Chicago Underground Film Festival 1998 Program



WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 12  |  BACK TO PROGRAM INDEX


THE FINAL PRODUCT Tommy Burg

Short, Super-8, 12 min., 1981/98, CHICAGO PREMIERE

So what do you do on a boring Saturday afternoon? Hit the nearby used record store…find some Sinatra, some Sid Vicious, play them real loud, mess around with your hair, get real rough with a mannequin…just turn into Satan Jr. for a few hours. Ah, innocent youth possessed by evil music-and you thought it was all Judas Priest’s fault.

TAXI Jeffrey Williams

Experimental, Video, 5 min., 1998, WORLD PREMIERE!

A visceral ride in the back seat of a New York City cab, capturing the relentless grind of working with an anonymous public. Making you realize that your off-hand comments and stabs at self-importance are someone else’s living nightmare.

ROADHEAD Bob Sabiston & Tommy Pallotta

Animation, Video, 13 min., 1998, CHICAGO PREMIERE

Filmmakers Bob Sabiston & Tommy Pallotta (Tommy directed the CUFF ’96 feature The High Road) take a cross-country tour from New York to Texas along the way they interview people who cross their path and using the latest digital technology turn them into ever-changing animated cartoon characters.

SOUTHSIDE SIGNS Jake Austen

Short, Video,  4 min., 1998, WORLD PREMIERE!

Jake Austen takes you on an armchair tour of primitive art at its best: graphics found on shopkeepers’ store signs on the south side of Chicago.

BOOGIE MAN Willie Laszlo

Experimental, Video, 6 min., 1997, U.S. PREMIERE

To a dance crazy woman, and an impressionable young boy, he’s their boogie man. And he’s there to do whatever he can…

DOWN CLARK STREET Tom Palazzolo Documentary, Video, 25 min., 1998

Legendary Chicago filmmaker Tom Palazzolo returns to the street that made him in this elegiac look at Chicago history.  Once the home to the hard-living and often hard-of-luck, the  blocks of Clark between the river and Chicago Ave.  now boast the likes of The Hard Rock Cafe’ and Planet Hollywood. The area has really gone downhill!  Cutting footage he took while living the neighborhood with recently shot video of the same geographic locations, Palazzolo tells his street’s stories — from racy burlesque houses to lonely cafes — and the neighbors who frequented them.


  6:00 PM   Dysfunctional Relationships

KILLING HEINZ Stefan Eling Animation, 35mm, 3 min. 1996

A man rents an exciting video and heads off for home.  Dodging the usual sidewalk catastrophes he discovers the real danger in his video box.

GOD SAYS SO Marjore Kaye

Short, 35mm, 7 min., 1997, CHICAGO PREMIERE

A little girl attempts to take revenge on her sister for being born. At least one viewer of this film has commented to the director, “You made that? you’re evil.”

BALLS OUT! Tara Spartz

Short, 16mm, 7 min., 1998, CHICAGO PREMIERE

Sunshine and her misfit gal pals are having a very crappy day. Sunshine lost the Miss KFC contest, and now they’ve blown a tire on the way home. With only two bucks to their names, the girls enter a pinball tournament with a $500 prize. Is there any chance they’ll beat the local geeks, freaks, and malcontents?

AUTOMATON Matthew T.

Short, 16mm, 18 min., 1998, WORLD PREMIERE!

The story of one poor schmuck’s day and the abuse he receives for breathing.

TEN THOUSAND BUDDHAS Ricardo Villegas

Short, 16mm, 27 min., 1997, CHICAGO PREMIERE

Holding on, gritting her teeth, through all the black eyes and bruised backs, Ring a mail order bride from China, struggles to live with her abusive husband. Once she believed the beatings were worth the American life that she was giving her six year old daughter. Finally, she realizes that she must escape his psychotic control before it is too late. Ten Thousand Buddhas includes mail order brides, an abusive tree-surgeon and a scene in Wal-Mart. What more do you want?


