Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Take 5 with "Wrestling with my Father"

Scene from Wrestling with my Father
As we gear up for the Oxford Film Festival 2011 to be held at the Malco Studio Theater on Feb. 10-13, 2011, we thought we might introduce you to some of the people behind the movies we can't wait to show you.

Meet Take 5 filmmaker, Charles Fairbanks, director of "Wrestling with my Father."
For the full schedule and description of the films, visit

Q. 1: In 140 characters or less, describe your movie and why someone should see it.

A: It is kind of about wrestling, but then not at all.

Q. 2: Biggest lesson learned in getting the film made? Best part in getting the film made?

A: I learned that – despite all the conflicts I've had with my father, especially in my adult life – we still have this ineffable connection, something ethereal, intangible, that has something to do with wrestling. The best part was watching my dad, a very humble man from rural Nebraska, become a star at the festivals we went to.

Q. 3: Tell us about you. What is your movie making background?

A: Long before making movies I was a photographer and wrestler. I was really frustrated with grad school until I started wrestling again, and strapped a camera to my head.

here's the rest:

Charles Fairbanks is a wrestler and filmmaker. His recent work focuses on pro wrestling in Mexico, where the artist fights as the One-Eyed Cat with a camera built into his mask. Chuck grew up in rural Nebraska until a wrestling scholarship took him to Stanford, where he studied Art and the History of Science. While finishing graduate school at the University of Michigan, he also worked as the wrestling coach / choreographer for the University Productions staging of Claire Luckham’s Trafford Tanzi – a feminist play written for the pub, directed by Malcolm Tulip.

In 2010 Fairbanks was a Flaherty Seminar Fellow, was selected to take part in Werner Herzog’s first Rogue Film School, and was invited to present his films at the Tepoztlán Institute for Transnational History of the Americas. His films have shown at the Internacional Festival de Cinema de Morelia, CPH:DOX, Festival dei Popoli, Festival des Cinémas Différents et Expérimentaux de Paris, the Athens International Film Festival, the Montreal Underground Film Festival, the Slamdance Film Festival, the Arena Sports Bar, the Gangrene Comedy Festival, and at the Palenque de Gallos in San Cristobal de las Casas (a cockfighting stadium). He continues wrestling and filming toward his first feature.

Q. 4: What's your dream distribution plan for the film?

A: I just want everyone to see it.

But if it was a dream, then probably everyone would be wrestling in the movie theater while watching it, and there wouldn't be any seats only a wrestling mat covering the steeply graded floor, or maybe the mat would cover traditional movie seats too, though that would make it harder to clean up the spilled Coke.

Q. 5: What does the future hold in store for your film and for you?

A: I
'm teaching experimental video at the UNICACH - Universidad de las Ciencias y Artes de Chiapas, in Tuxtla, Southern Mexico. Meanwhile trying to finish a film on Lucha Libre, which involves an alter-ego called El Gato Tuerto (The One-Eyed Cat), a wrestler with a camera built into his mask.

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