Crispin Hellion Glover’s Big Slide Show Part 2
With Crispin Hellion Glover
Feb 22, 2012
Including the film “It is Fine. Everything is Fine”
Directed by Crispin Hellion Glover and David Brothers
Starring Steven C. Stewart
Enzian Theatre, Maitland FL
Rarely have I been so stumped walking out of a show. Yeah, Glover follows a Dada esthetic and is notorious for genuinely weird shows, but this evening made my jaw drop. Mr. Glover is a pleasant looking man with a friendly, pleasant demeanor and vaguely British accent. His TV and film resume impresses (“Gilbert Grape,” “Back to the Future,” “Hot Tub Time Machine,” “Donner Party”) although some of his projects have amazingly low IMDB scores and there’s even an anti-fan campaign to drive “Epic Movie” into the IMDB “Bottom 100”. Mr. Glover is certainly interesting, but let us begin at the beginning.
A line of storms blew thought town as I headed to the show, yet I was shocked to see a huge line of people lined up on the mulch carpet. I just barely got a ticket, and the auditorium was crackling with energy. We began with little ceremony; Mr. Glover’s head appeared in a small, angry red pin spot against a black curtain. As pages of his surrealist books appeared behind him, he read such titles as “Concrete Inspection,” “Rat Catching” and “Oak Mot”. He did edits on the fly, there was quite a bit of material to get through and judiciously skipped lines did not diminish is effect. Each of these books appears to date from Victorian times with the type fonts and illustration styles of 150 years ago, but Mr. Glover has done major editing and art revision and created clearly derivative works for our new century.
He began with “Concrete Inspection.” Words in the underlying book are blocked out and rewritten in a scratchy pen hand. Original meaning is muddied, the text redirects to a place only his internal muse can visit, and the audience reacts favorably. Staccato laughter and occasional applause arise spontaneously but as he proceeds, the laughs diminish, more and more people find reasons to retreat to the lobby to text or pee or pick up a copy of the Orlando Weekly or the Park Press. Clearly the spirits of Marcel Duchamp and René Magritte haunt him, but I find less and less to intrigue. My table mate leans over and asks “How many books has he read so far?” The answer is not important, but the sub text is: “I’m bored. When will he stop?” Staunch your wounds, brave literary soldier, that was the last one. Assess this as a poetry reading and it’s tolerable, but as storytelling it’s … Technically, its story telling. Leave it at that.
And now its film time. Glover shows volume two of his trilogy of films, and his reputation as an eccentric shines through in “It is Fine. Everything is Fine.” Here we meet Paul Baker (Stewart) who has cerebral palsy and a rich fantasy life. While his reality is trapped in a nursing home, in his mind he’s a suave ladies man, and while none of us can understand a word he says, the women find him irresistible. His first conquest is middle aged divorcee, and then her barley legal daughter. Their long hair fascinates him, but when the women think about cutting it, he murders them. More women enter his life, the sex becomes more explicit, and pretty soon we are in a serial killer sex film with full on Rule 34 cerebral palsy hard core. As credits roll Mr. Glover takes the stage for Q&A time. I forget the first question but it gets a rambling 10 minute answer explaining the motivation and back-story of the film. A trailer for his first film “What Is It?” rolls; it features naked Down’s syndrome people wearing elephant masks. His point, as I understand it, is to question “What makes the depiction of disabled on screen so troubling?” While that’s a legitimate question, I’m not sure I want to explore it with him anytime soon. But it’s just a trailer, it’s late and I’m done with questions and have to go pick up tree limbs.
Keep up with Mr. Glovers appearances at http://crispinglover.com/
More Enzian Theatre events can be found at http://www. Enzian.org