Re-embracing the weird that Los Angeles offers from time to time, Jen and I went to see Crispin Glover perform last night. Oh my, the guy who played George McFly has decided to remain outside the Hollywood mainstream.
First, he did a reading from several books that he has published. This was more of a spoken word performance, complete with slideshow of photos and illustrations from the books. Like everything else this night, it is hard to describe. Each book (i.e. a guide on rat catching for boarding schools) seemed to be old found materials that were edited and reimagined by Glover to tell disjointed stream of consciousness stories. This was the enjoyable performance.
Next, Glover did a screening of his film "What is it?" To call this challenging experimental cinema is an understatement. Acting credits like "Dueling Demi-God Auteur and The young man's inner psyche", for example. I had heard about how the cast was almost entirely people with down syndrome playing characters without that affliction, which was as disorienting as was intended. I was also prepared for nazi Shirley Temple as mother figure. What was unexpectedly jarring: the naked woman in a monkey mask giving a handjob to a man with cerebral palsy lounging in a clam shell and the near constant salt burning of snails.
There was a question and answer session afterwards. Glover would ramble for at least 5 minutes per question, but this seemed to preemptively answer other questions at the same time that he must get all the time at other screenings. This put the film in some context, as he explained that one intention was to explore various concepts that the corporate film industry shuns because they wouldn't be profitable. It also took 9 and a half years to complete.
As Jen pointed out this morning, it is not a good sign that you need a Q&A to help justify why people should not walk out on your film. Some people did, of course. Yet, there is certain art that tries to push as many buttons as possible. That we were still discussing it the next day means that it succeeded on some level.
I think we'll skip the sequel he is debuting at Sundance next month, though. "It's Fine. Everything is Fine" was described in the Q&A as an exploration of the sexuality denied the actor with cerebral palsy while locked away in a nursing home. One handjob was enough.Posted by rick at December 11, 2006 09:28 AM | More California