28 San Francisco
July 15, 2009. 11:20am
Dir. Travis Mathews: set the scene for us. where are you, what are you doing, listening to, etc...
Kevin: i'm sitting Indian-style on my mattress on the floor in front of my clunky laptop. i just put the latest Camera Obscura on so i'm listening to that
Travis: oh nice. and you're on record saying that youre a little obsessive about playlists. help me think of something to listen to to spice up this interview.
Kevin: oh gosh,,,,let's see.......emmylous harris? no,how about some grizzly bear?
Travis: grizzly bear, ive got it. just learned that the lead singer is a mo with a sizable gay-indie following
Kevin: yeah,yeah. i love that there is a really good indie band with a gay singer
Travis: same with deerhunter.
Kevin: who doesn't just sing about homo things
Travis: i smell a scene.
Travis: lets talk movies for a minute. i dont doubt that some of the other guys have a similar love of movies, but yours was pretty palpable. what kinds of movies get you going?
Kevin: I'm all about subtle foreign dramas or outrageous queer cinema, or artful documentaries. in general I think that foreign dramas are more willing to take their time and observe the minutia of life instead of jumping to the next plot point though there are some great American indies, too. I just saw Humpday and was blown away
Travis: that lead in Humpday was such a hottie, but he's looking a little worn these days...talk about your own movie making aspirations.
Kevin: documentary is my thing, primarily social issues although now i find myself working on a non-social issue project. I just like working with real people and the issues in their lives. and now I have an interest in artfully constructed docs,,.
Travis: yeah, with technology the way it is, there's not a lot of reason to make a shitty looking movie anymore. and there's the traditional doc arc that's gotten a bit stale and predictable. sounds like the perfect time to switch it out and start playing with the format. artful. cool, i agree.
Kevin: yeah,good point,.,,
Travis: you've got one of the messier rooms in the piece, do you feel messy?
Kevin: ha. yeah. i don't really think about it until someone points it out to me
Travis: what do you think it says about you, if it does say anything?
Kevin: no moldy pizza crusts,though!
Travis: no no
Kevin: hmmmm....I guess there is a part of me that quietly rebels against the whole mandate for tidiness and pristine appearance i think one can discern that in my physical appearance,too. like i prefer raggedy,torn jeans to crisp new ones....i like things that look lived in
Travis: im hearing one of your 10 favs here..."subtle defiance".
Travis: can you talk about that
Kevin: well i think,you know,,,,i'm not really a brazen person. i'm not confrontational or loud but i do, however, feel the need to somehow,from time to time express dissatisfaction with the status quo or with certain expectations and i think there are ways for quiet,introverted people to be rebellious
Travis: why you think you're drawn to that, is it something that's evolved over the years? "origins of quiet defiance" by kevin.
Kevin: ha. yes,i think it has always been there, though it probably started with the aspiration to be more outwardly and forcibly rebellious and I learned I am not,.,.I think it just stems from my general sense that the ordinary mode of existence in society is just so littered with bullshit you know platitudes,false politeness. it's a little different now that i live somewhere like SF, but this feeling was potent in small town NC,of course
MOM IS A FAN
Travis: how small is the town you grew up in?
Kevin: medium, really. a vast array of strip malls to choose from...and churches
Travis: it sounds very isolating to me. especially being gay
Kevin: yeah....but they have a PFLAG now..and they're playing my film when i go home to visit ha. i'm kind of nervous about that
Travis: wow. will and grace+internet=new era. tell us about your film.
Kevin: it's crazy. well,it's a short documentary about class prejudice in the queer subculture my mom showed it to the woman who runs PFLAG and apparently it resonated because she's from a working class family
Travis: nice. what's it called?
Kevin: class, dismissed
Travis: i take it your mom is a fan of kevin if she's going to PFLAG meetings and showing your work
Kevin: She's super supportive, yes. I've been lucky that way,with all of my immediate family
Travis: hang on to that.
Travis: lets go back to subtle defiance...reminds me the issue of power dynamics. i dont want to give the impression that you're all a bunch of bottom boys, but there were a lot of teacher/student fantasies bantered about.
Kevin: yeah, there is something hot about that. I specifically have a professor fantasy and there is definitely something hot about that dynamic. maybe it started when I had a crush on my Into to Social Theory prof in undergrad. He would explain Marx and Weber,and I would....be distracted, i guess you could say. maybe i fetishize knowledge? and a foreign accent helps
Travis: smart boys are hot.
Kevin: yes......and discipline,i think
Kevin: sometimes i am critical of myself for not being more disciplined
Travis: disciplined about what?
Kevin: i am drawn to people of possess academic or artistic discipline research or creating art
Travis: it can be challenging to be your own boss-man...easy to get distracted.
Kevin: sf is bursting with distractions!
Travis: there's always something to convince yourself it's a better alternative. same with boys...
A GRASS IS GREENER MENTALITY
Travis: dont you find that there's a 'grass is greener' mentality here? i know ive been on both sides of that myself. so many options
Kevin: yeah,i've thought about that before. if you find someone somewhat compatible in a small place,you hold on to them for dear life
Kevin: but, here, there is always someone else just around the corner.
Travis: who is maybe, just maybe, more this or that
Kevin: right,.,.,i try not to fall into that mindset,,,but it's there,yeah. i think maybe in regards to sex more than romance, though i have to think about that some more
Travis: hmm, you might be on to something
Kevin: comparison shopping
Travis: are you single then?
Kevin: i am seeing someone, since october,.,about ten months. it's been a nice, unconflicted experience in general.
Travis: nice...how did he feel about you being part of the ITR piece?
Kevin: oh,it's funny you ask that. i told him about it but didnt' tell details and we haven't watched it yet. but i want to show it to him,.,.,
Travis: does your boyfriend know that you get naked?
Kevin: no. ha. i don' t think it'll be a problem. he might give me a funny look
Travis: so how was it getting naked in front of the camera. had you done that before, and did you ever get that damn poster to stay up?
Kevin: ha. no,the poster still had trouble
Travis: i love that sequence
Kevin: had never been naked for camera. it's a good experience for me because i'm gradually overcoming unnecessary modesty body insecurities, etc
Travis: that's great. you seemed very at ease playing yourself and being naked
Kevin: i did feel at ease,but when I think about it, i'm a bit surprised that i wasn't more awkward, or like, trying to position myself in certain ways to hide my member. ha
Travis: what are your plans for the day?
Kevin: well,i hope to go the Smackdab open mic later,,.,.,still laying low because I'm getting over a cold. watch a dvd this afternoon and rest,so i'll be up for reading...
Travis: cool. rest up then. thanks for taking some time to chat.
Kevin: will do...,no prob., good luck with the project