British Columbia

Uwe Boll, world's 'worst' director, talks films, food and critics ahead of Vancouver event

A recent documentary about Uwe Boll's career is playing at the Rio Theatre in East Vancouver and Boll attended for a Q&A session. He spoke to On The Coast about his Vancouver restaurant and the criticism he's faced over the years.

Boll is now retired from filmmaking, but his Vancouver German restaurant is well regarded

Uwe Boll is the subject of a new documentary about his life, career and the hatred critics have for his films. (Liam Britten/CBC)

Uwe Boll has had, if nothing else, an interesting career.

The German filmmaker has made movies with Ben Kingsley and Jason Statham, been called the world's worst director, invited critics to a boxing match and opened Vancouver's Bauhaus restaurant.

He's also won a Golden Raspberry Award for "worst career achievement" among other dubious awards.

A recent documentary about his career screened at the Rio Theatre in East Vancouver Monday night: F--- You All: The Uwe Boll Story. 

Boll attended the event and partook in a Q&A session and will also be present at the Rio on Sunday, May 5 for an encore.

Prior to Monday's event, Boll spoke with On The Coast host Gloria Macarenko.

How does it feel to be out of the film industry and into the restaurant industry?

From one drama to the next drama. Film is temporary. A restaurant is ongoing every day. And if you let the crew loose in the restaurant, it goes sideways. So you have to be there basically almost every day. But it's fun. I'm a big foodie. I love food.

What are your thoughts on the film about you?

I think [Director Sean Patrick Shaul] did a fair approach. He shows the negative and the positive. He shows friends of mine and enemies of mine and he brings myself in the middle so I can explain a little where I'm coming from and what was influential for me. It shows filmmaking is an expensive hobby. It's also a business.

What does it feel like to have people say such unkind things about you?

I made movies based on video games and so you have this kind of geeky crowd judging you. Later I made more political German movies. They also got better reviews.

The problem is that if people think, oh, he's that video game guy, then you make a serious movie about the genocide in Darfur, people want to bash it. It's tougher to have success with the critics after they bashed you for five years straight.

Why do you think some people thought seemed to take such pleasure in criticizing your movies and yourself?

I was always an independent producer. I don't have a big studio behind me protecting me with PR agents and so on. So you're basically an easy target. People can reach me on Facebook or whatever. I was never shy going to screenings and then people yelling with me, I'm countering. I'm approachable and I think that was basically a reason why they went ballistic on me.

Before his life as a busy restauranteur, Uwe Boll directed dozens films, many of them action or gaming-themed films. He is pictured here on the set of Rampage: Capital Punishment. ( Rampage:Capital Punishment)

What kinds of thoughts do you have about the career you've had in film?

I started without any money as an independent filmmaker and then I was able to raise money but only for video game-based movies: House of the Dead, Alone in the Dark, Bloodrayne, Far Cry. That brought me [a] bad reputation, but it also made me financially stable so that I could open a restaurant or I could make movies I am passionate about like the Darfur movie or Rampage. They were movies with very big political content and I'm very proud of them. So I cannot really regret that I did all the more action-driven, sci-fi movies.

Are you not as proud of those ones?

No. I'm not so proud of those ones. But they were absolutely necessary to make it happen that you could spend some money on stuff you're really passionate about.

Will you take us behind the scenes into the restaurant to do a documentary?

No. Better not.

This story has been condensed and edited for length and clarity. Listen to the full interview:

With files from CBC Radio One's On The Coast


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