Marco Malattia and his production company VanslaFurka Videomalattie should be known to fans of hard and obscure underground pornography worldwide. His films are artistic, brutal and bare to the bone real. After the review of the astonishing NO VASELINE, his latest output, Marco talked to me about his opinions on sex and violence, past and future productions, and his motifs. It is with pride that I present this extensive and interesting interview.
TM: Greetings, Marco! First of all, thanks for doing the interview. For those who don’t already know, who are you and what do you do?
MM: Thank you for the space you dedicate to me. I am a photographer-filmmaker involved in a series of projects and activities including V.L.F. Laboratories, the subject of this interview.
With this project I explore the limits of pornography, experimenting with its coordinates both in terms of content and language.
This approach disrespectful of fees makes V.L.F. Laboratories a unique project in the genre.
TM: How did you come up with the name „Vans la Furka Videomalattie“ and what does it mean? MM: Vanslafurka is a distorted expression from the Italian language, which means 'go to the gallows', a way to say 'fuck you all'.
Over time the acronym V.L.F. has acquired meanings in line with my personal development. 'videomalattie' instead recalls the concept of disease as a deviation from an optimal situation, an injection of entropy in the inherent order of creation that I reflect in my visual expression. VanslaFurka Videomalattie is this in the last analysis: arrogance, subversion, gnosis and self-gratification.
TM: I hear you are currently working on a new project. What can be said about it?
MM: I'm constantly working on something new for V.L.F. and my other projects. For now there is not much to say, I am gathering material made with both my stable performer and with new girls. The results are good for now, I'm working on the development of new contents and different forms of montage in direct line with the syncopated edit system that has always been one of the V.L.F. signatures.
TM: In what way will it differ from „No Vaseline“? Are you following the path you started with „No Vaseline“ or will you maybe be trying out something radically new?
MM: Each realization of V.L.F. Laboratories closes a cycle of experiments to open another one. 'No Vaseline' differs from its predecessors as much as from the products that will follow. The differences can be found both in content and in form, VLF is permanently evolving. From the earliest experiments in 2007 to complete contextualization of V.L.F. In 2010, the attitude of these laboratories can be found in research and sperimentation.
This fact distinguishes VLF from other more or less similar proposal: to settle V.L.F. on a tested scheme would be the death of the project.
TM: When did you first start to act in porn films? What was it like in the beginning?
MM: The beginning of V.L.F. was not so spectacular. Years ago it took me some useless afternoons to reassemble randomly some private videos made with a girl. Nothing to do with the material produced later but I immediately realized the potential of the thing.
Once I worked out a modus operandi and eliminated all amateurish elements, V.L.F. was born.
TM: How can one imagine a typical day of shooting for one of your productions? Is a lot preparation required? Would say that the shoots can be stressful, or is it just fun all the way?
MM: There isn't a defined modus operandi. It all depends on the understanding between me and the performers. Certain shots do not require much preparation, and stress, like any other negative factor, is absolutely avoided. To obtain a product worthy of the V.L.F. brand, beyond the ultimate result, it is important that all the participants have gained a positive experience.
TM: You seem to have a bunch of regular actresses that can be seen in many of your productions. How did you meet them and what is their appeal, in your opinion?
MM: My labs are always available and open to new performers (the word 'performers' is more appropriate than 'actresses' since we do not interpret a role, but we act a performance) who share my attitude, but paradoxically we do not look for new girls, girls look for VLF, clearly to express an aspect of their sexuality that are unlikely to fully live elsewhere.
None of these girls is a professional actress, I have always avoided mercenaries because I demand that the collaboration is two-way, I do not want people who do what they do for money but to express something through the means that I put at their disposal.
Till now quite a few girls have worked with me: the best in terms of attitude have remained and they donate something personal to the project, the other flow and reflow in the nothing they represent.
TM: You have been around for quite some time and have released plenty of films. How has your work evolved, since the early days? Are you still pleased with the quality of your older productions?
MM: I'm devoted to every single frame I shot; the only things that have changed from the beginning are instrumentation, expertise and performers. The basic motor has remained the same since the beginning. Everything, from the early short films, is a picture of what I was at a particular time, as a kind of diary of images. Everything is functional to a unifying discourse, that is the aim of V.L.F.: the singularity.
