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Crispin Glover at the Cinematheque

Crispin Glover. photo: Wendy Dallian

Multitalented actor, director, writer, Crispin Glover (River's Edge, Back to the Future, The Doors, The People vs Larry Flynt, Hot Tub Time Machine, Charlie's Angels) will be at the Pacific Cinematheque for three evenings Jan 14, 15, and 16 with his second feature film It is Fine! EVERYTHING IS FINE.

It is Fine! EVERYTHING IS FINE is a transgressive yet tender psycho-sexual tale of disability and fantasy starring the late screenwriter and cerebral palsy sufferer Steven C. Stewart. Each screening will be preceded by an hour-long audiovisual performance/presentation by Mr. Glover: Crispin Hellion Glover's big Slide Show Part 1 on January 14, and Crispin Hellion Glover's Big Slide Show Part 2 on January 16.”

Today as I sat in the hotel lobby waiting for my interview with Crispin Glover I thought about all the films I'd seen him in over the years. I'd been a big fan since River's Edge and was a little nervous about meeting him in person. I had no idea what to expect.
Sure, I'd heard a number of stories over the years, the usual celebrity slam, but I've always preferred to come to my own conclusions about people.

I found him smart, focused, sensitive, and interesting.

WD: Can you tell us a little about your show?

CG: There are two different films that I'll be showing: Part 1 “What is it?” on Saturday, and then Part 2 “It is Fine” on Friday and Sunday. I perform different live shows before the films: Crispin Hellion Glover's Big Slide Show Part 1 (Friday and Saturday) and then Crispin Hellion Glover's Big Slide Show Part 2 I'll be performing on Sunday.

I have many different heavily illustrated books of which the images will be projected behind me as I dramatically narrate them. Crispin Hellion Glover's Big Slide Show Part 1 I've been  performing since 1993. There are eight different books and it's an hour long performance. Crispin Hellion Glover's Big Slide Show Part 2 I've been still working on and performing more recently but it's starting to be right.

I had taken old books from the 1800s and reworked them and turned them into different books from what they originally were and heavily illustrated them. When I started publishing the books in 1988 people would tell me I should have a book reading, but because the books are so heavily illustrated it made sense to have the illustrations projected behind me. Ever since I performed it it's gone very well.

There's a small film festival in Olympia Washington that had a retrospect of the work I'd done up to that point and they brought me up there. I thought, oh this will be the right time to perform Slide Show and it went very well and I've been performing it off and on ever since. I realized it was a good way to self distribute my films.

The first film, What is it?, which I premiered at Sundance (Film Festival) in 2005 and have been touring with since that time, is my reaction to the constraints that have happened within the corporate film funding and distribution industry. Where in anything that can possibly make an audience member uncomfortable, will necessarily be excised or that film will not be corporately funded or distributed.

I think that's a really damaging thing because it's that moment when an audience member sits back in their chair and looks up at the screen and thinks, “is this right what I'm watching? Is this wrong what I'm watching? Should I be here? Should the filmmaker have done this? What is it?”

What is it? That's the name of the film. What is it that is taboo in culture? What does it mean when the taboo has been corporately excised. It's damaging because when people are asking questions there's a genuine education going on. To have a lack of questions being asked is the opposite of education: perhaps, and I don't like to stress it too much, propaganda. I think more or less, that's what's happening in corporate media at large.

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