Tuesday, June 30, 2015

GIUSEPPE MAKES A MOVIE (2014)


GIUSEPPE MAKES A MOVIE (2014) 
Label: Cinelicious Pics
Region Code: A
Rating: Unrated
Duration: 82 Minutes
Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0 with Optional English Subtitles
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen 
Director: Adam Rifkin
Cast: Giuseppe Andrews, Vietnam Ron, Big Ed, Sir Bigfoot George, Ed, Mary,Mike dougal, Walt dongo, Tyree, Walter Patterson, Tiffany Naylor, Spit, Bill Nowlin, Gayle Wells, Ruth Estes

While the rest of America slept, DIY filmmaker/musician Giuseppe Andrews (a one-time teen actor in Independence Day and Detroit Rock City) has made over 30 experimental features with titles like Doily’s Summer of Freak Occurrences, Trailer Town and Utopia Blues. Set in some demented alternate universe (i.e. Ventura, California), they are populated by real-life alcoholics and drug addicts, trash-talking senior citizens and trailer park residents dressed in cow outfits and costume-shop wigs, acting out booze-fueled vignettes of severe psychosis filtered through Giuseppe’s John Waters-meets-Harmony Korine-meets-Werner Herzog sensibility.

From Director Adam Rifkin (Look, The Dark Backward) comes a very strange documentary chronicling the film making efforts of former teen actor Giuseppe Andrews, a young man whom you might remember from appearances in the Blockbuster Independence Day and Rifkin's own Detroit Rock City, or as more recently as the bumbling stoner-cop in the Cabin Fever movies. What you may not know is that for the past 12-years Andrews has been making series of no-budget outsider movies, way out there avant-garde cinema populated by a cast of characters fresh from the trailer park, which is where Giuseppe shoots these slices of lower-culture life, in and around the trailer park where he lives in Ventura, California, surrounded by a cast and crew of societal rejects and dregs that most would avoid, but the young director embraces. 

Surprisingly this is not seem to be a case of the filmmaker exploiting the down-trodden, Giuseppe truly loves his drug and booze addled crew with all his heart -- there's a mutual respect for one one another and everyone involved is so damn passionate about the movies they're creating together, however humble they may be to the average eye. This is pretty out there stuff, outsider cinema way beyond (and below) anything from Harmony Korine (Gummo), amateur just doesn't even begin to describe it. The doc is peppered with scenes from they're previous films  Doily’s Summer of Freak Occurrences, Trailer Town and Utopia Blues while also showing us a glimpse of his latest venture, a two-day shoot for a film called Garbanzo Gas, starring Vietnam Ron as a Cow who had been granted a weekend reprieve from the slaughterhouse at a local motel - yeah, just try to make sense of that one my friend.

Special Features:
- Audio Commentary by director Adam Rifkin and producer Mike Plante. 
- Garbanzo Gas: The Feature Film Being Made in Giuseppe Makes a Movie (75 Mins) 
- Schlock Oysters: Extra scenes from Giuseppe Makes a Movie (25 Mins) 
- Visual Medium Observation: Producer Mike Planet Talks with Giuseppe Near His Home in Austin, Texas (29 Mins) 
- Bill Nowlin Lives: Giuseppe Interviews Bill Nowlin, an Actor in His Early Films (14 Mins) 
- 5th Wheel: The TV Pilot by Giuseppe Widely Pitched to Networks, roundly Rejected (22 Mins) 
- 16 Page Collector's Booklet with writings on the films by Bill Gibbons and Mark Borchardt
- Directed by Giuseppe: Highlight Reel of Giuseppe's Filmography (5 Mins) 
- Trailer (3 Mins) 

The cast of transients, recovering addicts and alcoholics put on quite a show for the camera, this is cinema in it's most pure form, there's no ego or pretense, but there's plenty of vibrant and foul-mouthed dialogue delivered by as cast of well worn and weathered lunatic fringers, it makes for a very surreal viewing experience -- there's something quite beautiful about it -- but this documentary and the movies made by the subject thereof are certainly not for anyone. I myself would certainly prefer watching the documentary again over the movies themselves, they're an acquired taste, but I love the pure spirit of all involved -- even if I don't see myself tracking any of them down to watch anytime soon -- the documentary is quite a success. 3/5

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