The Chicago Underground Film Festival hosted the Midwest premiere for Total Badass and it was killer. http://www.cuff.org
Chicago Underground Film Festival – Day 1 (Thursday, June 2, 2011)
I had such a good fucking time in Chicago. You might not like to hear this, but I’m personally not sorry to report that I spent a lot of time doing stuff I can’t write about. But I will say that doing the stuff I can’t write about, was sooooooo fun and badass and thrilling, that it’s a shame I can’t share the joy with you. I didn’t really get started doing the stuff I can’t write about until later in this night, but I continued to do the stuff I can’t write about as much as possible, once I started doing it. And if I had my way, I’d still be doing and would continue to do lots more of the stuff I can’t write about. But first things first:
When I got to Chicago, I met up with Amy Boyd, the hospitality coordinator. She’s so amazing and hospitable, that she was hosting me at her house for several nights of my stay. Did I mention that she’s a badass and super-nice, to boot? On this night, however, I would end up staying with another festival staffer, Emily Oscarson. Emily is a crafty and fun filmmaker who’s just a hoot to be around. Hell, I spent most of my time hanging out with Amy and Emily, as they are totally badass. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Before the partying fun began, I caught the freaky, fun and oddly engaging opening night film, Some Girls Never Learn. Then I hit the after-party. Fun! I re-met up with Amy and then met the other fellow who’d be staying at her house, Scott Braid. Scott’s an old pal of Amy’s from back in her Baltimore days. He’s a programmer for the Maryland Film Festival, and as it turns out, Scott is a hell of a lot of fun to hang out with. Amy, Emily, Scott and I would end up hanging out a lot. We’d see the sun at night more than once and we’d soon be having one hell of a time.
Back to the after-party. We partied at the Bottom Lounge: booze and such. I redact the story at this point, because that’s when I got my first taste of the stuff I can’t write about. The following day, I would taste and re-taste the stuff I can’t write about. But I can confirm that it was fucking awesome! If I had my druthers, I’d do the stuff I can’t write about all day long. And obviously, all night long as well.
Chicago Underground Film Festival – Day 2 (Friday, June 2, 2011)
Doing the stuff I can’t write about is the best way to start any day. Period. No question about it. And I know this to be true because I started this day doing the stuff I can’t write about. The rest of the day pales in comparison. So lets get on with it.
I met up with my trusted triad plus the festival director, Bryan Wendorf, for brunch and booze. Not much to report here, mainly brunch and booze.
Chad got into town this evening. He made his way down to the Gene Siskel Film Center for a brief chunk of time.
I saw The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye, a doc about the loving relationship between Throbbing Gristle’s Genesis Breyer P-Orridge and his muse/lover, Lady Jayne. The film gets weird, but this is an underground film fest, so it should. At one point, the couple underwent plastic surgery in an effort to transform their bodies to look more like each other.
I wanted to see the movie that followed this, the Muslim sex-worker flick Profane, but had to eat. So I ducked out and ate Mexican food and slurped giant margaritas before hitting the after-party at Quenchers Saloon. I met up with the film fest folk as well as Chad and his pals and we drank the requisite booze and smoked all the weed you’d expect us to smoke. Then we hit the late night bar and boozed it up some more, took some pics and danced like gaylords.
Chicago Underground Film Festival – Day 3 (Saturday, June 4, 2011)
I think I kinda took it easy and then ate some pizza w/ Amy on Sat. That sounds right. I don’t recall seeing any films during the daytime, so I’m gonna just go with that.
A bit later in the day, I met up with my buddy Michael Galinsky and his brother Adam. We had some drinks. What the hell did you expect happened?
I saw Galinsky’s doc Battle for Brooklyn. The flick is a fine piece of well-crafted and engaging filmmaking. It’s also an important film about the abuses of eminent domain laws and land grabs by wealthy and powerful corporations. It not only entertains and enlightens, but it’ll kind of piss you off as well.
Then back to the Bottom Lounge for the after-party, karaoke-style. Guess what. Both Emily and Amy can belt out some tunes. I have pics. Dig them:
Yes, I realize that these pics are not evidence of their singing ability, but witness how great they look singing and don’t question me on their chops, you bastard.
Speaking of pics, C.U.F.F set up a photo booth. There were props, including a cool banner that Emily and Amy had made. More pics:
My new buddy Scott was also at the party. As was Jeff Krulic, the filmmaker behind the cult-classic Heavy Metal Parking Lot. We all had some of the free booze and partied until last call.
Scott, Amy, Emily and I all partied well into the night. We closed down the bars and headed back to Amy’s pad for more fun. When we saw the sun coming up, we all bolted for bed like cockroaches in the light.