YEAR OF THE PIG Greg McKean and Dan Sykes

Documentary, Video, 81 min., 1998, CHICAGO PREMIERE

A savagely funny political documentary about present day Cambodia, shot in true guerilla filmmaking style. Join the directors as they take you on a kaleidescopic journey through this collapsing society. While focusing on the breakdown of the U.N. sponsored democratic government and the American-run Cambodia Daily newspaper, the filmmakers also find time to move a pregnant prostitute into their house, attempt to buy a used tank and find work in a slaughterhouse. Year Of The Pig  illustrates the historical inability of Western ideals to survive the deadly game of Eastern politics.


PURGATORY COUNTY George Ratliff

Feature, 35mm, 92 min., 1997, CHICAGO PREMIERE

A ’90s noir western tale of prophecy, matricide and the economics of emu ranching, set in a one-horse Texas podunk town. The town is inhabited by Duane, an ineffectual sheriff, his psychotic brother Perkins and their Mama, a mean-spirited, bedridden, chain-smoking miser who makes Mother Bates look like Mother Teresa. After a mysterious newcomer leads Duane into a plot to free him of Mama’s control, the weird factor gets cranked up to eleven, turning the tiny town upside down. It’s a season in hell, but more fun, and with better music.


 

HERD MENTALITY Mark Hejnar

Documentary, Video, 45 min., 1998, WORLD PREMIERE!

A document of the noise band Pile Of Cows who terrorized the Chicago music scene from 1982-1993. Brief live performance clips are juxtaposed with short films and videos for which the unit produced soundtracks creating a springboard for director Hejnar’s twisted world view.

Shown with:

THE SPEECH: BY THE SWEET YOUNG BEEPER Usama Alshaibi

Experimental, Video, 5 min., 1998, WORLD PREMIERE!

Trippy characters with lots of makeup strut their stuff in this offbeat experimental video. Who needs another film about angry men in a diner when people like Usama are fully prepared to make films about ducks, soup ladles, and everyone’s favorite taboo, foot fetish with a side order of rubber gloves?

CHEESECAKE Huck Botko

Documentary, Video, 8 min., 1998 CHICAGO PREMIERE

Two years ago, in Huck Botko’s movie Fruitcake, he had winos spit in the fruitcake batter before baking up the holiday treat for his father. Last year he served Baked Alaska with roadkill in it to his mother. What does this year’s Cheesecake have in store for Botko’s sister? See for yourself, in the most appalling installation in this sicko film series yet.

“Just like it’s in Michael Moore’s power to be the knight in shining armor in his movies, it’s in my power to be a psycho.” –Director Huck Botko

HUBCAP Anie “Super-8” Stanley & Patty Chang

Experimental, Super8, 6 min., 1997 CHICAGO PREMIERE

Originally conceived as an answer to some sick need for queer horror, filmmakers Anie Stanley and Patty Chang ended up making something far more terrifying than your run-of-the-mill slasher flick.

WE HATE YOU LITTLE BOY Janene Higgins

Experimental, Video, 4 min., 1998, CHICAGO PREMIERE

A young lad is the catalyst for latent emotions resulting in a vague, nameless fear, depicted in stark black and white with relentless biting text.

“Like propaganda this video manages to muster hatred; either that or penis envy.” –Tessa Hughes-Freeland, Paper Magazine

TV MINISTRY Mark Hejnar

Documentary, Video, 12 min., 1997, CHICAGO PREMIERE

A satirical look at a Calumet City organization that believes television is God. Interviews with the cult’s members are intercut with the director’s personal TV obsessions to create an ironic media study.


  9:00 PM   Home is Where the (Bloody) Heart Is

SPLIT Erik Deutschman

Experimental, 16mm, 12 min., 1997 CHICAGO PREMIERE

A delirious experimental narrative illustrating an intimate, implosive exploration of a man confronting the nature of his physical existence. Looks a lot like your last bad acid trip.

CLOVEN HOOFED Dietmar Post

Short, 16mm,12 min., 1998, CHICAGO PREMIERE

Ray is a desperate man who has finished with the world. There are only two things that concern him – his next hit of crack and revenge on his girlfriend who took off with his pipe. As Ray’s withdrawal fueled paranoia increases he sharpens his knife for the big showdown.

MEAT Jim Turner

Short, 16mm, 20 min., 1998, WORLD PREMIERE!

Reclusive, introverted Michael loves meat. Not eating it…working with it, relishing the textures, the balance of flesh and fat. He can get away with it; he’s a butcher, after all. But it’s a very private fetish until the day odd, elusive Edith comes into the shop and buys four whole cow’s tongues. His dream woman at last? Or just another carnivore with intense eyes and peculiar eating habits?

