Private Project

My Life Is a Gunshot

Noise artist Joke Lanz has a loyal fan base. And a revolting image: he’s fond of nailing a finger to a board or having himself flogged on stage on occasion. And for most people, his music is nothing but an excruciating noise anyway. How does a person come to live that way? This documentary film shadows a sensitive artist haunted by a decades-old trauma: when he was 13 years old, his father went up onto the roof of the house and shot himself – his son heard the shot distinctly. Ever since then, Joke has been trying to find a way of dealing with it – and with his own role as a father, which is affected by the past. His art is his self-medication, his whole life an alternative concept to what probably killed his father.

  • Marcel Derek Ramsay
    Der Meister und Max
  • Michèle Wannaz
    Der Meister und Max, Mirr, OS Love
  • Marcel Derek Ramsay
    Der Meister und Max, Mirr, OS Love
  • Joke Lanz
    Key Cast
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    My Life Is A Gunshot
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 30 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    January 7, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    50,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Distribution Information
  • Outside the box
    Country: Switzerland
    Rights: Theatrical
Director Biography - Marcel Derek Ramsay

Before film school, Marcel Derek Ramsay, born in Switzerland in 1969, was a professional photographer whose works were shown in numerous exhibitions and won various awards. His short films – often experimental and found footage works – earned him among other things a nomination for the Golden Leopard in the Best Short Film category at the Locarno Film Festival. He was a cameraman on Samir’s documentary film “Babylon 2”, which has become part of Switzerland’s collective memory, and this was followed by a lengthy period as a cutter for Swiss TV, commercials, and independent productions.
His editing left its mark on numerous animated films and documentaries, including “Beyond Farewell” by Susanna Hübscher, where he was also responsible for much of the camerawork, “Die Seilbahn” (The Cable Car) and “Schlaf” (Sleep) by Claudius Gentinetta, which won awards in Cairo, Tokyo, Baden, Montreal, and Geneva, to name but a few, “L’Île Noire” by Nino Christen, who is currently enjoying remarkable success at film festivals, as well as Jacqueline Zünd’s “Goodnight Nobody”, which also won numerous awards including the “Best Newcomer” prize at the Visions du Réel (Visions of Reality) documentary film festival in 2010.
In 2008 Marcel Derek Ramsay established the “Cinéma Copain Ltd.” production company, and since then he has been producing film trailers, works of his friends who are film makers, as well as his own film projects. At the moment the company is producing the animated film “OS Love” by the exceptionally talented young Swiss film maker Luc Gut, the documentary “Das letzte Feld” (The Last Field) by Mehdi Sahebi (“Zeit des Abschieds” – Time to Say Farewell), as well as his own documentary about noise musician Joke Lanz.

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Director Statement

The film selects unusual means of portraying an artist: it seeks a form that will translate the musician’s language into equivalent cinematic language, using a playful sound track, unorthodox image editing, high editing cadence and wild framing. It is intended to enable the audience to fully immerse themselves in a life choice where the personal sphere and art are mutually dependent.
However, we also want to make a contribution towards eliminating prejudices: against people who embrace a way of life that many people would initially fail to understand. We do this by revealing an unexpectedly soft core in Joke Lanz under the hard shell, and enabling the audience to realize how much the former is actually the reason for the latter. 
The film also aims to sharpen people’s senses to the universe of sounds.