Melina Matsoukas On Swaggerjack Accusations + Moving Into Movies (Pg. 2)

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Vibe / November 7, 2011

I’ve read folks who say you’re trouble for Rihanna because of the copy and paste accusations in the past. What do you say to shit like that?
It’s all what I grew up on. You can call it inspiration or you can just call it me. Those are the influences of my life and so they become a part of you and of course you’re channeling that into your work. I grew up on 
Kids. I grew up watching Requiem for a Dream and Trainspotting and those kind of movies inspired me to become a filmmaker, so they’re part of my foundation. They’re part of who I am now.

The better the video the more the hate?
Exactly. No one can just like something.

Did the David Chapelle case hit the hardest?
I can’t really comment on that because of the legality of it.

Got you. If you go with that extended version, I think within the next 365 days you’re going to get a shitfull of movie offers.
I’m dying to. Coming from videos and pop stuff and dance I get a lot of those “Step up” and musical offers and I don’t want to do any of that. If you knew what I really watched –I watch a lot of foreign films; I watch gritty real stories that aren’t about the cinematography or how they look; it’s really about these characters, so doing this for me, was trying to show the type of work that I would like to do.

So what’s to come while we wait for your next video?
I’m working on a commercial now that I’m prepping for next month and maybe another video for next month and then we’ll see. I’m definitely trying to use this to spark some more stuff and hopefully get a film that I want to do. My goal was to find a film that I wanted to do at the end of the year, but that’s hard. I found the people I want to work with; it’s just finding the material. I’ve read so many scripts, but I haven’t found anything that I’ve loved yet. And doing a film you give so much of your life and it’s not video where you’re done in a month and you can move on so you better love it. You’re dedicating three years of your life or something.

Right, it has to feel organic.
I’m definitely not motivated by money. I definitely need it to represent me and who I am as an artist. Thank God I have other ways to support myself in the mean time. That I’m able to take my time that’s a blessing.

Doing your job must be really cathartic…
I’m really trying to tell a story and all the aspects of it, even down to the costumes and who’s this character and what does she look like and making it a real person. I think that’s what people are wanting now. I don’t know if economics, but you want a relatable artist.

→ Social Circle: Is Rihanna Worthy Of Becoming Beyonce’s Future Successor?