Danish journalist, TV host, author, filmmaker... and 'diplomat' Mads Brügger returns to New Directors/New Films with his second feature documentary, The Ambassador. After taking on North Korea in The Red Chapel (ND/NF '10), Brügger visits makes his way to The Central African Republic in a film that The New York Times calls "alternately entertaining and exasperating." Don't miss it on March 30 and March 31! [buy tickets]
Describe your film The Ambassador to someone who hasn't seen it.
It's a film about what happens when you set out to buy a diplomatic title, thereby becoming the consul of Liberia to The Central African Republic – for real. It's Tintin meets Borat meets The Economist.
What was the most memorable day of shooting like?
Sharing a bottle of French Citadelle Vodka with the head of state security in The Central African Republic in my Ambassador Suite. He was Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now times ten.
What are you most excited to do while you're in NYC?
I love buying new white sneakers, and walk on the broad sidewalks in Manhattan. In Denmark, the sidewalks are very narrow, but you have these big sidewalks, which are made for new, white sneakers.
What is your favorite (and/or least favorite) movie and why?
Lost Highway by David Lynch. Because he dares to destroy the film in order to make something completely else. Its a staggering masterpiece about impotence, quantum mechanics and Jungian synchronicity. The scene where Bill Pullman wakes up in the middle of the night and goes downstairs into this all-engulfing darkness is the most terrifying moment in film ever. The darkness is a kind of darkness which is beyond mere darkness.
From what types of art, other than film, do you draw inspiration?
I read a lot of graphic novels. I love Alan Moore. I also like G.K Chesterton, The British author. I just read his novel The Man Who Was Thursday about an intellectual poet infiltrating a sinister cell of anarchists in London, just to find out that all the other members are also working for the police. It would be brilliant to adapt for cinema, but making it about militant islamism instead of anarchism.
The Ambassador screens on March 30 and March 31. [buy tickets]