Monday, July 9, 2007
SPACEDISCO - 1: THE MOVIE
A Few Words about Our Feature Presentation...
- - Spacedisco One
Article by: Witney Seibold
Many people in L.A., especially those even tangentially connected to the vast film industry, have probably heard the title “Reflections of Evil” whispered in hushed tones. It was often brought up in the hallways of b-movie studios and many other straight-to-video production houses. I heard it bandied about much when I interned for Roger Corman back in the day. “Reflections of Evil” was none other than a short straight-to-video experimental horror/collage film of a homeless man going mad and vomiting on the streets of Hollywood.
It was made by a man named Damon Packard (who can be found here) who starred in the thing. It wasn’t hard to find a copy of “Reflections of Evil,” as someone, presumably Packard himself, was leaving DVD copies of it in newspaper racks and video stores all over the county. There was a brief period a few years ago when one could not go into an independent video or record store without tripping over a stack of “Reflections of Evil.”
Damon Packard has returned. His new film/experimental collage/weirdo-freakout-headtrip is called “Spacedisco One: The Movie; or, Beyond 1984.” Keep an eye out. It will probably be gracing a newspaper rack near you soon. And whereas “Reflections of Evil” was amateurish and weird and really really horrible, “Spacedisco One” is… well, its still amateurish and weird, but is far tighter and seems to be having a lot more fun than the three-minute vomiting scenes of “Reflections” could ever hope to produce.
The setup: The daughters of various sci-fi film characters (from “Logan’s Run,” and “Krull”) have banded together to fight evil, and make their way to Oceania where they will be safe. Meanwhile, the lead character from the 1984 film version of “1984” Winston Smith, is taken on a horrifying anti-commercial tour of the Universal Citywalk where people pray and salute the giant TV screen there, constantly showing (thanks to a bad blue screen effect) footage from Fox News and the inflammatory “To Catch a Predator” news “specials.” There is, cut into “Spacedisco One,” a lot of footage from the aforementioned films, as well as TV Carnage-like collages of “Battlestar Galactica,” “Big Brother,” old Atari commercials, and people partying at Burning Man.
The overall effect of the 40-minute oddity is very disorienting, a little jingoistic, forcefully amateurish, and oddly complete. Damon Packard seems to be saying that the films, and indeed everything about the drug-addled decade of the 1970s, was more fun, more relaxed, more open to possibility, whereas true independent filmmakers of today are struggling harder than they’ve ever had to. He also has an open political hared for the hyperconsumer culter of America which only seems to be getting more and more bloated and mutated as time passes.
Or something. It’s hard to tell.
All I can say is that “Spacedisco One” is… is… It just is. Damon Packard has given it to us, and will continue to give it to us. Take it or leave it, it will be there.I learn through some rudimentary web research that Packard is the son of an art curator, and has worked with many of Geroge Lucas’ people in his numerous ambitious amateur projects. The bio I read also pointed out that he lives in a rented trailer in squalor. But I think after “Spacedisco One,” I have a regard for the man. “Refections of Evil” made me nauseous, and “Spacedisco One” confused me. By all accounts, his other films are not much a departure. The results are mixed, and often stultifyingly psychedelic. But God bless him for sticking to his guns, and trying to keep zero-budget filmmaking alive in his own way. We need people like Damon Packard.
Indeed. Film Farm is very pleased to present this encore SF screening of the movie.
The Show begins with about a half-hour of KrOB EYENOISE. Then, the man himself, Damon Packard will be in person to showcase a hand-picked selection of his short films and trailers. BRUTALLO will be on hand to sell Packard's films as well as other choice rarities from the great BRUTALLO website!
I urge anyone who has ever put the words independent and film or conspiracy and lunchbox in the same sentence to see this film... bay areans won't get another chance anytime soon!!!
8pm - - $5.00
The Dark Room Theater
2263 Mission Street (between 18th & 19th)