Cult Film History! The Last Pinoy Action King! (US Premiere!)
Australia | Documentary | 2016 | 97 minutes | Andrew Leavold, Daniel Palisa Part of a night of documentaries about Cult Film KINGS! With the Godzilla doc Hail to the King!
This one starts 6:00 pm, Thursday September 8!
This is a documentary about Filipino action star Rudy "Daboy" Fernandez. Yes, this probably has less to do with the horror genre than we tend to show, but it has everything to do with the wild world cinema gems we would see on video store shelves next to Horror. That fantastic section labeled, at least when I was a kid: CULT. For those of you who came to our special presentation of THE SEARCH FOR WENG WENG, you know there is something about the way Leavold and Palisa choose to angle their investigations into Filipino cinema that many here in the states would find obscure, or even bizarre. Their take, while not bereft of a sense of humor, casts a much wider net around the pop cultural, cultural, and even political circumstances surrounding these celluloid stars. This documentary lacks some of the pizazz of THE SEARCH FOR WENG WENG, but it is missing none of the earnestness, and more importantly it has the glimpses into a film industry and culture that we rarely get to see! THE LAST PINOY ACTION KING is an intimate and often heartbreaking portrait of one of the Philippines' most beloved screen icons. Official Website
Hail to the King: 60 Years of Destruction!
USA | Documentary | 2015 | 60 minutes | Kyle Yount Part of a night of Documentaries about Cult Film KINGS! With the Rudy "Daboy" Fernandez doc The Last Pinoy Action King!
This one starts at 10:00 pm, Thursday September 8!
HAIL TO THE KING: 60 YEARS OF DESTRUCTION is an independent crowd-funded documentary that celebrates the sixty-year legacy of the world's greatest monster, Godzilla. In July of 2014, Kyle Yount, die-hard Godzilla fan and the host of the internet's longest running podcast dedicated to the kaiju genre, launched the Kickstarter campaign in an attempt to fund the documentary. The modest goal of $8,000 was to take him to Tokyo to film Godzilla and kaiju-related events, locations and to interview cast, crew and fans of the Godzilla series about their passion and experiences with the King of the Monsters. Cast: Akira Takarada, Yoshio Tsuchiya, Akira Kubo, Yukiko Kobayashi, Shinpei Hayashiya
#157: Documenting Lives--A Conversation with Elstree 1976 Director Jon SpiraLast week, Horrible Imaginings presented a week of screenings of the new documentary Elstree 1976 at the Digital Gym Cinema here in San Diego, California. During the Saturday night screening, director Jon Spira graciously agreed to talk to the theater after the screening for a Q&A via Skype. What this meant for him was setting the alarm clock for 3:30 AM in the UK. It was an engrossing conversation, but Elstree 1976 wasn't the last film on the schedule that night and our Q&A was cut short. Partly because of this, I decided to contact Jon again on my own for a more in-depth podcast episode. What I got was one of the most involving and sincere conversations about cinema I've ever had. This could be one of the podcasts I am most proud of.
Incidentally, while editing last night I heard Jon pronounce his last name and I realized that I have been mispronouncing it for a very long time. I've been saying "Spira" with the Spanish "i": "Speera." I think it is correctly pronounced with a long "i." Sorry about that, Jon!
Anyway, as I was saying, this is an epic episode. As with the documentary Elstree 1976, it is more reflective and meditative, more philosophical. Listening to it again last night was an almost cathartic and intense experience. As you all know, yesterday was also the day we all found out about the ruinous mass shooting in Orlando where 50 people lost their lives. It was impossible not to have that on the back of my mind while editing this podcast, where Jon and I talk meticulously about how "every life is interesting" and how focusing on any one person in the crowd will reveal a beautifully complex and full life. The juxtaposition of these thoughts and the knowledge that 50 such lives were ruthlessly gunned down was an intoxicating emotional roller coaster. I have to dedicate this episode--one I am extremely proud of--to the people who lost their lives in Orlando yesterday.
Here are some of the main things we talk about:
1: Jon's most important interview project
2: The Q&A at Digital Gym Cinema
3: Unbelievable exhuastion
4: The challenge of depicting without exploiting
5: Documentarians and their power of manipulation
6: Truth Vs. Perspective
7: In defense of "talking heads"
8: The power of the close up on a human face
9: Infantilized culture
10: The internet age of film criticism
11: Audience expectations vs. challenging audiences
12: I DO go to bat for indie horror!