HOME Douglas Buck

Short, 16mm, 29 min., 1998, CHICAGO PREMIERE

From the director of last year’s disturbing Cutting Moments, comes this tale of familial horror. Home  depicts the mental deterioration of a father haunted by painful memories of his own childhood. As the demons within grow stronger and the past intrudes on the present, he is driven by forces beyond his control to bring his family to God and perfection.


¡AARDVARK! Ken Hegan

Short, Video, 47 min., 1997, CHICAGO PREMIERE

¡Aardvark! is a mockumentary about two scheming actors that try to stage a play for a local festival. They can’t write, so they forget the script, hire a publicist, have a drunken fund-raiser, and hype their play to death. From the director of William Shatner Lent Me His Hairpiece-An Untrue Story and the award winning Farley Mowatt Ate My Brother.

Shown with:

SPICE GUYS, “SAY YOU’LL BRING BEER” Bob Stewart

Short, Video, 6 min., 1998, CHICAGO PREMIERE

Five armchair quarterbacks take a cue from the latest British Invasion and set out to become popstars.

FART Shawn Durr

Short, Video, 21 min., 1998, WORLD PREMIERE!

Local sickie Shawn Durr brings you a bizarro dark comedy about the beleagured Bobby Hoochie, and his desire to be left alone with his rolls of duct tape. He is incessantly besieged by the sick desires of univited guests.

HOOFBOY Will Keenan

Short, 16mm,18 min., 1998, WORLD PREMIERE!

THE film for Dr. Scholl’s Museum habitués.  A glimpse into the life of the podiatically well-endowed Hoofboy (Will Keenan star of last year’s CUFF opener Love God, and the cult hit Tromeo and Juliet). He courts pedicurists, cobblers, and foot fetishists in an attempt to find a woman who can see beyond his shoe size.


  11:00 PM   Cinematic Sideshow

KITTY PUNCH Andrew J. Schlussel

Short, 16mm, 8 min., 1998, CHICAGO PREMIERE

A hapless man is enlisted to sit for his girlfriend’s cat while she’s away. However, Kitty’s libido ensures that he won’t do much sitting…as the heat turns up, he finds himself stroking Kitty in a whole new direction.

HEADLESS AT THE FAIR David Blood

Short, 35mm, 10 min., 1998, CHICAGO PREMIERE

A dark comedic tale of two naive girls who take a retarded wheelchair-bound boy to the fair on a mission of mercy.  When a strange little man befriends them, one girl’s jealous boyfriend loses his head.

WHY DO YOU EXIST? Nick Zedd

Experimental, 16mm,  15 min., 1998, CHICAGO PREMIERE

An effervescent incandescence of underground life forms, (among them Dr. Ducky Doolittle, a breathtakingly buxom and bodacious bundle of bombast; Kembra Pfahler; the Blue Legume and criminal doodler and nudist-about-town Mike Diana) brought together by the director to ignite your libido in a pulse-pounding pandemonium of palpitating pulchritude.

WHEELS OF FURY Dan Dinello, Paul Dinello and Mitch Rouse

Short, 16mm,  15 min., 1998, CHICAGO PREMIERE

Wheel-chair bound sheriff Pepper Mills lost her husband in a gun-battle with outlaw Colin Boils.  Now, tracking him across the wild west on her wicker wheels, she meets up with cowboy Dusty Bits — a man who can offer her more than a steady push.  Together, the two bring new meaning to the term Spaghetti Western.

FREEWORLD Patrick Harrison

Short, 16mm,  25 min., 1998, WORLD PREMIERE!

The year is 2023 and Canada has not existed for twenty years.  Before being granted full United States of North American citizenship, newly-enfranchised Canadian-Americans Hiroko Doko and Flick Hedwing must serve two years of military service in the USNA army.  Their mission is to track down a man-hunting robot before it captures hapless northerners with it’s hockey-stick bait.  However, with obstacles like a renegade army of Québécois and remote-controlled torture devices. Hiroko and Flick may never gain their legal citizenship.

After Party at Liar’s Club, 1665 West Fullerton Ave.