Video Reviews
by Crispin Glover, David Brothers
Volcanic Eruptions (2007)
10 / 10
Crispin Glover seems to have this love of old-fashioned difficulty in his aesthetic and behavior--I'm thinking back to a time when I knew a keen frustration as a child without cable television, asked if I'd seen the video to Thriller or something like that. . . or no, I'm thinking back even further to a time before my life when my friendships held strong by email would have been maintained solely as physical epistolary relationships. . . or even further back, when people thought it was hot shit to get an orange for Christmas. Imagine making that orange last all year, like that little scrap kid in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I digress.

To see It is fine! EVERYTHING IS FINE., effectually, Crispin Glover in all his beautiful, awkward-fierce-chair-pose glory must be present. I deduce the reasons for this from the following information he gave the audience after he screened It is fine! EVERYTHING IS FINE.:
1. The gorgeous movies he's making these days are shot on film, a now unusual medium which is difficult and expensive to develop.
2. He funds his films himself, which is an expensive and incredible labor of love, but grants him utmost creative control. He is working for no greater company.
3. By charging $20 a seat to view his films, he hopes to recoup some of his financial losses.
4. He wishes to address any issues or frustrations people may have with the content or subject matter of his films, in an informal question-and-answer session after the screening. Such care; such love is put into the product and its presentation. The creative/destructive artistic process of making a product and then promoting it is alleviated by his increased communication with his cultural consumers. Glover is not in his gorgeous silk pyjamas at home, drinking Turkish coffee from a Fabergé egg, reading reviews on the internet--rather, he's asking us as an audience to relate what we've just processed, right away, after the screening. What an incredible treat, all for $20! How much are movies these days, like $12 or something like that?

So basically, since it's really, really difficult to see It is fine! EVERYTHING IS FINE., I'll do a quick plot synopsis, which is not my custom, and if you don't like SPOILERS, don't read this paragraph:
The film starts with footage of people in wheelchairs of varying ages, though mostly older than middle aged, in hospital-like setting (i.e. nursing home/hospital/whatever)--one of these people is on the floor; a man who has fallen out of his wheelchair and has difficulty speaking conventionally coherently. This man, Steven C. Stewart, has an extreme case of cerebral palsy, and has difficulty with the simple and fluid movements to which those of us not affected by CP are so accustomed. He cannot get back into the chair and is calling for help. Next, we see him at some sort of dance or event, and, despite the fact his speech is difficult for many to understand, he strikes up a candid conversation with a post-conventionally-attractive-but-still-got-something woman. They go on dates and become close, but not intimate, until he eventually kills her when she denies his request for marriage. Then he gets seduced by her late-teenage daughter, who he also kills (and you get your first glimpse at his wiener), and a bunch of other women, all of whom he kills as well, and then there is a grand climax where you see his penis going blatantly into this beautiful woman's vagina--and then he kills that girl too, creatively, and has some weird fantasy about riding his wheelchair up a mountain, holding onto a woman's beautiful long hair. She cuts her hair off and he falls down the mountain. There's more, but I've said too much already!!! Hair issues especially. This picture is pertinent:

There are boring and expected questions that come with this movie, that thankfully Glover cleared up without anyone needing to ask (mostly)--like, is this exploitative of Stewart's condition? No, because Steven C. Stewart, wrongfully hospitalized at 20 years of age and barred from leaving, wrote the script in which he acted. It was his choice to show his wiener. Does Stewart hate women, because he's always killing them in his movie? No, Stewart (who died a month after they finished filming) wrote a disclaimer saying that he didn't hate woman or want to kill them--that part of the movie is exactly that: part of a fictitious movie, meant for entertainment more than as a self-exploration exercise. Is this movie a commentary on people with CP? Of course not--CP is so common and such a varied condition that it would be like saying Gone With the Wind is about women just because there's a female protagonist. Did Stewart actually put his penis in an actual vagina on film, or were those body doubles? Hell yeah, dude put his penis in an actual vagina! It was on point!!!

It is fine! EVERYTHING IS FINE. was a real treat to watch, so beautifully shot, so well acted, and so so so INTERESTING. Such a treat. Glover killed it and everyone's got to see his next movie It Is Mine. I feel like I get so bored in movies these days--perhaps you've read me bitching about that (I'm thinking of Kevin Smith). It is fine! EVERYTHING IS FINE. was not a movie to get bored in. I even saw some people walk out during the penis-rawdog-in-pretty-lady's-vagina scene!!! John Waters was in the audience, and everyone kept calling him out--first Glover, who was gushing about what a treat it was that he was there and what an incredible lunch the two had together, and then some dude burned him by standing up and announcing that Glover's film made Waters' early work pale in comparison--but my favorite question was asked by a notorious and wild-eyed man who wanted to know what was up with the ultra-hermetic screening and promotion styles, and wouldn't he get more viewers if he just let these obscure films leak to the internet--or at least show them in theaters? This was an epic conversation bubbling up--the whole should-creative-product-be-free-and-available-to-all versus should-the-creators-be-paid-handsomely-for-the-fruits-of-their-labors--that Glover smashed down right away, tooth-to-sweet. He is so much of an older era, when creators were used to making money off their work, maybe through royalties or contracts or money from production companies or whatever, and he truly believes illegal downloading killed the record industry. Here I have a mental picture of Crispin Glover and Trent Reznor (another vocal proponent of anti-piracy laws) on a sloop, slooping. Sloop sloop slooping. Alonggggg. Singing songs, maybe?

I like good people to win lots of money for the cool things they make, but I have expected them to get it like I expect the government to do nice things for everybody. Let's never hold our breath and let's sloop sloop sloop along onto the internet and all become robots and cyborgs with portable connections to the datasphere and all our self-cataloguing that lies therein. I'm serious as cancer. It's just a shame Crispin Glover and Trent Reznor and Madonna all these amazing witches and wizards from their generation have to eat, huh? Days like these, it behooves you to be crafty for money, not just creative.
Posted by: Ann Everton

Video Reviews (November 28th, 2009)

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