Chicago Underground Film Festival 1997 Program


1997 FESTIVAL PROGRAM

FRIDAY AUGUST 15

VIDEO THEATER

5:30

The Electric Urn sponsored by Cupid’s Treasures Dean Bivens, 16mm narrative feature, 78 min., 1997

A hallucinatory ramble through the world of East Village artists, musicians, actors and most of all, wannabes. The nonlinear story follows poet Jim Monk around the streets and lofts of New York’s lower east side. Everyone’s got a “project” they’re hustling, from a band that just needs a gimmick and a practice space, to a filmmaker auditioning a drag queen for the lead in a feminist film about a ’50s B-movie actress, to the music promoter who keeps his girlfriend in a huge Lucite cage, where she plays with a ventriloquist’s dummy named Abner and occasionally sings in bird language. Loopy deadpan satire in a whirl of color, music and martinis, with some of the biggest wigs and shortest skirts you’ve ever seen (some even on girls) and a charming cameo appearance by the ever-lavendar Quentin Crisp.

shown with

Super Thrill Over Kill

Slain Wayne, experimental video short, 10 min., 1997

Grinding bodies against grinding music… panting, sweating, groping, thrusting sex… naked flesh from one end of the screen to the other (flesh sometimes decorated with a pair of fetching panties)… pure pornography and we’re damn proud of it!

7:15

The Films of Jeff Krulik & Friends:
Featuring Heavy Metal Parking Lot
Sponsored by DaNicola Resturaunt Jeff Krulik, documentary video shorts, approx. 90 min., 1986-1996

Back in 1986, Jeff Krulik and John Heyn were working at a Washington D.C. public access station when they got the brilliant idea of filming the heavy metal fans swarming an arena parking lot before a Judas Priest show. They had no idea the resulting 15-minute video would achieve cult status not only among music fans but with musicians themselves, with bands as diverse as Redd Kross, Nirvana, and The Lemonheads all gleefully passing around bootleg copies. Ten years later, Krulik and Heyn returned to the same parking lot with the same purpose, but this time it was for Neil Diamond Parking Lot.

Also shown will be Mr. Blassie Goes To Washington, wherein Fred Blassie, former world champion pro wrestler and one-time Andy Kaufman collaborator wanders around Washington D.C., commenting on the sites and sights; King of Porn, which introduces Ralph Whittington and his truly amazing, meticulously cataloged collection of porn; Ernest Borgnine on Tour, a trip around the country with Ernie and his son, aboard his $700,000 custom tour bus, and scenes from works in progress.

9:00 Shorts Program: Seven Little Movies Cunt Matthew Harrison, 16mm experimental video short, 7 min., 1997

A voyeur is following this girl around…she’s wandering the city streets; she’s on the train setting up plastic Army men; she’s on the beach playing solitare. She lights up a cigarette and suddenly thrusts it through…what?

Electric Flesh Eric Brummer, experimental video short, 10 min., 1997

Eyeballs popping, heads twisting,off, flesh clawed away from the bone, bodies reduced to mere twitching globs of blood and gristle. In other words, exactly what you go to see horror films for, with all the boring plot structure left out. If only it were interactive!

Baked Alaska Huck Botko, video documentary, 7 min., 1997

Some kids just never get over it when their parents split up. Huck was one of those kids…he has a vivid memory of the last dessert he ever shared with his mother before she left the family. And now, as a sentimental little reunion surprise, he’s planning to make the same sweet treat for Mom, only this time he’s adding a few secret ingredients.

City of Sleep Jon Filthe’, 16mm narrative short, 20 min., 1997

An intelligent, darkly humorous and beautifully shot story about a girl whose sanity seems to be slipping away from her. Maya is taking so many drugs she can barely stand up and stagger out the door, but her parents have plenty of problems of their own and aren’t noticing. Everything seems to be out of her control… the most mundanr things like showing up for biology class and going to her room to get away from her vodka-swilling dad lead to trouble. Inevitably, she OD’s… maybe. The angel with newspaper wings who appears to her on a rooftop isn’t too clear about that.

Dyke Rat Tony Nittoli, 16mm live action/animated short, 3 min., 1997 The brilliant creator of last year’s award-winning short Junky is back with the heartbreaking story of a sensitive lesbian rat, angry and distraught over breaking up with her girlfriend. Premenstrual Spotting Machiko Saito, experimental video short, 12 min., 1997 Gorgeous Machiko has a model’s face and figure, plus a wardrobe to die for.She’s also a six-foot tall Japanese/ American woman…but that’s far from the only reason she’s felt so very much not-like-the-others all her life. A powerful, disturbing look at the relationship between childhood abuse and adult lifestyle patterns, exploring alcoholism, fetishes and showtunes. Cutting Moment Douglas Buck, 16mm narrative short, 27 min., 1996

Grim-faced Patrick is outdoors doing yardwork when he notices the game his introspective young son is playing. Joey’s got one male soldier doll humping another and Patrick doesn’t like that at all. He quietly orders the boy indoors and the claustrophobia starts to build. At night, Patrick’s whispering voice is heard in his son’s bedroom and his wife Sarah buries her head under her pillow. Things really start to unravel when Sarah comes on to Patrick and he ignores her. The humiliation pushes Sarah over the edge and as she stares into the bathroom mirror, she starts to work on a makeover…a permanent one. With special effects by Tom Savini, who described Cutting Moments as “…the sickest film I’ve ever seen.”

10:45

Subdue the Universe James E. Taylor, video documentary short, 56 min., 1997 Inspired by the semi-mythic Reverend Rufus T. Higginbotham’s 1992 campaign to colonize outer space, this documentary explores the world of fringe Presidential candidates. The film crew drove from Minneapolis to Manchester, New Hampshire to find the town overrun with hordes of newshounds, spin doctors, flunkies, conspiracy theorists AND the candidates. Aspirants to the office of President of the United States include Hillary Michael Milko, alleged son-in-law of Chairman Mao, who asks “Who am I? Am I Robin Hood or Robin Good? Or Zorro? Or the Christ Child?” and Vermin Supreme, who states “I’m a friendly fascist; I’m a tyrant you can trust!” Shown with

You’re Still Not Fooling Anybody

Mike White, experimental/documentary video short, 15 min., 1997

Still mining the rich depths of Tarantino’s-a-fucking-ripoff-artist theory, White moves beyond Hong Kong action film territory into comparisons of Tarantino’s work with scenes from other well-known directors’ movies.

Midnight

Charlie’s Family

Underground auteuer Jim VanBebber (Deadbeat at Dawn, My Sweet Satan) will present the U.S. premiere of his long awaited kick-ass second feature CHARLIE’S FAMILY at the 4th Annual Chicago Underground Film Festival in a special surprise midnight screening on Friday August 15th.

VanBebber, whose unflinching graphic real-life horror films have made him a legendary figure among fans of underground cult films, has spent nearly a decade completing CHARLIE’S FAMILY a definative look at Charles Manson and his followers. The film stars Marcello Games as Charles Manson, Tina Martin as Sharon Tate, and VanBebber himself as Bobby Beausoleil.