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Returning the Favor - De File
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
Returning the Favor
Last night, Jillian and I got back late after the Q+A and book-signing that followed the screening of Crispin Hellion Glover's film What Is It? at The Loft. As sittinginaroom recently pointed out, the picture is ten times stranger than you think it's going to be and its creator ten times more normal. The title is apt. I'm still floating in the backwash of the question. But I'm happy, because I was able to see an artist present his work and then represent it afterwards. Presence makes a huge difference in this case as well.

Since the next stops on Glover's tour are in San Francisco and Seattle, where I have a few readers, I'll do a little promotion. Glover's slide show before the screening, in which he reads from his wonderful books of "detourned" found material, is delightful. And he has a wonderful manner. I've never seen a more gracious artist. The film is hard to take, but its framing did a lot to ease the discomfort. Besides, as Glover pointed out during the discussion, our world could stand to be a little less comfortable. After all, it's not as if the comforts extended by mass-mediated society are making many of us genuinely happy.

Mode: broken through
Muse: the afterthrob of rain

9 comments or Leave a comment
slanderous From: slanderous Date: April 25th, 2005 04:36 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
He was sooo good in Back to the Future.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: April 25th, 2005 04:41 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I agree. But What Is It?had mega fans in the audience freaking out about the implications of their devotion. I mean, wow. It's like every taboo favored by hardcore punks shoved in your face for 90 minutes without a hint of slacking. Wow.
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 25th, 2005 05:40 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I saw him screen the workprint a few years ago (apparently the changes have been minimal), and was pretty underwhelmed. I like his manipulated texts and everything, but the film just seemed like base shock cinema. I hung out with him afterwards, and he was fully embracing his oddball persona...until my friend and I's girlfriends showed up, at which point he dropped it *completely* and was all into asking them if they wanted to join him for drinks. They walked away, and he lapsed right back into weirdo mode. I went from collecting "Mr. Density" zines to not really caring about CG pretty quickly, I was shocked at how calculated it seemed.

A friend of mine is in charge of babysitting Glover while he's in town (staying at the Motel 6!), but I still haven't gotten any good stories beyond "he's impossible." But I will.

yours truly,
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: April 25th, 2005 05:59 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I'm still undecided on the film. I do think that the darkening of our times makes it easier to embrace the message behind its creation. Still, Weimar decadence is Weimar decadence. What would Lukacs do?

I have to say, though, that he seemed totally post-weirdo. Maybe it's from a craven attempt to make a buck, but there were no signs of the oddness we've all heard tales about. Perhaps he has different meds?
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 25th, 2005 03:49 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Maybe he couldn't keep it up for another decade, or maybe things like "Charlie's Angels" snapped him into an acceptance of normalcy. I guess he drives a brand new Cadillac conververtible (he drove it out here), which seems sorta weird in a different way to me.

cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: April 25th, 2005 06:03 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Well, he is a minor movie star. The car thing doesn't seem that odd to me. All I can say is that he was engaging and fun to see live. I'm not going to walk too far to defend the movie, though I am glad I saw it.
From: sittinginaroom Date: April 25th, 2005 09:53 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Check my article in the AZ Daily Wildcat for defense/opinion/interview with Glover. I will say that I'm not a reliable source regarding Glover's normalcy: I met him as a journalist, which means he's invested in not freaking me out and getting as much publicity as possible for his film. His film is, after all, $150,000 in the hole and sinking. And, as he pointed out, he's not so wealthy that he can just throw that money away.

Also, I heard the same rap from him that I'm sure every reporter hears. He's got his interview banter down to a glossy sheen, so I'm sure he's regulated any "quirks."

That being said, I think "What is It?" is more fruitful to look at in terms of its reflexivity, as opposed to whether or not it's "shocking" or ethical. Because its not exactly either of those two things. It does, though, make me very uncomfortable and that, as everybody mentions, is worth something.
slanderous From: slanderous Date: April 26th, 2005 03:19 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I've heard some similar stories about him.
cpratt From: cpratt Date: April 25th, 2005 09:56 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Any info on the Seattle part? I can't find any info online...
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