UNCENSORED team met Danius Monoceros, author of the short-film Reverie and one of the winners of Uncensored in lockdown open call.
Tell us about you. How did you begin, what was your journey into creating explicit content?
I have always been fascinated by erotic photography. I bought my first camera more than a decade ago, but the turning point was when I attended the Berlin Porn Film Festival a few years ago. It blew my mind. I was so inspired, everything was completely different from the porn I had been watching when I was a teenager.
And from that experience, I started nurturing the idea of making underground porn that could be political and revolutionary, and to use it as a tool against patriarchy, sexism and discrimination.
Have you experienced censorship in your work? Do you think there are ways we can respond, fight it, do better?
I have received a few warnings for showing female nipples, crotch areas and blasphemous acts, but working with pornography makes you understand that censorship is not only something related to adult films.
Censorship is an act of power and control and it’s not static and universal but changes over time and in different geographies. In society, words such as “inappropriate”, “unacceptable” or “controversial” are overused and abused as absolute unchangeable attributes.
Censorship is an act of privilege, as it legitimises the predominant views of the collective majority, hence overshadowing anything that falls outside those boundaries as ‘not normal’ and not acceptable or valid within the existing societal system. That’s why I believe that we should motivate ourselves to critically examine our own thoughts and experiences. That’s precisely what good criticism does: commit to assess, rather than blindly accepting or willfully suppressing what you’ve been told or led to believe.
You responded to the Open Call ‘Uncensored in Lockdown’. What inspired your film and how was it to create and shoot a film during a pandemic?
“Reverie” was inspired by a favourite fantasy of mine: to have sexual intercourse with a stranger in a contest where redundant messages remind you over and over to avoid any social interaction.
The idea developed by observing the sexual tension that can occur between two individuals looking into each other’s eyes, the only area of the face not covered by the mask.
Filming during the lockdown was fun, having an empty city like London as a stage was something to remember, but also challenging when it comes to filming without a crew, and to readapt the storyboard in a way that it was possible for me to be in front and behind the camera, and to make everything work.
Do you have any projects in the pipeline and do you have any parting words to your adoring fans?
During this pandemic, I have also started to write a new screenplay. It is still to early to have a clear idea of what the final outcome will be, but I would love to share some stories and fantasies as a queer foreigner living in a post-Brexit UK.