CA: First of all, I love your web site, alexcox.com. What
do you think of the Internet and its possibilities as far as art
and communication are concerned?
AC: The Internet seems best of all as a means of political
communication. It was one of the only places one could find opposition
to the bombing of Serbia; it is at the forefront of opposition to
the new American war against Colombia.
CA: It's been said that where there is a great capacity
for good there is a great capacity for evil. Do you think this holds
true for the Internet?
AC: I try not to think in these simplistic terms. Good is
invariably used as a synonym for "people who think like us"; evil
are those who disagree, such as the president of Yugoslavia.
CA: You refer to yourself as an Anarcho-Socialist, what
do you mean by that?
AC: Anarchist in that that is the only morally justifiable
system, offering the most freedom. Socialist because I think utilities
such as water, telephone, the railway, the airways, are too societally
important to be allowed to fall into the hands of private companies.
State ownership - as in the US Government's ownership and subsidy
of Amtrak - is the only sensible alternative.
CA: How would you balance the non-government stance of the
anarchist and the hands on stance of socialism?
AC: With difficulty.
CA: What kind of title would you give the emerging Internet
CA: What do you think of the English Monarchy?
AC: Very little; another bunch of rich gangsters, no?
CA: That said, why do you think people are so willing to
be lead by gangsters? What is the basis for the fascination?
AC: They are not asked if they want to be led or not. They
are presented with a fait accompli, enforced by guns and money.
CA: Where did you company name, Commies from Mars Associates,
AC: A comic book.
CA: Your editorial on the site talks about the Digital Millennium
and Sonny Bono Copyright Acts and how they have extended copyright
terms for corporate owned works from 75-95 years. Do you see anyway
that artists can break the bonds of corporate servitude, not just
for the money but for the dignity?
AC: Artists might have to fight against the notion of intellectual
property rights since they are inevitable ceded to the aformentioned
multinationals. Alternately they would have to fight in unison to
CA: Do you see artist ever organizing in such a manner that
they could overcome the corporate stranglehold on their work?
AC: This remains to be seen.
CA: Speaking of artists dignity, what's happening with the
writers credit on FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS? On the ever fallible
Internet Movie Database, the film lists Terry Gilliam and Hunter
Thompson as the writers and your writers credits have the film listed
as yours. What's up?
AC: Ask the IMD where they get their information. They will
probably correct it, or give you an answer why.
(for more info on this go to http://www.pscweb.com/repo/
and check it out under, "What's happening with FEAR AND LOTHING...")
CA: I noticed while looking at your
films that Rudy Wurlitzer did the script for WALKER. He also did
the script for another under the radar film, TWO LANE BLACKTOP.
Have you ever seen it and what did you think of it.
AC: It's really good. Very funny.
It has aged brilliantly, mainly thanks to the character of GTO and
the performance by Warren Oates.
CA: Oates was fabulous and Harry
Dean Stanton had a marvelous cameo as the gay hitchhiker Oates picks
up as well. Was this the first thing you ever saw Stanton in?
AC: First time I learned HD's name
was in THE MISSOURI BREAKS. I am sure I'd seen him previously.
CA: At the time it came out, Walker
was a great education to me about how fleeting fame can be. Here's
a man who was a hot topic in his time who has all but disappeared
in ours. Can you think of any politicians that will probably happen
to from our time?
AC: Clinton, Bush, Gore, Blair.
CA: If you could make a film about
a political celebrity from the past ten years, who would it be?
AC: George Bush Sr.
CA: What do you find noteworthy about
him that you would want future generations to know about?
AC: That he ran the US Government
for eight years while pretending to be vice president and managed
to conceal that he was a) running the show and b) fluent in Mandarin.
CA: Let's talk about the new release
of Repo Man. What do you think of the DVD format?
AC: Good, no?
CA: It was an eclectic film, mixing
aliens, atoms and automobiles to form an anti nuclear message. How
did you come to include such a strange mix of culture and counter
AC: Those were my interests at the
time. Mainly nuclear war, actually, but also patterns of synchronicity.
I was never very keen on cars.
CA: You've made quiet a few film/shorts/docs
about important political subjects, but Repo Man, this quirky pop
film about punks and nuclear threat seems to have made the biggest
mark in the market for you, why do you think that is?
AC: Good producers, good soundtrack,
fortunate production circumstances.
CA: What do you think of the worlds
fascination with aliens? Where do you think the need to believe
in the unprovable originates?
AC: Unscrupulous media barons such
as Rupert Murdoch; the CIA and US Airforce and their need to conceal
"black" aviation projects behind a cloak of mumbo-jumbo.
CA: What about the world's fascination
with nuclear war?
AC: It would be odd if people were
not fascinated by this subject.
CA: I was listening to an NPR story
today about the reality show Survivor. They had a shrink on who
was discussing the fact that the really nice, good people were being
kicked off the island and the least likable person would probably
win because they manipulated the others. The main point was that
people who are amoral are more successful over all than people who
are immoral or moral based. How would you classify Otto's morality?
(forgive me, I miss college).
AC: Otto has no morality. He is a
blank page. He will do anything.
CA: Where did you meet Harry Dean
AC: At a pizza restaurant in Los
Angeles in 1979. I was trying to persuade him to act in my student
film (he didn't).
CA: What made you decide to cast
him in Repo Man?
AC: Dennis Hopper wasn't available.
CA: The tag line "it's 4am, do you
know where your car is?" is funny on so many levels, especially
in relation to the way American's feel about their cars and children.
Repo Man makes a mockery of, well of many things, but definitely
of American parenting, was that intentional or just a bi-product
of the artistic process?
AC: It was all intentional.
CA: Speaking of nuclear power, you've
written several Godzilla comics for Dark Horse. How did that come
AC: They wrote and asked me if I'd
write some. So I did...
CA: Are you a Godzilla fan?
AC: Yes. Though I am a bigger fan
of King Kong!
CA: What has King Kong got that Godzilla
AC: A hairy (sorry that's all that
came through cyberspace...ED)
CA: I noticed that on your favorite
film list on your web site there aren't many recent films. What
is, say, your favorite film of the last five years, in the English
AC: Don't have one.
CA: What's going on with your new
project, A Hard Look? Is it TV or film?
AC: It's a documentary about the
EMMANUELLE films for Channel 4.
CA: And finally, what do you feel
is your proudest accomplishment?