Monday, January 17, 2011
welcome back to the land of the surreal
crispin glover has gone and snared me into his web of weird again. but this time, i took sean with me. not that that was difficult, because sean is a big fan of the glover too.
the last time i went to experience (and yes, i consciously chose the word "experience", rather than "see") crispin hellion glover's big slide show I + what is it? in 2008, i ended up walking out during the movie. i left feeling visually assaulted and slightly disappointed that my vision of him was now tarnished. how could such brilliance produce such a hot mess?
well, looks like its effect on me wore off because here i go again.
crispin glover returned to vancouver this past weekend at the pacific cinémathèque for a 3 day bender of his slideshows and 2 movies that he directed, what is it? and it is fine. everything is fine! each night offered a different combination of his works, so that all the bandwagoners who've seen him recently as the red knight in tim burton's alice in wonderland last year can have the opportunity to catch up and experience all his works.
sean and i went to the sunday night screening of big slideshow II + it is fine. everything is fine!. i had given sean a HUGE caveat about how delightfully and astonishingly bizarre crispin glover is IRL. so he braced himself, but even then....
the night began with big slideshow II. or should i say, it started mistakenly as big slideshow I. realizing the technical gaffe, crispin asked us if we would like him to continue on or load in the correct one. the audience hooted, hollered and clapped for big slideshow II, so crispin glover complied by running up to the projection room and switching over to the correct slideshow. and we got a sneak peek at what crispin glover has on his mac laptop's desktop. what is that folder called betrothed, i wonder??
the dramatic readings slash performance art were, once again, enormously entertaining. lots of laughs, not only from the wackodoo train of thoughts, but also from glover, stomping spastically across the stage, yelling earnestly and gesticulating wildly and dramatically with each frame. if you were to read just his books (without the accompanying presentation), you'd probably couldn't make heads or tails out of it.
i was thoroughly impressed with:
a) how well he's keeping. he's 46 years old but standing up there in his stylish black suit, white shirt and skinny black tie with foppish hair, you'd never guess it. the man is a dandy of a vampire. he doesn't age.
b) that he was able to recite all the content (for the most part) without looking at the text on screen. even though he's been touring with his books for years and knows the material inside and out, it was still a feat.
c) for his entire recitation, he did not have one drink of water. how he could speak for over an hour and not have cottonmouth, i don't know. another feat.
having taken public speaking classes last year, i can further appreciate crispin glover's ability to get up in front of an audience of a couple hundred, talk about a subject for an hour+ and not be afraid to make a fool out of himself. can i get a hell yea?
crispin glover read from 8 of his books. one called round my house, about tom wiswell, his negroid slave, mollusks in the bathtub and going to court over all the bad juju being brought into his house. once vindicated, the reader was "free like a skeleton with no skin". i shall have to find an opportunity where i can toss that phrase into my everyday conversation.
for the land of sunshine, glover went on a verbal tirade, narrating images from the book by forcefully belting out the entire thing in german. it was coming out like machine gun bullets. rat-a-tat-tat-tat! at times, it sounded almost like gibberish. bizarre but hilarious!
no idea really what the story was about, but the delivery was side-splitting.
the one that packed a wallop was rat catching. glover narrating slides with sepia-like images of rats in various stages of dissection. he's going along energetically, then comes across an image of a dead baby bird, points sharply to said image and like a madman, screams, "chickeeeeeeeeee!" funnily enough, this was the thing that stood out for me and sean. we practically screamed this out at the same time, shortly after leaving the theatre.
i can't say this enough. if you ever have a chance to see crispin glover doing his dramatic readings, go! it will be the highlight of your day. enjoyable and utterly unforgettable.
a dramatic reading from crispin hellion glover
whereas sean and i sat transfixed by his readings, i'd have to say we felt like we were held hostage watching it is fine. everything is fine! sean hadn't seen glover's directorial debut, what is it?, and found this sophomore work disturbing and not easy to watch. i had to tell him this was a walk in the park compared to the first one. at least this one had a semi-coherent story, although i'd agree with sean that it was not easy to sit through. and as sean said afterwards, the image of a man with a severe case of cerebral palsy in all manners of flagrante delicto will be burned into your mind's eye. and haunt you right before you go to sleep. i guess we were taken aback by his full frontal nudity. and getting blown. and being ridden. by buck naked women. plus throw in serial murder and a dash of necrophilia.
this is second in a trilogy series. i'm almost afraid to see what the third film will look like when it's done. but knowing me, i'll go. because it's crispin glover. and it's now proven that my admiration for this oddball obviously has no bounds.
crispin glover singing to his buddy ben in willard
...but perhaps just for his dramatic readings. because it's brilliant and so damn funny. it could only be made more stupendous if crispin glover were to sing.