes tons of money. But itis not the artform that I think is beautiful or honest. Where is the personality? Where is the personal vision for that?
It may be perfectly OK for people to do that. Not putting anybody down for that. Where we and the guys are coming from. And when I say, ithe guysi I mean every animator who was there with me; Johnny Vito, Irv Spence, Virgil Perez. *and there were more names listed* These were great animators that loved to move stuff. Most people today didnit learn from the older animators.
When I was very young at Terrytoons, guys who really loved the art taught me. I will always help out an artist. John Kricfalusi is not gonna sell out either. Those were the kind of people I chose. I could name to you a million artists that I love and respect, Hoppero Diane Arbuso *missed a lot here too, sorry* There is a continuity of art and artists, and we all hafta help each other. So yeah, I helped. They still made it on their own. It was a combination; A: Theyire helpful to me B: itis helpful for them in their careers.
I just finished a picture with some young students. Itis about A kid playing chess with his pet octopus. That to me is certainly a lot of fun. I think itis great when people see the thing theyive created move for the first time. Their eyes light up.
Rabbit- Well, on that subject, for awhile there when the site was just starting to grow and expand there was a Ralph Bakshi Animation School proposed. It sounds like teaching is important to you. Is there any way you could put down a lesson or two, typed up or someone could assist in documenting. Then we could put those two lessons on the site. I mean, if youire not too busy to do something like that.
RB- People think Iim too busy. Well, sometimes Iim very busy but other times Iim not doing anything.
Rabbit- When youire not doing anything, whatire you doing? I mean, if that makes sense.
RB- When Iim not doing anything Iim doing everything. [laughs]
You produce a lot of creativity in a burst then you feel kind of drained. I mean Iim 67.
Work very very hard, get very very tired, and you donit think you can go anymore, then you back off. So you read, and you reenergize your thought processes. I like old Winsor McKay. Some guy reprinted it, in the original size.
I like stuff from the 40is back, for some reason. Barney Google and Krazy Cat I just like old cartoonists.
A lot of contemporary comics are very harsh. I have large collections of comics, so thatis what I tend to look at.
Hereis an image of Barney Google from the pre-Snuffy Smith days:
You can find info on Krazy Kat HERE
Well, there was more, but this is what I could type while simultaneously being amazed to speak to The Man Himself. He sounds so excited about what heis doing, and he made me laugh quite a few times. I canit wait to bring you all interviews like this *hopefully better recorded, if anyone can help me find a way to record the phone, thatis $cheap$. This might also help to get a couple introductory lessons on the board straight from the man himself. Just PM me*
Iill be asking for question suggestions in a thread soon. Iim sure you guys have a million. I think weill vote for a few to go in the next batch of questions.
Thanks for reading. Thanks especially to Victoria for setting this up and Mr. Bakshi for being so cooperative. I really appreciated it.
Hope You Enjoyed It Too,
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"If I die as just Bakshi Productions Secretary, I'll die a happy man." - Brother Rabbit 2013
Last edited by Brother Rabbit on Fri Nov 11, 2005 1:31 pm; edited 2 times in total