I always work only with friends, but it must be about them and myself. Because I film only very personal moments, nothing preplanned, staged or written, it has to be real and spontaneous. Some of them have become famous, some are not yet famous, some will never be famous. But they are all my friends.
I myself saw the great works of Western civilization for the first time in my high school in Lithuania in bad black-and-white reproductions on miserable paper. That was, for many years, what art was for me. But from those miserable black-and-white reproductions, I got something, something unmistakable.
I'm a filmmaker, but my working procedures are different. All my basic structuring is done during the filming. You know, how long I keep the shot, the exposure or the speed - slower or faster, etc. That's structuring. And then there is a second stage of structuring that comes later when I begin to put those pieces together.
In narrative cinema, a certain terminology has already been established: 'film noir,' 'Western,' even 'Spaghetti Western.' When we say 'film noir' we know what we are talking about. But in non-narrative cinema, we are a little bit lost. So sometimes, the only way to make us understand what we are talking about is to use the term 'avant-garde.'
Once you change the technology - from a film camera to a video camera, or from an 8-mm camera to 16 mm - you change completely the content. With 8 mm, a leaf on a tree will be made up of maybe four grains. So it's very impressionistic, almost like Seurat. If you switch to 16 mm, the technology gives you hundreds of grains on that leaf.