Bowe on Bowe 

Brian Bowe conducts an in-depth interview with master filmmaker, provocateur and all-round cine-scoundrel Brian Bowe

By Brian Bowe

When? Wednesday, a day informally known as “Hump Day,” but I assure you dear reader that no humping shall take place on this day. I have journalistic integrity, ethics and, well, just moral decency to protect me. But it will be challenging; Bowe is a man prone to passionate outbursts. Trust me, I have seen him up close, lived with him, wept with him, slept with him.

Where? I’m sitting in Dublin’s Lighthouse Cinema cafe, a mecca for cinephiles with money to burn. There’s no wifi – “the servers are down,” a staff member informs me. At present, I’m eating a salted pecan cookie and drinking a tall glass of mint leaf-flavoured water. This is all I can keep down at the moment. My stomach is churning, twisting and turning itself inside out. I am awaiting Bowe. 

How? I wait. And wait. To help my boredom, I twirl my minty water leaf with a long spoon. It’s hopeless. I wait so long I begin to lose interest in the whole affair. Who does he think he is, this Bowe? if that even is his real name. I know he has a reputation for being difficult, explosive, even. But tardy? Outrageous. The gall! The complete lack of respect for his fellow man. In this world, you don’t need to be good, gracious or kind, but be on time! But wait…

Something catches my eye…

What? It’s Bowe. My lips tremble. My bowels loosen. He stares at me from the head of my spoon. He’s longer than I remember, Picasso-esque. Clearly bloated with success: the life of a famous filmmaker – the glamour, drugs and infrequent comp tickets – has taken its toll on the boy. It’s all gone to his head via his now-distorted face. 

I open my lips and sounds begin to spill out. The following is a recording of those sounds.

Bowe: Where do you get your ideas?

Respected auteur and deep thinker Brian Bowe. (Original image credit: Wikimedia)

Bowe: No comment. 

Bowe: Where do you get your dry cleaning?

Bowe: Mr Tubs in Phibsborough

Bowe: Remarkable! Me too. 

Bowe: Does that conclude the interview?

Bowe: No. 

Bowe: Oh.

Bowe: Can you detail your earliest influences? 

Bowe: Yes.

Bowe: Will you?

Bowe: Yes: At an early age I started reading the classics: Shakespeare, Joyce, The Beano. It all had a tremendous impact on my artistic growth. 

Bowe: Wow, you were a fan of Joyce as a child?

Bowe: No, not at all. I despised his work, and still do. But my hatred forced me to forge a new path: A place where no man or woman has gone before or since. I delved deep within myself to find a voice, a vision – an artistic point of view that is honest and raw.

Bowe: Is that where Super Bong Slap Party came from?

Bowe: My magnum opus, yes.

Bowe: I’m a big fan. Can you maybe talk about the filming of that piece?

Bowe: It came about during a flurry of activity during my Mauve period. Everything was happening at once: I got my first tooth, encountered my first love (a cartoon of Mr. Blobby on the back of the 1997 winter Argos catalogue) and received my first government grant. 

Bowe: Wow, that must have been a great time.

Bowe: Great how?

Bowe: Well, just… ya know, so many things happening at once. Progress. Activity. etc.

Bowe. Well, it wasn’t great. It was torture. The demand was so big that I spun out, spent all the money on candy cigarettes, and then I just gave up.

Bowe: Gave up on what?

Bowe: On life, love, and filmmaking. 

Bowe: But what about Super Bong Slap Party? 

Bowe: It never happened, I just added the title to my IMDB credits. Thankfully, nobody really fact checks those things. People are lazy, especially journalists. 

Bowe: …

Bowe: Sorry?

Bowe: Oh, nothing. I just said “…”

Bowe: Ah, okay.

Bowe: So tell me about the International Dublin Film Festival, I hear you had a short film premiere there. How did it go?

Bowe: It’s hard to tell, as I don’t watch my own films.

Bowe: Ah yes, the shy genius!

Bowe: No. I mean, I never watch them. 

Bowe: Even when making them?

Bowe: Correct.

Bowe: Right, so how do you make them if you can’t see them?

Bowe: AI

Bowe: I see, but how does that work?

Bowe: I simply input the logline of Kevin Costner’s 1997 masterpiece The Postman into a ChatBot AI script generator (I do this several times: entering the words forwards, backwards, then horizontal), and see what comes out. Then I enter that AI script into an AI video generator, and that’s a wrap.

Bowe: But aren’t you worried about the damaging effect of AI on filmmaking, such as the potential loss of human creativity and the homogenization of storytelling? There is a concern that the unique touch of individual imagination may be overshadowed. This would lead to a future where films start to feel formulaic and lack the diverse perspectives that make storytelling so rich and engaging.

Bowe: …

Just then, just at that moment, Bowe vanishes! Coincidentally, his disappearance occurred the exact moment a member of the cafe staff approached to whisk away my spoon at the request of other – and if you ask me, nosy – patrons. I was flummoxed. The nerve of this man! But I am slightly proud that my hard-hitting questions about his use of AI caused him to run off with his tail between his legs. I rattled him. I didn’t intend for this article to be an exposé, but here we are! 

My period of elation is short lived. It turns out Bowe bolted off before we had a chance to split the bill! That cheap swine! He has won! I am defeated… and bloated, for some unknown reason.