Chicago Underground Film Festival 1997 Program

1997 FESTIVAL PROGRAM

SATURDAY AUGUST 16

VIDEO THEATER

12:30

Shorts Program The Adventures of WaterBong Eric Rosner, animated video short, 20 min., 1996 This summer you’ve got your choice of action heroes rushing to the aid of the distraught and disturbed…and our vote definitely goes to WaterBong, who helps out those in ned of weed. Beyond Asiaphilia Valerie Soe, experimental short, 14 min., 1997 A look at miscegenation, lust and Asian masculinity, filtered through the lens of Hong Kong movies. Crimes of Fashion: The Return of El Frenetico and Go Girl Pat Bishow, narrative short, 22 min., 1997 El Frenetico, a washed-up super-hero, is lured back to crimefighting by his loyal sidekick, Go-Girl, who has learned that mad snack food king Heinrich Syphon has mixed a hideous surprise into the creamy filling of his “Krazy Kakes”: one bite turns you into a wax statue! The Confession Edwin Baker, 16mm narrative short, 19 min., 1996

Pity the poor guy who picks the wrong priest for his first confession in a very long time and gets a much more painful penance than he bargained for.

2:00

Beat Movies

Jack Sargeant, author of The Naked Lens, a new book about the history of Beat cinema, will present Pull My Daisy and Wholly Communion, two seminal and rarely screened films from the era of Beat poets and filmmakers. The films explore the Beat belief in capturing and presenting a vision which is a unique form of personal expression. Sargeant, who also wrote Deathtripping, a book about the Cinema of Transgression, will introduce this screening.

Pull My Daisy Robert Frank & Alfred Leslie, 30-min. experimental short,1958 Based on a real evening spent at Neal Cassady’s home in California, this film moves the events to an artist’s studio in the East Village and features Beat poets Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso, jazz musician David Amram and actress Delphine Seyrig (Catherine Deneuve’s sister). The film is scored by Amram and narrated by Jack Kerouac, who was actually banned from the set because of his drunken antics. When Pull My Daisy screened with John Cassavetes’ Shadows in 1959 at the Cinema 16 in New York, the event was described by film critic J. Hoberman as the night during which “the Underground announced itself.” Shown With

Wholly Communion

Peter Whitehead, 16mm documentary short, 30 min., 1965

A quasi-cinema verite documentary about the International Poetry Incarnation at the Royal Albert Hall, London in 1965. Curated by Alexander Trocchi, Scottish Beat connection and founding member of Sigma and the Situationist International, the film shows readings by poets Ginsberg, Corso , Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Harry Fainlight, among others.

3:45

Shorts Program Beat the Meatles Keith Alcorn, narrative animated short, 2 min., 1996 Clips from the The Meatles first US television appearance as well as never-before seen interview footage of the Fab Foreskin. Pleasure/Hurting John Burridge, experimental video short, 1 min., 1997 The filmmaker says “Well…I just couldn’t let that lady get away with saying that! All the stock footage and music I’ve been saving for years clicked into place…” The Second Cumming Mike Diana, narrative video short, 16 min., 1990 Notorious comic book artist Mike Diana describes his movie: “This video is my view of what the Second Cumming is going to be. A teenage boy gets raped by an angel from heaven, he gets pregnant and becomes the father of the new baby christ.” Wacka-Spewy Steven Clar, experimental video short, 8 min.,1995B Six guys, six cocks, six hands…the latter two working together toward a single goal. Spoit! One-Man Show Lobo Pasolini, experimental short, 1 min., 1996 Do not blink during this movie or you’ll miss a truly original depiction of masturbation as an act of self-absorption.(And if you do not get the pun after viewing, please just leave quietly.) Date Rape Steve Stofflet, experimental video short, 10 min., 1996 Autumn in Vienna Nate Hershberger, experimental video short, ?? min., 1997 Splatter Movie Mike Kuchar, experimental video short, 19 min., 1997

Devil worship, vodka drinking, casual fucking in a dungeon, S&M lite, knives, razors and chains, a crazed cleaver-wielding penis whomper, cute young boys and Kembra Pfahler…all set to a disco beat. Just another Saturday night get-together at Mike’s.

