Soon-to-be-cult classic, Canadian-made The Dirties is a Sundance winning, improvised, hidden camera shot, film within a film made for $10,000 that comments on our obsession with celebrity and the media’s portrayal of High School killers. Director and star of The Dirties, Matt Johnson, identifies the five things that inspired the making of the film, which is out tomorrow and is an absolute must-see.
There’s no word for this type of filmmaking yet - filming people who don’t know they’re being filmed. People have called The Dirties all kind of things but nothing's stuck, like ‘Dogma 95’. I think other filmmakers would need to start doing the same thing to create a brand. The approach we took came out of necessity, certainly, because we were broke filmmakers in Toronto. But also because of all the things we saw wrong with independent films; namely acting and locations. The places that people shoot are nearly always boring sets and then you can feel everybody pretending which is always awful. For us it was the perfect way to combine a prank show with an indie art film where you can get people being themselves without them even realising they’re being themselves. It’s interesting that you can do something so cheaply with so little planning. Of course, many other films heavily influenced us. Gimme Shelter is the documentary about the Rolling Stones by the Maysles Brothers. We stole everything from it. When I’m watching myself on camera, and editing myself, that’s completely stolen from Mick Jagger looking at himself on a Steinbeck and commenting on it.