Chicago Underground Film Festival 1997 Program

1997 FESTIVAL PROGRAM

FRIDAY AUGUST 15

FILM THEATER

6:00 PM

Jack Smith Retrospective – Program 2
NO PRESIDENT
Sponsored by Videos.com Jack Smith, 16mm experimental short, 50 min., 1968

Smith’s third feature film was originally titled “The Kidnapping of Wendell Wilkie by the Love Bandit” in reaction to the 1968 presidential campaign. Wilkie was a liberal Republican who ran against FDR in the 1940’s. It mixes black and white footage of Smith’s creatures with old campaighn footage of Wilkie. The climax of the work appears to be the “auctioning” of the presidential cantidate at the convention.

Shown With I WAS A MALE YVONNE DECARLO Jack Smith, 16mm experimental short, 30 min., 1997

Jack Smith as Yvonne DeCarlo, the antithesis of Maria Montez. Fans pay tribute to this false movie goddess in this rare document of Jack Smith in performance on film.

7:45 PM

WORLD PREMIERE!
The Seller Craig Schlattman, 35mm narrative feature, 113 min.

Bart’s a used car salesman who actually realizes he’s a sleaze and a failure. Pushed beyond tolerance as a particularly obnoxious couple try to finagle a deal, Bart snaps when he sees them hitting their daughter. Grabbing a gun from his desk drawer, he shoots them both dead. (Yes, yes; a moment of fantasy fulfillment for all of us who have ever worked with the public.) But now he’s stuck with this 12-year-old girl. What to do? He decides to grab a ’62 Riviera off the lot and drive her cross-country to Texas, to live with her Aunt Betty (Mink Stole). Somehow it seems like a good idea to also take his salesmen, Dwight and Derrick, along for the ride. While on the road, this oddly assorted “family” stops in at a lot of funky cafes, lounges and used car lots, and discovers that little Melissa is a natural with a gun…a veritable reincarnation of Annie Oakley.

9:45 PM

Shorts Program William Shatner Lent Me His Hairpiece (An Untrue Story)
Ken Hagen, 16mm narrative short, 13 min., 1996 Poor Ken Hagen. He’s just been flung out of a Trekkie convention for causing a disturbance. Right in front of two snotty little kids who start jeering at his pointy rubber ears and bald head. “I once had a full crop of hair, lush and full of luster!” laments Ken. And then he tells the sorry tale of how his idol, William Shatner, sold his soul for a magical hairpiece that led to Shatner’s fame and fortune, and how that devilish toupee fell into Ken’s hands (and onto his head) for a very special two weeks. Thrill to the climactic battle for Shatner’s mystical hair! Lil’ Star Duster Psychelicious-N-Junkman, 16mm experimental animated short, 7 min., 1996 A musical journey down Route 66. “…been walkin’ to this jungle beat, been drivin’ me wild and insane…followed it past the New Orleans bayou…followed the burnin’ road down deep into the moonless meadow..we were feelin’ lucky so we stripped away his holographic flesh…bright light city set our souls on fire.” Kid New Year and Billboard
Michael Dante DiMartino, 16mm animated short, 8 min., 1996 A high-speed cartoon fantasy about a maniacal kid and his overgrown TV buddy, scouring the sewers in search of the Holy Grail. Their only obstacle? A ferocious trio of baby-tee wearing, lunchbox-toting Alligator Girls! The Principles of Karma Craig Wallace, 16mm narrative short, 20 min. 1996 Stuart is the most bored kid in Canada. School bores him. His friends and parents bore him. Parties bore him. Drinking bores him. Girls bore him. Punk music…well, that’s OK. And just as he’s about to literally die of boredom, the Youth Liberation Front bursts into Stuart’s bedroom and kidnaps him, making him one happy high school boy. Based on the true story of The 1994 Youth Revolution, a weird little uprising in a suburb of Vancouver. A Conversation Alvin Ecarma, 16mm narrative short, 7 min., 1995 Do pacifist hippie street musicians really deserve to be beaten to death? “The Badger”, a heroic vigilante costumed to conceal his true identity, thinks not. But Neil the Hippie protests The Badger’s use of violence against a nasty street punk and maintains that gentle persuasion will stop a mugger. Shot entirely in a small shack outside of Calcutta, India, this exercise in philosophical debate stars Cash Flagg, Jr. Bubble Quandary Joel Watson, 16mm narrative short, 18 min., 1997

Comrade Reg and Comrade Bill are twin boys born without immune systems. They’ve lived their lives in hermetically sealed bubble, preparing their own food, playing ping pong, watching movies. But the world has been swept by a doomsday virus and the boys might be the only ones alive. “All still dead?” “All still dead.” “Guess we’ll be eating peas for a while…”.

11:15

Isle of Lesbos
Jeff B. Harmon, 35mm narrative features, 98 min., 1996
Just when you thought American musical comedy was dead, dead, dead, here comes a 1940s’ Technicolor-style extravaganza filled with drag queens, production numbers, feather boas, really good shoes, drag queens, dancing boys, kick lines and drag queens.

It’s the collision of two worlds, the humble, god-fearin’ town of Bumfuck and the Isle of Lesbos, a dimension in time and space where lesbians rule supreme. The drama begins on the wedding day of April Pfferpot, a Bible Belt beauty who’s about to say “I do” to Dick Dickson, the local football hero. Seized by a truly serious fit of wedding bell blues, April tries to blow her brains out, but as she pulls the trigger, she’s sucked through her bedroom mirror and lands on the Isle of Lesbos.

Will she win the heart of Blatz Balinski? Will Ma and Pa Pfferpot and the jilted Dick Dickson get their little muff muncher back? The suspense will drive you to the very edge of your seat…and your sanity.