Chicago Underground Film Festival – Day 4 (Sunday, June 5, 2011)
The first 12 hours of this day were so packed with doing the stuff I can’t write about, that it was this half-a-day that was undoubtedly the pinnacle of my time in Chicago. It was unbelievably spectacular. Sadly, at the end of this 12 hour period, I’d do, for the last time, the stuff I can’t write about. But talk about saving the best for last. Hot damn!
Oh yeah, my movie screened in the middle of this 12-hour chunk. So, there’s that. Also, I nearly missed my own film and Q&A because I got so caught up with doing the stuff I can’t write about. I have no regrets about this.
I’m not sure how the screening itself went, as I was late as fuck, but I did make it in time for the Q&A. Chad made it also. It maybe wasn’t our liveliest of Q&As, but it was pretty decent. We got some laughs and had some fun. There was some tech problem and the film that was to screen before Total Badass ended up screening after it instead. This turned out to be a stroke of luck for me because I did get to catch the short. It’s a weird narrative called The Forest about a woman who fucks a deer and has some sort of man-deer husband and a boy-deer son or something like that. To be honest, I’m not exactly sure what it’s about. But I liked it.
I snuck out and smoked some weed with Chad and hung out with our ex-Austinite pal Chris Young. It turns out that blazing a bowl in front of a TV station with a cop parked about 50 feet away is indeed the safest place to get stoned.
Once high, I ventured back into the cinema to catch some short films. I really wanted to see Tyrpps #7 (Badlands) as I’d hear it was an incredible mindfuck and best seen when stoned out of your mind. Unfortunately, I was getting stoned and missed it. I did catch The Observers, a Frederic Wiseman-ish doc about a weather station in the super-windy and cold-as-tits outpost of Mt. Washington, New Hampshire, where the wind gusts hit upwards of 231 mph.
The climax of my adventures of doing the stuff I can’t write about was after this screening, and if I could write about it, I’d go off for several pages here. I ain’t gonna do that. But talk about ending with a bang! The best was saved for last, for sure. No doubt about it.
After the awesomeness, I hauled ass back down to the cinema and caught Heavy Metal Parking Lot on the big screen. That was a real treat (not nearly the treat that was doing the mind-blowing stuff I can’t write about, but not too shabby). Alongside HMPL were a couple other flicks: the weird and fun drum solo flick, Moby Dick and Jeff Krulic’s newer doc in the metal genre, Heavy Metal Picnic. But for me, re-watching HMPL (and getting to see it on the big-screen) was the high point of the eve (I mean, other that all the doing the awesome stuff I can’t write about, which blew any movie out of the water, duh).
I hit the after-party and awards ceremony at Delilah’s to cap off the night. There’s one movie I regret not seeing. I probably got caught up doing the super-fun stuff I can’t write about and missed it. The flick is called Snow on tha Bluff and it looks crazy-fun. However, I did get to meet Damon Russell, the filmmaker behind the film, and he’s promised to send me a screener. That was cool. As it turns out, Snow on tha Bluff won the narrative film award at the awards ceremony I’m currently writing about. So Damon had better send me a copy.
It was at the after party that I was really starting to become aware of the fact that I had spent the day blissfully doing so much of the fantastic stuff I can’t write about that I had not yet eaten. So I snuck off for a bite. I snaked back in and met up with Michael Galinsky, Scott, Amy, Emily, Bryan Wendorf, Lori Felker (fest coordinator & asst programmer), Chad and several other old and new friends (including Damon and the filmmaker behind The Forest, Steven Summers) and we slurped up the last of the free booze.
What with no late-night after-parties and no more doing the terrific stuff I can’t write about (damn it all!), this eve was a tad anticlimactic. However, the fest did get a hotel for Chad and me on this night. I must admit that I miss partying until the sun comes up with Scott, Amy and Emily (and certainly would love to do more of the fantastic stuff I can’t write about), but sleeping in an insanely fancy hotel was kinda nice. I mean, as a third option.
Chicago Underground Film Festival – Day 5 (Monday, June 5, 2011)
Unfortunately, on this day, I was no longer doing the super-amazing-fun stuff I can’t write about. But the last time I did do the mind-blowing stuff I can’t write about, it was so fucking awesome, that it would have been hard to top. I would have loved to try. Fuck it, I would have topped it. And damn fate for not allowing it to be done! And, aside from not doing lots and lots more of the wonderfully marvelous stuff I can’t write about, I have no complaints. In fact, I have nothing but terrific memories of this trip to Chi-town. That, and a ton of new friends. Double-score!