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Chioke Nassor's TV on the Radio Documentary

Moviehouse returns to 3rd Ward on Saturday, 10/13, with an ultra special screening of Minor/Major, a documentary about Brooklyn (and beyond) superstars, TV on the Radio. I had a chance to hit up the film's writer/director Chioke Nassor for a phone interview. The bi-coastal filmmaker directed and co-wrote short films starring Steve Buscemi, Gina Gershon, and Kieran Culkin, including “The Gina Gershon Sex Tape”.  He is currently in post production for his feature film debut: How to Follow Strangers.

TNI: What's your favorite part of your TV on the Radio documentary, Minor/Major?

CN: I think it probably the closest that i've seen --to them just being comfortable on camera. They're funny and they joke around, i don't know if that's been captured before; maybe [it has] more recently. It doesnt feel like theyre trying to be anything except being themselves. 

TNI: I love that. They seem like lovely guys. How'd you get in touch with TV on the Radio?

CN: I met Tunde randomly at Verb, the coffee shop on Williamsburg (On Bedford btwn North 4th/5th). He was a star in a movie that hadn't come out yet, Jump Tomorrow. I said, "oh that's awesome, i really want to see that're in the film i want to see."  Then we traded music and film, he showed me some of his work, I showed him mine. We became artistic friends, and then we became actual friends. 



TNI: Who are your influences as a filmmaker?

CN: First thing that popped into my head is Robert Altman. I like that style-- improv loose form content, stylized. One of the reasons that the TV on the Radio documentary felt somewhat comfortable to me, was because I was a lover of their music. While I'm editing, it's like I'm picturing beats of a song, like a symphony. [I'll think,] this part should go slow, this part should be choppy and fast. I think who i'm most influenced by, right now anyway, are my peers.

TNI: Who are some folks we can check out?
CN: The Color Wheel, by Alex Roth Perry; the guys at Olde English make work (along with Chioke, who's one of the writers) that's really emotional and also engaging and fun, like the The Exquisite Corpse Project. It's not only navel-gazing, not just trying to make a movie that I like. I try to say new things with the form. It's something that people want to watch that's fun. [There's also] Broad City, the web series by Avi Jacobson. Sasheer Zamata (the stand up comedienne)--her stand up is very visual. Trying to express an idea, plus be funny and engaging, that's who I like. I like people who don't seem like someone else. While on one hand I'm an amalgamation of my influences, they themselves say something singular.


TNI: What's Your Fave TV on the Radio song--

CN: Live? I was going to say, Staring at the Sun, but I dunno. There's a tune on the video--that isn't a single--I dunno.

TNI: I really love Halfway Home live.

CN: Oh yea, that song's beautiful. Yeah, let me get back to you.

TNI: Where did you grow up?

CN: I was born in NY, and moved around a lot as a kid--France, New Mexico, Florida, California. I came back to NY for college (at NYU, class of '01). I'm bicoastal between NY and LA for my feature film, How to Follow Strangers. I'm in Manhattan, East Village. In LA, I'm in Silver Lake.

TNI: What's Chioke mean?

Chioke: Gift from God. In Nigerian.

TNI: I think my homegirl Ngozi's name means that.

Chioke: I think every Nigerian name means that. (We chuckle)

Follow Chioke on Twitter // @chiokenassor

Interview w/ Tanwi Nandini : @tanwinandini