TM: „Adoration of Decline“ was a collaboration with the noise project rXaXpXe. How did you two get in touch and in what way does it differ from your regular works?
MM: We came in contact because of the mutual respect and regard to our work; 'Adoration of decline' comes from an artistic and personal understanding and it represents an episode of my life that I care for a lot. I think it isn't different from my work, it is simply an extra-V.L.F. work, so it doesn't have the coordinates of all products on behalf of V.L.F.. I consider it an interesting and well done experiment: music and images blend perfectly and create a truly transcendent atmosphere. Thanks to Cosmic swamp rec, this video has been celebrated with a DVD of which I am extremely proud.
TM: Masks seem to play a vital role in your works. Do you simply use them to stay anonymous, or are you also out to create atmosphere or maybe even convey a deeper meaning?
MM: One of the fundamental coordinates of V.L.F. is the depersonalization of the project participants, rather than anonymity. The moment one is involved in filming, she loses her identity and is relegated to the status of the Logos. I'm not interested in the element of personality, it doesn't make the kind of mechanics that are explored in my work richer. The ideal form for the situations that I intend to document goes beyond the concepts of 'I', the masks are tools that historically perform this task in an exemplary manner: hiding the characteristic features of a person, masks exile him from the lower human sphere and it leads him to a higher level. This higher level is the surface where V.L.F. works.
TM: You often include (non-sexual) images of animals. What do you want to convey by using them?
MM: V.L.F. works with flesh: flesh is its principal element and field of exploration. Times ago, I used dead animals images among alive humans images: I can't see differences between these two things. It was simply an experiment that I liked to do at that time.
TM: On your website, your works are described with the term „Kali Yuga Entertainment“. Do you attach philosophical ideas to your work in the porno genre, or would that be an over-interpretation?
MM: We're living in Kali-yuga era, even if I don't care a lot of past orthodoxies and traditions. In its more etherodoxic interpretetion, this fact involves a modus in observation and reinterpretation of reality and in the role that carnality assumes in the existential sphere.
V.L.F. is the product of a series of considerations based on this approach applied to the mechanics of physical interaction.
TM: A lot of satanic imagery and hints at Satanism can be found in your work. Is this only an aesthetic choice, or does it have any deeper meaning? What does Satanism mean to you?
MM: Actually, there are many references to a draconian gnosticism that many can accidentally confused with traditional Satanism. a part of my work has been unified with some aspects of the personal consideration of the world perceived. The higher spectra of contemporary Satanism partially join the philosophical implications of VLF, while the lower popular theories, such as Thelema, are proudly exiled. We are 309.
TM: Your works also have a very artistic side. How important is it to you and could you imagine doing regular, non-artistic porn?
MM: The aesthetic of my video is the result of applying my background to a creation really independent at all levels. I haven't yet figured out what the concept of 'art' means, I presume it is one of the many terms that have no real application. Common porn is the pathological repetition of the usual 4 or 5 situations, I do not care to work on stasis at all. I find stimulations in my own work for the freedom of content and form that it allows me. The debate on 'pornography is art' or not is stupid as any other debate, everyone sees their own stuff in a personal way, depending on one's culture and possibilities. Unfortunately the latter are usually very small.
I don't make a distinction between anything, at least I try to: the results create differences, beyond the intentions.
TM: Virtually all of the intercourse that is presented in the VLF works is fetishistic in some way. Are these your personal fetishes? Are „extreme“ sexual acts obligatory for a VLF feature?
MM: Nothing is obligatory, even if the fields in which I work have inevitably to do with corporeality. Many photos and some videos do not contain sexual mechanics of any kind. I do not impose anything and preclude nothing, permitting also the performer to have a role in the final choice of work.
V.L.F. is not a production company aimed to the sale, and so we have total freedom of expression: inserting the obligatory element in the context of VLF would be counterproductive for that VLF is proposed to do. Everything in sex is fetishistic, in a broad sense. When this activity is celebrated in video or photographs the thing is even more evident. Everything that you see in my work rises from my idea filtered by the attitude of the performer in question.
TM: What do you think of the mixture between sex and violence? Some of your new videoclips feature pretty severe scenes of cutting. Will this maybe play a bigger role in the future?
