Gosh, that Crispin Glover sure talks a lot.
I’m sure every single blog post about Crispin Glover at the Brattle a couple of weeks ago starts like that– I think, after he talked for a while, he said something along the lines of “just so you don’t go writing on the internet ‘that Crispin Glover sure talks a lot…'” before he took more audience questions (that wasn’t an exact quote, just a paraphrase). He *did* talk a lot. However, everything he said was really interesting and entertaining.
Back up. What was this all about?
I spent the 10th anniversary of 9/11 at the Brattle Theater watching Crispin Glover narrate his “Big Slide Show” and then show his 2007 film It Is Fine! EVERYTHING IS FINE!
OK, first I went to Tanya & Terrence’s post-wedding beach picnic on the Cape and then drove home and rode my bike to Cambridge to see Crispin Hellion Glover at the Brattle Theater. More about The Wedding Preparations That Spent Weeks Eating My Soul at another time (probably in a long rambling post that will come after [i.e., above] this one).
You may know Crispin Glover from starring in one of my all-time favorite movies, Willard. I liked Willard because it is about rats. Being born in the year of the rat, I relate well to Buddha’s Favorite Animal (so I’m told the rat was). I even had a pin that said “WWWD?” with the silhouette of a rat that I got from Newbury Comics– I was the only one who had any clue what it meant (and I had been working there the least amount of time)! Had Willard not been about rats would I have loved it so much? What if the eponymous protagonist had been able to communicate with wombats? Would I have liked it as much then? OK, bad example; that would have been AWESOME. What about… horses? I hate horses. Would it have rocked so much? Maybe not, but Crispin Glover has a way of making any movie awesome. Even Back To The Future, which I am still sore about having to have seen three times against my will (thanks a lot school, welfare camp and then school again for making us watch this movie). Not that BttF was a *bad* movie, just that as an impatient dorky 12 year old I would rather have, I don’t know, watched Monty Python & the Holy Grail for the 800th time or something.
Anyway, Crispin Glover’s slide show consisted of him narrating pages from his books. He’s written a bunch of books, or rather, created books– he takes books, most of them look like they’re from the Victorian era, and changes words around, omits bits and switches things so they become about something totally different. In short, it is SO COOL! It’s that kind of post-modern thing that sounds lame when you try to describe it, but is really nifty when you actually see it. I bought one book called Concrete Inspection that includes… pictures of medical procedures from the late 1800s? Truthfully, I can’t remember, though I read it more than once. I’ve been looking for the book for 3 days now. I can’t remember where I put it. Anyway, as a collector of surgery textbooks from the Victorian era I can appreciate it:
Ok, there’s my Flickr thing, I can’t link to individual photos anymore apparently. You’ll get to see an exciting photo of ELEPHANTIASIS OF THE SCROTUM, as is still the #1 search term that leads people to this blog. I was going to buy the book Rat Catcher, another one of C.H.G.’s books, near and dear to my heart because of the rodent theme, but I didn’t have enough cash on me and by the time I got back from the ATM, it had sold out. Alas.
Holy crap, I’ve been working on this entry for 3 weeks and I still haven’t finished it. Probably because I can’t think of enough ways to say that CRISPIN GLOVER IS AWESOME!!!
His movie was interesting, too– it was written by a guy with cerebral palsy as a sort of 1970s movie-of-the-night thing. As such, the plot was pretty straightforward, the dialogue was basic, and there was a lot of booty. A lot. Now I understand that CHG wants to break taboos, but breaking sexual taboos is the bread and butter of the amateur artist who wants to be “edgy.” Lord knows I’ve sat through enough student and barely-out-0f-art-school performance art pieces for weird visual sexual things to be totally blasé to me. Yes, I’m a jaded, cynical bitch. I hear the words “break taboos of [incest, rape, sex, etc.] and just yawn. Anyway, I must say that the sex scenes in this movie between a wheelchair-bound middle-aged guy with cerebral palsy and young hot chicks was just weird and disturbing enough for me to find kind of fascinating. The whole thing could have been totally tacky, but the stark yet striking art direction, the direction itself, and the soundtrack made it really cool. I’ve lamented the fact that the Allegretto from Beethoven’s Seventh symphony is way overused for dramatic effect in movies. In <i>Zardoz</i> it was just distracting. In <i>The King’s Speech</i> it seemed tawdry and like a cheap manipulative special effect. It Is Fine! EVERYTHING IS FINE! is the only movie in which I think Beethoven worked for and not against the filmmaker’s intentions. There was also a lot of of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, which was sort of weird at first because you’re used to hearing it either relating to Christmas things, or backing up prancing hippos and such. However, I think it totally worked, too. There was one scene with a girl whose apartment was decorated in arabesque arches and middle-eastern looking décor. She was wearing flowing harem pants, and the music to that particular scene was the “Arabesque” from the Nutcracker. At the book signing at the end, after I spent 2 hours in line because of course I was dead last (how predictable, me!), I asked CHG about the connection, figuring he had some deep reason for it since he seems like a totally analytical kind of guy. He said he hadn’t noticed that. I was actually kind of psyched that such a weird coincidence occurred! I also asked about his middle name, Hellion, because, as a name nerd, it always struck me as being really awesome. Yes, it is his real middle name. Rock on!