I Have A Crispin Glover Hangover!

I went to the Church of the Byrd Theatre last night with the Reverend Crispin Hellion Glover presiding.

There was a good crowd. I am not so good at estimating, but there must have been close to 500 people attending last night’s service.

The topic of Glover’s sermon was how corporate financed and distributed media is having adverse effects on society, dumbing down our culture.

Setting the mood  was an eclectic mix of music. I am not sure if Glover brought the music or not but it was a nice intro. The anticipation was rising. The lights finally dimmed, the curtains on the stage raised revealing a small red rectangular box was projected just left to the center of the screen. This is where Glover performed. Glover opened his first book….and began to read “What is it and How is it Done” with slides of the pages of the book projected on the screen behind him.

Glover is a slender man with an angular face in his mid 40s with long straight hair parted in the middle. Dressed in a dark rumpled suit, white shirt, skinny tie and vest.  He had the look of an actor, a serious man, a professional. Glover read from 4 of his books, gesturing and pointing, emphasizing many of the images, while reading.

His process of writing these books reminded me of sampling as many create new music these days. He has been working on his books since he was 19. He starts with books mostly from the turn of the last century, he adds to and subtracts from these books.

Glover draws on the printed pages, erasing words and whole paragraphs, and uses cutouts from other books and found prints to create new stories that were funny, moving, and of course absurd. Some books had most of their content removed others less so.

Glover had wanted to show the second film in his uncompleted trilogy, “It is Fine. Everything is Fine” but due to a mix up he ended up with only the first film, “What is it?” which is the one he showed. After explaining the mix up he showed the trailer of the second film to contrast its’ style and talked about its more emotionally involved story. He usually starts with his second film now, it is easier on the audience.

“What is it?” is not an easy film to watch. Glover shows us taboo images, we hear taboo song lyrics, and we see non-traditional actors. Glover wants us to squirm and question what we are seeing. He believes that too much of our corporate financed media is creating a society of unquestioning and unthinking people. Film and art should do more.

When asked about acting, Glover mentioned two performances he admired: Charles Laughton in “Henry VIII” and Emil Jannings in “The Last Laugh.” Glover likes a heightened sense of reality in his roles that grows organically. He said many of today’s actors act as if they are ordering in a restaurant.

By the time Glover finished up his Q&A, it was after 1:30 in the morning and many patiently stayed waiting in a long line, to chat, have their photo taken with Glover, or have one of his books signed.

Like I said I have a Crispin Glover hangover this morning after another successful James River Film Society (formerly known as The Richmond Moving Image Coop) event.

Last night Glover read from:

“What is it and How is it Done”
“Concrete Inspection”
“Rat Catching”
“Round My House”


2 Responses to “I Have A Crispin Glover Hangover!”

  1. Conservative Republican Says:

    Assausage, or whatever the Wikileaks guy’s name is, should be waterboarded and beaten until he’s unconcious. He is a traitor; I don’t care if he’s from Austria.

  2. […] performed at the Byrd Theatre in December 2010, with readings and slides. You can read all about it here. If you want to experience one of the more unusual evenings you will ever experience go see Glover […]

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