25 Jan 2013

ANDREZ BERGEN - A LITERARY PERSPECTIVE ON LIFE

By David Lee Andrews   Posted at  06:00   PERSONAL-BLOGS

Andrez Beregen Book Now if you think about it for a year or ten; art, movies, and music, are three very different forms of entertainment. One is a visual stimulant: prodding at your cornea a hue at a time. Another is a visceral catalyst: tugging at your neurons, one, by one, by one. And as for the last proxy -- well -- who knows? Maybe my good friend and Australian buddy, Andrez Beregen, will! Heck, I did speak to him just the other day, whilst analysing a monkey with a banana. OOGA! OGGA!


Andrez Bergen At Amazon


Andrez Beregen 1) What are your own origins, Andrez? Plus what path did you take in life to get to where you are today?   I was born in Melbourne (Australia) and grew up there, apart from a small stint on the Gold Coast. Went to Melbourne High School and Melbourne Uni — I studied history and art — and wanted, at various points in my life, to be a comic book writer/artist and filmmaker. Sadly, I succeeded at neither. Partied instead in London and traveled around Europe for a year when I was 23, and have lived in Tokyo for the past 11 years.

Along the way, I started up an indie electronic record label in Melbourne called 'IF? Records' (in 1995), made music as 'Little Nobody and Funk Gadget', DJ'd quite a lot, and have worked as a journalist (specializing in techno, movies and anime) since 1994. 


I got married in 2005 to my wife, Yoko, an artist from Fukuoka. We have a seven year old daughter, and I published my first novel ('Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat') in 2011.

Drunken Angel
2) What inspired you to create your novel, ‘One Hundred Years of Vicissitude’, and can you tell us a bit about it?   Definitely having lived in Japan over the past decade was the principle inspiration behind developing the novel — it's my homage to this country. But I had an interest in things Japanese before I moved here, which started way back when I nabbed a rerun of the 007-in-Japan movie 'You Only Live Twice' (1967) when I was a wee tacker on TV. That kick-started the whole fascination thing, along with childhood cartoons like 'Gigantor' and 'Kimba the White Lion'.

The novel owes much to cinematic directors like Akira Kurosawa ('Drunken Angel'), Seijun Suzuki ('Tokyo Drifter') and Satoshi Kon ('Millennium Actress'), along with famous Japanese actors, enka singers, writers, characters and manga artists.

But the novel is not just about Japan. Douglas MacArthur gets a shoo-in, as do 'The Wizard of Oz' and Red Riding Hood.

It's also about the four-Rs: regret, revenge, retribution and redemption. In some ways it was shaped by the experience of writing my previous novel 'Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat' (it shares some of the same heritage, along with a central character), and the concept of how life-changing — for good and for bad — having kids truly can be.

3) If your style of writing was a a piece of music, what would it be and why?   Definitely cut-up electronica, of the type I do under my 'Little Nobody' alias: sampling, reconfiguring, twisting into a new material while still paying homage to the original source/content. I think this track is a fairly decent simile:




George Sanders
4) If you could get any celebrity – either living or dead – to promote your wares, who would you get, and why would you choose this particular person?   Difficult. The cool idea would be to grab Humphrey Bogart (circa 1942) for "the face" and Jack Kirby from around 1967 for the visuals. But I'd also like to go with the actor George Sanders. In his day, George Sanders owned the best voice in Hollywood. It was top notch — urbane, disdainful, snobbish, and menacing all thrown together. He was also known as a bit of a crooner in his time. He had a series of notable roles. My favorites being the cad in 'The Ghost and Mrs. Muir' and his venomous theater critic in 'All About Eve'. Oh, and he was the villainous tiger in 'The Jungle Book'.

He wrote his autobiography titled 'Memoirs of a Professional Cad', then died from an overdose of sleeping pills in 1972, and get this — he left a suicide note that read: ‘Dear world, I am leaving because I am bored. I feel I have lived long enough. I am leaving you with your worries in this sweet cesspool. Good luck’. And that was that.

5) What smell would you say best represent your website, and why would this be the case?   Gardenias. Probably because one of my favorite screen villains, Peter Lorre, take's on Joel Cairo in John Huston's 1941 classic, 'The Maltese Falcon', using gardenia-scented calling cards.

Cor!! Comic
6) What was the first comic book you ever read? And do you still read mainstream comic books today?   The first British comic I read was 'Cor!!', and my first American comic book would've been Gold Key's 'Walt Disney Comics Digest' — but I quickly moved on to Marvel while in primary school and became completely hooked.

I still keep an eye on contemporary comics, though not always 'mainstream', and tend to find my interest has drifted towards manga since I live in this country — hardcopy foreign comics cost a fortune to buy! I'm always keen to see what Frank Miller, Mark Millar, Michael Grills, Dave Acosta, Denver Brubaker, Harvey Finch, Giovanni Balatti, Paul Mason, Andrew Chiu, Nathan St. John, Marcos Vegara, Drezz Rodriguez and Ed Brubaker get up to.

7) How would you describe your Wordpress blogsite?   It's something I've just started working with. I feel pretentious waxing effusive about my hack writing exploits, but someone's got to do it, and it saves me from hiring a lackey.

Fantastic Four' #25
8) If you were stuck on a deserted island, and had the forethought to take one item with you, what item would you pick?   Can I have two, stuck in the same plastic bag? 'Fantastic Four' #25 and #26, from 1964. Story by Stan Lee, art by Jack 'King' Kirby, plus extra-added embellishment by George Roussos and Sam Rosen. 

It's a absolutely classic two-part tussle between the Thing and the Hulk, the Avengers get involved, there's hilarious bickering, competing egos, insanely fun-filled action, and quips aplenty. I love both, though #25 is the best.

9) During your time as a creator, what is the one thing that has kept you in good stead?   The most important thing that keeps feet on the ground and everything in perspective? A sense of humor! Remember to tweak the mirth and never take yourself too seriously.

One hundred percent, Andrez. I share your sentiments exactly. So what are you waiting for, dear reader?  A picture of a monkey inspecting the another ones ass! Click on andrezbergen.wordpress.com today! Plus don't forget to follow him on twitter, facebook, and his beatport page. Good. Now you'll get your prize.



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