NOW LISTEN TO THE EPISODE HERE:
#137: Dark Star: HR Giger's WorldHello everyone! Angela and I got the chance to see Dark Star: H.R. Giger's World last night on the exact one year anniversary of Giger's death. Let it be known that we were quite affected by the film. Listen to our reaction--and we do avoid anything that could be called spoilers, even though this is just a film portrait of a fascinating man. Please go and see the documentary if it is playing anywhere near you. I am listing some dates here:
Opening theatrically in the U.S. and Canada in over 30 cities:
May 15-21 - New York, NY - Landmark Sunshine
May 15-21 - Los Angeles, CA - Landmark NuArt
May 15-21 - San Francisco, CA - Landmark Opera Plaza
May 15-21 - Berkeley, CA - Landmark Shattuck
May 15-21 - Providence, RI - Cable Car Cinema
May 22-28 - Long Beach, CA - The Frida Cinema
May 22-28 - San Diego, CA - Landmark Ken (my city gets bold. kisses, Miguel)
May 22-28 - Dallas, TX - Texas Theatre
May 23-26 - Austin, TX - Alamo Drafthouse
May 23-28 - Houston, TX - Alamo Drafthouse
May 28 - June 4 - Washington, D.C. - Landmark E St
May 28 - June 4 - Vancouver, BC - The Cinematheque
May 29 - June 4 - Denver, CO - Landmark (TBD)
May 28 - June 4 - Columbus, OH - Gateway Film Center
May 29 - June 4 - Philadelphia, PA - Landmark Ritz
May 28 - May 31 - Fort Worth, TX - Fort Worth Museum of Contemporary Art
View additional theatrical dates here:
Listen to the episode here:
#126: Searching for a 2'9" James Bond (And It Gets Emotional)
Scroll all the way down to play the episode!
There was a time where the most famous Filipino film export was (and still may be) a 2'9" James Bond-spoof action star by the name of Weng Weng. His films were international hits for the Philippines in the late 70s/early 80s, when their film industry was the second largest in the worlds, in terms of sheer cinematic output. Then, Weng Weng suddenly disappeared. By the 90s, anyone who even heard of Weng Weng only knew him as a sort of mythical figure of Filipino B-grade cinema. Who was he? Where did he come from? What happened to him?
It took a cinephile named Andrew Leavold to embark on a seven-year-long odyssey in the Philippines to try to find the answer to those questions. He got more than he bargained for. What started as a simple cult film curiosity turned into a look at the Filipino film industry, culture at large, and finally the humanity behind what most people consider worthless trash. His wonderful story is now a documentary called THE SEARCH FOR WENG WENG, and we are sponsoring its US and Canada tour this month, starting in San Diego this Saturday, 12/6 at Ken Cinema!
Andrew Leavold joins me to discuss:
Discovering cult film and Weng Weng.
How he made it to Manila.
Meeting the family and co-workers of Weng Weng.
How a cartoonish fascination became something far grander.
The importance of low brow cinema.
This is one of my favorite conversations!The documentary is brilliant--get San Diego Tickets WITH director in attendance here!
Other North America Dates!
Saturday 6th December - SAN DIEGO, Ken Cinema, 11.30pm (https://www.facebook.com/events/720267454732494/)
Tuesday 9th December - PHOENIX, FilmBar, 7.30pm (http://www.thefilmbarphx.com/event/707913-search-for-weng-weng-director-phoenix/)
Thursday 11th December - SAN FRANCISCO, opening film of FACINE/21: 21st Annual Filipino International Cina Festival at the Roxie, 7pm (http://www.roxie.com/ai1ec_event/facine21/?instance_id=5544 - tickets here: http://www.ticketweb.com/t3/sale/SaleEventDetail?dispatch=loadSelectionData&eventId=5466165)
Friday 12th December - CHICAGO, Chicago Filmmakers, 8pm, presented by the Chicago Cinema Society (https://www.facebook.com/events/1491593047760071/)
Saturday 13th December - NEW YORK, midnight session at the Nitehawk Cinema in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (http://www.nitehawkcinema.com/movie/search-for-weng-weng/)
Sunday 14th December - YONKERS, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, 4pm (http://drafthouse.com/movies/the-search-for-weng-weng/nyc_area)
Monday 15th December - PHILADELPHIA, Philadelphia Mausoleum of Contemporary Art (PhilaMOCA), 8pm (http://www.philamoca.org/)
Wednesday 17th December - DETROIT, Cinema Detroit, 7.30pm (http://cinemadetroit.com/2014/11/25/search-for-weng-weng/)
Thursday 18th December - TORONTO, The Royal, 9.15pm, with an instore appearance at Eyesore Cinema from 6-8pm (http://www.theroyal.to/films/the-search-weng-weng/)
Friday 19th December - OTTOWA, Mayfair Theatre, time to be confirmed (http://mayfairtheatre.ca/movies/Search-For-Weng-Weng-The/)
Sunday 21st December - HOLLYWOOD, Cinefamily @ The Silent Movie Theatre, 4.30pm (http://www.cinefamily.org/films/special-events-december-2014/#the-search-for-weng-weng-filmmaker-in-person)
Horrible Imaginings Podcast opening music by Eric Elick Music! "Weng Weng Rap" by The Chuds.