The three movies, Totally F***ed Up, The Doom Generation and Nowhere, form the Teen Apocalypse trilogy, which explores what Araki calls the 'unwanted generation'.
For Mysterious Skin, Gregg wrote an alternate script for the two young leading actors. They did not know what the whole movie was actually about and had never read the original script.
Gregg went to college wanting to be a veterinarian but eventually took film classes when he was a undergraduate.
When he was a young kid, he used to draw comic books, wrote fiction and short stories.
He has his own film production, Desperate Pictures Company.
His mother was a bookkeeper in an ophthalmologist's office.
Gregg Araki: I get sent a lot of scripts and books and a lot of material and I've never encountered a story like Mysterious Skin. I've never come across a story that's kind of moved me in such a deep and profound way.
Gregg Araki: On one hand, I'm old-fashioned, and I'll always love cinema, because I'm a film school brat, and I grew up on all the auteurs and all that stuff. But on the other hand, I embrace the change, because it makes cinema and telling stories with pictures more accessible. I love the idea that things can be beamed out and that they're accessible to everybody, even if you live in some Podunk town way out in the middle of nowhere.
Gregg Araki: As an Asian-American raised in Southern California, I grew up very 'assimilated'. My ethnic identity is not like a separatist sort of thing; it doesn't keep me from other people. It's not something that I view as this huge difference.
Gregg Araki: The world of Nowhere is, in a way, typical of my worldview in the sense that both race and sexuality are, as far as issues go, very neutered. I mean, there's a utopian vision of the world as this place where sexuality is not really an issue, where characters are not really gay or straight or bisexual, they just sort of 'are'. And, in the same way, there are African-American characters and Asian-American characters and Latino characters, and they're all in this melting pot. There's not really an issue of 'I'm black and you're white and we're in this relationship, so how do we navigate our differences?'.
Gregg Araki: I don't go to the cinema to see reality. Reality to me is boring. What's interesting is taking that reality and creating this hyper-reality.
Gregg Araki: I don't really analyse my own movies; I just make them.
Gregg Araki: My films express my sense of my place in the world.
Gregg Araki: Certainly a lot of people do perceive the violence in my films as being gratuitous, but I honestly don't think of it that way. It's hard for me to describe where those images come from. I don't want to be all mystical about it, but it's literally like I'm channelling these images; I don't know where they come from.
Gregg Araki: I still listen to music pretty much every day, all day long – especially when I write.
Gregg Araki: Mysterious Skin, like all my movies, is really inspired by music. One of the reasons why Mysterious Skin appealed to me so much is that Scott Heim, the author of the novel, is also very inspired by music and listens to music when he writes.
Gregg Araki: But that's what happens when you make a film: you make it, and then people interpret it any way they want.
Gregg: Small distributors have become like mini-studios. There's an expectation at this point, with these runaway successes like Napoleon Dynamite, that every film needs to make tons and tons of money to be successful. But the old-school independent movies like Mysterious Skin, movies that attack a challenging subject, need companies like Tartan.
Gregg: I couldn't make movies like this, if I started to worry about what Jerry Falwell is going to have to say about it.
Gregg: I can't think of one Hollywood director whose next film I'm looking forward to seeing.
Gregg Araki: The music is all from my personal collection. A lot of the attitude, and the feelings of alienation, disenfranchisement and anger, comes from the music. I'm much more into buying CDs than I am into keeping up with current movies. (About his music in his films)
Gregg Araki: It is a rag-tag story of the fag-and-dyke teen underground .. A kinda cross between avant-garde experimental cinema and a queer John Hughes flick. (On his movie Totally F***ed Up)