MM: Aside from the reproductive function, well done sex is sublimated violence, violence that, according to the situation, takes on a more or less dramatic aspect. I do not know what role or development will have the action elements in my videos, everything is fluid and constantly settling. Blood is an element that randomly has united all the productions in video from a year or so, in the forms of menstruation, trauma, cutting. The women have a deep and engaging relationship with blood, and it would be limiting to not elaborate this aspect.
TM: You create your own soundtracks under the moniker of „zerogravitytoilet“. Can you tell us about this project and maybe the other noise projects you were involved in?
MM: ZGT was born nearly a decade ago as a side project to an harsh-noise one. I don't have any expectations about my musical projects, which are considered more a divertissement than anything else. the creation of the original Soundtrack for my work enters an argument of solipsistic autarky and has a sense, while the existence of projects that add nothing to a genre of music is pure self-delusion. Many 'musicians' should do the work of self-analysis before proposing the usual hackneyed stuff with useless results.
TM: Noise and pornography often go hand in hand. Why are so many noise fans into porn and vice versa? How do the two match up?
MM: Noise is made, omitting the names that created the genre, from chronic masturbators who create the same things for years with always the same results for the sole purpose to give themselves a voice in front of other disadvantaged. I became interested in this genre in the early 90s playing for 2 decades in various projects and since then I've only seen the usual shit done and redone in the same way. This masturbatory illness makes them easy prey to pornography: these people don't care of an evolution but only a stasis in which to create their own safe little world. It is no coincidence that the most captivating aspects of this genre are the graphics and aesthetics. This is the point in common with the common porn: an empty form without content.
TM: Do you have any commercial aims with VLF? Is it even possible to make real money doing what you do?
MM: Inevitably V.L.F. is completely outside of any market logic. Commercial pornography survives because it is a great support to the onanistic activities of the user. Of course VLF is not suitable for masturbation: being outside of expectations does not pay in this world.
TM: How important is packaging to you? I remember some of your old photosets coming in pretty luxurious DiY packaging. Will there be more of this, or are you focussing more on „regular“ DVD releases?
MM: You're referring to Govnoed revue, an initiative that is currently in a dead period due to the lack of truly original ideas. This publication was based on a distortion of the concept of seriality of the publications of its kind and was playing on the transformation of the package. 5 numbers have been published and, at least at the level of ideas, I'm working on the next.
Two dvds have come out, the first 'LIBER CXI' is an 'anthology of short films whose layout has been taken lightly at the time, while the new' No Vaseline 'was more polished in every aspect, professional printing and canonical but tidy packaging.
Packaging really matters, especially to enhance a product that is professional in all its aspects.
TM: Have you ever had problems with censorship because of your works?
MM: Yes, in many ways. Video-hosting sites have deleted my videos several times, because they are so distant from cautious household pornography, and the master of 'No vaseline' has been rejected by some companies for professional duplication on dvd.
This slow but continuous boycott of my work by costitutionalized reality is the sign that I'm making things the right way.
TM: What do you think of modern pornography? What does it have in common with VLF and where does it differ?
MM: Pornography (apart from a few rare cases) is the repetition of a scheme functional to a physical use of the genre, while it is my pride just doing what I please, regardless how it can be perceived by an audience more or less paying . This is the main difference.
The points in common (to a eye careless for the subtleties) can be the topics discussed, but only in a superficial way: VLF has varied interpretations and uses, it is like a mirror, everyone sees what it is. In fact, I notice with pride that most of the following of VLF are women, which is known to have a more layered view of sex.
TM: Are there any porn films, directors or actors that have been an inspiration to you?
MM: I would say no, I really appreciate the work of some 90s directors as Thomas Zupko and Rob Black for example. To the present day, the dissemination of this material on the Internet has virtually made it possible for anyone to be able to indulge but unfortunately it did not happen. Certain no-budget material from South American south is still very interesting.
TM: What kind of literature, music and films do you enjoy?
MM: I'm an omnivorous devourer of music-film-literature, despite not having a favorite genre. making an exhaustive list would be useless and out of place. I realize that I appreciate those works of which I can sense the sincerity upstream: with age I've become able to appreciate the concept more than the form.
TM: That’s all. Thanks again. Any last words, comments, greetings etc.?
MM: The only people I want to thank are my more faithful performers: without them my work would be inevitably different.