Why were there no words in this month’s installment of Combover, Brett Gelman's serialized novel about Hollywood, the Jewish tradition, baldness, and murder? That's because it was in the Photo Issue. Those pictures that come with it didn't just happen accidentally--they're by stylist, director, and photographer Janicza Bravo. Currently she and Gelman are putting together a feature to shoot next year, and in the meantime Janicza's writing a couple other film scripts. You can find out about all this, her short film, and tons of other interesting stuff on her blog, "a collection of stuffs that are meant to excite and inspire," she says. But first, read this interview we did with her.
VICE: Where did you shoot this? If my eye is seeing things correctly, I believe it is Deep Creek, the nudist natural hot spring haven where Charles Manson and his Family allegedly used to hang out before they all went berserk, and now dudes with shaved balls go to soak.
Janicza Bravo: I just looked up Deep Creek and wish we'd gone there. It sounds kind of amazing but also maybe terrifying. I have a feeling I wouldn't be able to settle there, I'd be too consumed with looming murder. We shot in the San Gabriel Reservoir, it's between Angeles Forest and Mt. Baldy. Don't go on the weekends. Latino families camp out kind of hardcore. They take up tons of space and leave trash everywhere, so if you like that then you'll love it.
Why does Combover dream of a tribeswoman to turn him into a chicken? Or am I interpreting this all wrong?
You are reading just right. Last year when we were working on our Toupee series, we decided to make that Photo Issue story a dream, and with Combover without hesitation that felt right again. Combover dreams sex. He's modeled after a Robert Evans type. He believes that he can have anything because he has had everything. He dreams of me but he doesn't get me, I get him.
May I ask: What is the black dick?
Black dick is my big black dick. It's a dildo that apparently was too real-looking for print.
That must’ve been a pleasure for all the families hanging out in the forest that day. Your photos always look like you were having so much fun while shooting.
Our shoots are an excuse to hang out with the people we love and respect most. We're very lucky. VICE has given us an incredible amount of freedom. We usually just show up at a friend’s house with props and costumes. We shoot for an hour, maybe two, sober. We always laugh a lot and question how it is that we got here, exactly.
I'm sure it has something to do with baldness.