100 : Clive Barker Answers Our Questions
It’s a special celebration of our 100th Episode. In this one, Ryan, Jose, Rob, and our honorary Podcast Host David Anderson ask Clive Barker some questions, and he was kind enough to write us his responses. So to celebrate, we’re sharing the video we sent Clive with our questions, our podcast discussion of the answers, and here in this post, the whole thing written in interview form. We’re so proud to have reached our 100th episode!
Hi Clive! First we’d like to thank you for all the wonderful work you’ve given us over the years, and to the team at Seraphim & Century Guild for allowing us a glimpse into your studio. People like Mark, Ben, Eric, Thomas and everyone else who works over there to bring your fantastic creations to the widest audience possible, for that they have our thanks!By now, the Scarlet Gospels are out, and the Clive Barker Podcast (@Barkercast) is very proud to have reached 100 episodes where we discuss with and entertain fellow fans of your work. Thank you for granting us this brief interview. So now, on with the questions:
Ryan Danhauser: Jose and I were there, cheering for you at the L.A. screening of Nightbreed Directors cut. At that premiere, you mentioned that seeing the movie restored and the love for it after all these years, it was tempting to go back to directing again. We love all your different kinds of work, or we wouldn’t be doing this podcast, but My question is, do you miss the collaborative art, like plays and movies?
Clive Barker: Firstly, my sincerest gratitude that you were cheering for Nightbreed. Hearing the audience, quite frankly, erupt with applause when the credits rolled brought tears to my eyes and mended a hole that had been in my heart for 25 years.
Yes, I do miss film very much, and I have every intention of returning to it someday. Truly though, what myself, Mark and Ben do at Seraphim are all collaborative efforts. So, when you ask if I miss the collaborative arts, the answer is no, because I am always collaborating.
Ryan Danhauser: We were very proud of the way Occupy Midian turned out, but I had serious doubts in the Hollywood system and that we would be successful. Knowing now that movie studios can actually listen to your readers / enthusiasts — If you could turn the fan movement toward something else (some other project that was unjustly handled or needs a second chance) what would it be?
Clive Barker: You know, I found myself wondering that very thing. The honest answer is, while there are plenty of projects I’ve been associated with that I would love to get the opportunity to revisit or remaster, it would be greedy of me to ask for more than one miracle in a lifetime. So many people worked so hard to bring the Director’s Cut of Nightbreed to fruition, and their tireless efforts to do so are appreciated beyond words. They achieved the impossible in assembling the version of Nightbreed that I wanted people to see 25 years ago, and to expect, or even desire, that kind of lightning to strike twice would be incredibly selfish of me. Nightbreed was the one that I dreamed to save for 25 years. Mark and Andrew Furtado and everyone at Scream Factory, and countless others, made that dream a reality. It’s far, far more than I could have asked for, so I daren’t ask for it again.
My real hope, now that it has been proven with Nightbreed that such a large scale rescue can be achieved, is that other artists who have felt that their works have been compromised may now have a method of bringing their original visions to the world.
José Armando Leitão: Once I heard you reminisce in conversation with Rick Kleffel from the Agony Column about your Irish paternal Grandmother Florence, and the tales she would tell you and your brother Roy, involving colorful characters like Liverpool’s Spring-Heeled Jack, as she drank warm Guinness and ate tripe in milk & onions by the open fire. Would you say your grandmother’s stories played a role in shaping your early love for the fantastic?
Clive Barker: Very much so. Keep in mind that my Grandmother first told me the story that would eventually become The Forbidden, and then Candyman. She was a very dry storyteller, my grandmother. She told stories with the same tone in which most read a grocery list. There was no emotion when she told stories, no sweeping hand movements, no grandeur. But I learned from her that words, regardless of the way in which they are spoken, have a remarkable amount of impact.
José Armando Leitão:Liverpool was described by Jung as a “dirty, sooty city” but also as “the pool of life”, being a port on the Mersey full of ships, and consequently sailors. I’ve heard that your paternal grandfather was a sailor, and sailed to the Far East. Is it true that he brought back some Japanese puzzle boxes from his travels, and that these influenced your ideas for Hellraiser’s Lament Configuration box?
Clive Barker: Yes, that is entirely true. I remember that puzzle box sitting on the mantle in my home in Liverpool. Even after I had solved it, and seen that there was nothing inside, my imagination ran wild with the possibilities of what could have been in there.
David Anderson: The one burning question I’ve had lately is about Scarlet Gospels. I was wondering why the book is now leaner and meaner than the massive Imajica sized tome it was at the penultimate stage. Is it because a lengthier stay in that dark hell would be too oppressive? Not that the novel feels short or anything, just wondering if that figured into the final book, and if it’s ever painful for you to trim large sections of his written work.
Clive Barker: I was never worried about oppressing my audience, because I know that my fans, and fans of fiction of this kind, are more than happy to wallow in the depths for a long time. But, I’ve written a lot of long books, and really I didn’t want this one to be overly long. I wanted it to be a short, sharp and effective kick to the gut.
Rob Ridenour: I’ve been getting into more of your artwork this past year, and as I’ve studied it, what I love most about it is how the images you create have allowed my own personal imagination to grow and expand beyond what my normal eyes want to see in front of me. Is it satisfying for you as an artist to have the audience become a part of your art rather than just be a spectator?
Clive Barker: I adore the fact that people find their own meanings in my art. When I paint, I myself rarely have any idea where it is going. By the time a painting is finished, I usually take a step back from it and ask myself, “Who is this? Where do they come from? What do they love, or fear? What turns them on?” I frequently show my paintings to friends before I have even figured out what they are myself, and I am always delighted to hear what they see in the painting. Any art, by the simple act of observing it, becomes your own. Different people see different things and their imaginations guide them to a solution that pleases them in one way or another. So, the short answer: Yes, I love when the audience uses my paintings as a catalyst to their own imagination.
Rob Ridenour: In a lot of your stories objects always seem to have a magical quality to them like the box from Hellraiser or the carpet from Weaveworld. Why are objects given such power in your stories?
Clive Barker: Because objects do have power. Think of the memories associated with objects in your very own home. Don’t you own things that, just by the very act of looking at them, transport you into vivid memories of how, why, and when you acquired them? I know I do.
News since last Podcast:
Waxwork Records LP of Nigthbreed is on sale NOW!!!
Leviathan Shipping Update!!! (All Leviathan dvds ordered from 16.07.15-9.08.15, WILL NOT BE SHIPPED UNTIL 10th August, 2015)
Paul Kane gives Update on Monsters!!! (According to the Alchemy Press newsletter, there are only a few hardbacks of Monsters left over from the launch)
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