CELLULOID #1 Steve Staso
Feature 35mm 79:00 2006 Chicago Premiere
Clayton Beaubien has become a shell of the brilliant artistic renegade of his youth following his dazzling film debut, Delusion #1, and he is desperate to resuscitate his auteur credentials with a conceptual piece exploiting the theory of “soft celebrity.” His willing victim is self-proclaimed film star Caprice Geoffries, who is suffering a celebrity diet of press, drugs and commercial mediocrity. He understands the emotional upheaval of her “daddy” issues, the strain of her absentee husband and the self-loathing of her “titled” social standing.
This film is a confetti of passionate references to the genius of Warhol, and the era of The Hustler, as well as the glory of black-and-white. Celluloid #1 is ultimately about cinema and how it captures us. As Caprice says, “It’s us in our glamour and us in our disease.” This film plays to our tawdry addiction to today’s “soft celebrity” culture, which is stuck like bubble gum to the soles of our shoes.
“If you are as sick as I am of two-bit Warhol biopics featuring anyone who so much as drove by his studio in the ’60s, go see Steve Staso’s Celluloid #1… It’s Staso’s ability to walk the line between exploiting the coolness of celebrity and mocking its emptiness that makes this a gas. For once, Andy would be proud.” – Steve Palopoli, metroactive.com