Robert Carrithers is a film director and producer. He also works as a cameraman, writes and develops scripts and has worked as an actor. He has been deeply involved in underground music, art and club scenes going all the way back to New York in the early 1980s. He was a freelance photographer covering cultural events for various magazines and newspapers in New York, London and Paris. He photographed personalities in the club scene in New York and has had several gallery exhibits. He has lived and worked in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, London, Paris, and Berlin. He is presently living and working in Prague.
Robert Carrithers grew up in Chicago. He studied at the improvisational Chicago theatre Second City and did nightly improvisational performances. He performed at various theatres in Chicago and decided to move to New York to become an actor. He went to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. It was the early 80’s and he got more involved with music clubs such as Max’s and CBGB’s, but then discovered a club called Club 57. He was able to fulfill his acting fantasies at Club 57 in a much more creative way than all the Off-Broadway theatres. Club 57 was like one big creative laboratory and everyone was encouraged to develop their talents and have fun doing it. Artists, filmmakers, performers, musicians and scene-makers would all mix together, develop their ideas and do it immediately. There were no holding back ideas, no matter how crazy.
Robert was strongly influenced by the incredible personalities that he met at Club 57. He worked with artists such as Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf and Jean-Michel Basquiat and he performed with Ann Magnuson, Wendy Wild and John Sex. He was also involved in infamous New York Clubs like the Mudd Club and Danceteria where he found a renewed interest in live performance. In this new sense of freedom, he was able to write and create his own productions. He began to photograph personalities in the creative club scene in New York and had several gallery exhibits. There was a sort of club cultural exchange going on between New York and London at that time. Robert decided to move to London. He worked as a freelance photographer in London and Paris covering cultural events.
He moved for a while to Los Angeles and worked on short films and commercials to gain further film experience. He started an independent film production company with Mexican filmmaker Ignacio Vallero called Perro Productions in New York. He moved to Prague and devoted his time to writing and developing screenplays and film production. He also worked as an actor acting in several feature films and TV productions such as Young Indiana Jones, Sacred Cargo, where he played a Russian henchman and had a scene with Chris Penn.
Robert worked on the script development of several film projects in Prague and Berlin. One film was called Lost in Berlin, a story that deals with an Australian musician who gets lost in Berlin involving music ala Nick Cave and the underground electronica music scene. He spent a lot of time in Berlin doing the script development and during this time he worked with the Berlin band Einfach Ist Der Mensch recreating parts of his life and telling stories on stage with their music. The performance was done in the style of an electric cabaret. He worked with the Finnish production company SupoFilms in Berlin on the production and development. As a result, He is now a partner and creative executive for the Finnish production company SupoFilms/Sundell and Pohjola Films. He is responsible for development and production work in Prague, Europe and the United States. He acquires and develops new and existing scripts and helps plan cross-border development, financing and co-productions. He also acts as a screenwriter, director and producer for the company.
After becoming a partner/creative executive for SupoFilms he produced the short film PROJEKT 489-101 by the Dutch filmmaker David Zijlstra. The year 2008 was a turning point in Robert’s film career. He was invited to Japan to film a documentary about a musician/performer from New York named Koy. She’s been living in Tokyo for fifteen years and has worked with some of the best musicians and creative people in Japan. Robert was asked to film segments from her daily and professional life in Japan.
It was in Tokyo that he learned filmmaking the hard way with not much of a break. He bought a HDV camera and other film equipment. With his new equipment, he pushed ahead and began filming Koy’s life. He captured her band playing in a bondage bar in Tokyo. He went to the far coasts of Japan to film her reunion with Syu in Buddhist temple. Syu was a famous musician in Japan. He was a direct descendent of a temple founding monk, his father. He was expected to follow the same path, but instead rebelled and became a well-known rock and roll star covered in tattoos. Koy used to play in his band. After both his parents died, he made the difficult decision to return to his family’s Buddhist temple and become a monk. Now, with his monk’s robes hiding his tattooed face and body, he goes on with his daily routines. Robert captured some special moments with him and Koy. The documentary film is still in production. The project is presently seeking further financing to complete production.
Robert met London artist Jason Atomic and his stunning creative muse Honey Manko while filming the Koy documentary. Jason is quite an amazing artist of unique talent. He has the world record of doing the most sketches at the London National Portrait Gallery. Manko has had her own radio show and is known for her lively satirical wit. They are both in the Koy film. Robert was inspired by these two unique talents and filmed a short film portrait of Jason and Manko at The London Babylon Academy group show at Tachles in Berlin.
Following this he was invited to London to film the 25th anniversary celebration of the infamous London club The Batcave. He filmed the concert of the band Specimen with other camera people there and made a music clip of it with band member Jon Klein editing it.
For the past two years he has been working on a documentary about the Berlin band Fatal Shore. He captures these musicians lives, how they survive, and how they are still being true to their music and beliefs. He is in the process of filming and completing the film. He has been producing/financing this film himself. He is presently seeking funding to complete post-production.
Robert also works making corporate films. He made a three minute film for Prague Mercer Consulting for the opening of an international gathering of their offices from Europe and the middle east. He made a promotion film for the Russian school Prague Education Center. Robert was asked to make a film for the international organization The Knights of Rizal. He filmed a three day event of Czech and Philippine friendship that the Knights of Rizal sponsored.
Robert has recently completed working on an art film project about Prague mystic symbols. He is presently completing a new photo series called Bohemian Nudes inspired by the artist Egon Schiele. He plans on doing an exhibition of this work in the near future. If you are interested in any of Roberts prints please go to "Contact Robert" for further information. Robert is curating with Deb O´Nair the Club 57 Art Show at Niagra (Avenue A and Seventh Street NYC) in New York on October 27th.He will exhibit his New York photos and new work with other artists at the Club 57 Art Show. He will also be projecting his New York photos at the Mudd Club/Club 57 reunion at The Delancey Lounge (168 Delancey Street NYC) in New York on October 28th. He will be filming the reunion with Dee Bache for a documentary that they are working on.