5:30

Shorts Program Pump With A Chump Modi & Adam Cohen, experimental video short, 3 min., 1996ish Tattooed muscleboy Henry Rollins as the trainer from hell, working out whiney Manny Chevrolet, who clearly wishes he’d stuck to his Buns of Steel home videos. Angels? Tommy!, 16mm narrative short, 15 min., 1996 Is there anything “Christian” about rock music? The Green Angels think so, until they meet the fiendish Lew Siffer, who becomes their agent and turns them into the most infamous band of doped-up Black Magic rock monsters of all time! Based on a story by God-fearing cartoonist Jack Chick, the film blows the whistle on this horrible occult conspiracy. The Bike Candace Corelli, 16mm narrative short, 22 min., 1996B For Henry, his new bike becomes a means of getting a job and maybe even a girlfriend. For the guy who steals it, the bike’s a bus ticket to Florida. For the guy who buys the stolen bike, it’s a cheap weight loss program. For the artist who finds it next, the bike becomes a sculpture. A painfully funny look at a New York anxiety attack. The Strange Little Man Who Lives in My Father’s Lab Joe Winston, narrative short, 6 min., 1996 One day, a mysterious eccentric armed with a briefcase, typewriter and some scientific texts showed up at a University of Chicago physics lab and pretended to work there. Every business day for five years, he quietly pounded out page after page of nonsensical pseudo-physics. A hidden video camera followed him as he “worked” in the lab. Watch Me Jumpstart Banks Tarver, video documentary short, 36 min., 1996

Ohio band Guided By Voices started as a fantasy of Robert Pollard and some of his friends. In the ’70s, they wrote lyrics, made t-shirts and posters for a band that didn’t exist. Eventually the music did start to happen, but the hand-made quality never stopped. They did record, and pressed a few hundred records, handcrafting all the albums sleeves. The band occasionally played out locally and somehow, without much effort or promotion, the word got out about how good this psychedelic garage-pop band was. Pollard writes lyrics obsessively (he thinks he’s probably written 5,000 songs since he was a kid) and those amazing songs are why the band’s now touring the country and selling out the big clubs.

7:15

WORLD PREMIERE!
Out of the Loop Scott Petersen, documentary video feature, 90 min., 1997

One month the Next Big Thing in Music is coming out of Minneapolis. Then it’s Athens. Then Austin. Then Olympia. Then it’s Seattle. Then it’s Chicago. Who starts this buzz, these frantic rumors that suddenly have A&R guys waving contracts in the faces of bands who were playing an early show at a local bar just last month? Using interviews and exclusive live footage from eleven Chicago bands, plus insights from club owners, rock critics and record producers, Out of the Loop examines the “hot music town” phenomenon as it affects Chicago musicians.

Petersen talked at length to, among others, Steve Albini, rock critic Bill Wyman, The Jesus Lizard, Eleventh Dream Day, The Pulsars, Seam, Triple Fast Action, The Wesley Willis Fiasco and Yum Yum to get their take on how and why the next magical musical town is chosen. The musicians also tell of major label woes, indie label poverty, band breakups, and the constant struggle to define “integrity”, l et alone maintain it. Fascinating, thought-provoking and honest, Out of the Loop also gives you that rare thing in music-related documentaries… you get to see bands perform entire songs, instead of 10-second snippets!

Shown With

An Incredible Simulation (the trailer)

Jeff Economy/Russ Forster/Darren Hacker/Dan Sutherland, video documentary, 4 min., 1997

An exploration of the phenomena that are tribute bands, featuring Strutter, Prezence, Lightning & Thunder and others.

9:00 PM

Driver 23 Rolf Belgum,video documentary, 72 min., 1996 Dan Cleveland, a deliveryman and guitarist with the short-lived metal band Dark Horse, is obsessed with making it in music, though he rarely plays outside of his cramped basement, which is filled with homemade weight machines and a recording studio built with old suitcases, duct tape and foam. But he’s trapped by his “disorder”, which causes setback after setback. Living with a wife who always wears clown makeup probably doesn’t help, either. shown with

ROCK & ROLL PUNK- THE TRAILER

10:45 PM

The Bride of Frank Steve Ballot, narrative video feature, 90 min., 1996 Guaranteed to permanently alter your perception of a “buddy movie”! From the very first scene, involving a trusting little girl and a creepy old toothless guy in a truck, to the very last (where you see how much more ghastly attached body parts can be than dismembered ones) this is one mind-altering gore fest. Meet Frank…he may be scruffy, toothless and pretty stinky, but at the trucking company where he works and lives, he’s one of the guys. They throw him a birthday party, buy him lots of tasteful gifts (inflatable sheep come in very handy on lonely nights) and take him out to a strip joint. They even write a personals ad for him and take messages from the women who answer. Soon, Frank’s on his way to meeting the large-breasted girl of his dreams.

The problem is, Frank’s a man of his word, even when it comes to what sounds like a crude, empty threat. (Ever hear “I’m gonna cut off your head and shit down your neck!” Uh huh…). “Happily, Steve Ballot isn’t afraid to announce that he’s one sick, talented fuck…surprisingly well-lensed, with a large cast that isn’t afraid to dump their dignity for their art. One of the most joyously abrasive films of the year!’ (Steve Puchalski, Shock Cinema)