Q&A Archive #1: four from 2008!

The floodgates are open!!!!

For the past 3 years, we’ve been collecting material recorded at our many, many Cinefamily Q&A sessions — and now it’s finally time to start making everything available for download as MP3s.

This is the first of many posts dedicated to getting the entire backlog of stuff available to you; look for more very shortly! These first four downloads reach all the way back to the beginning, in 2008 (Technically, Cinefamily launched in October ’07, but it was only until our first six months had passed before we started having special guests for screenings with regularity.)

“Devil’s Helper: The Folk Art Films of Phil Chambliss” w/ Phil Chambliss – April 8th, 2008 (MP3)
“Mister Lonely” w/ Harmony Korine – April 19th, 2008 (MP3)
“Evilspeak” w/ Clint Howard & director Eric Weston – October 7th, 2008 (MP3)
“Weasels Rip My Flesh” w/ director Nathan Schiff – November 29th, 2008 (MP3)

This was one of the most fun shows ever from the first year of Cinefamily. Phil is a homegrown “outsider artist” auteur from the backwoods of Arkansas, who’s made his totally unique edited-in-camera works on whatever consumer-grade gear (Super-8, VHS, Hi-8 and the like) is available to him at the time, and who populates his works with colorful local characters that are perfect for his strange take on the world. Here’s the original calendar writeup of the show:

Phil Chambliss is America’s first folkart filmmaker. He’s lived his entire life in Calhoun County, Arkansas. He never went to film school or college, never took a class or read a book on filmmaking. The films he managed to see–Sergio Leone’s For a Few Dollars More, the entire Peyton Place television special, and a particular episode of The Rifleman in which Lee Van Cleef plays Johnny Drago–led him to take the 95 bucks his then-wife had saved for a new icebox, and spend it instead on a movie camera. With camera in tow, he wrangled some friends into acting, and went on to create a body of work that includes dozens of bizarre, brilliant, idiosyncratic films, shot over the course of several decades. Phil’s films are a revelation, full of unexpected humor, complex social commentary, and a strong, almost suspended, sense of time and place. There is only one Phil Chambliss, and The Cinefamily is very proud to present the first Los Angeles presentation of his singular work.

And here’s just a small sample of his nutty output —

MISTER LONELY – April 19th, 2008
Harmony Korine has been one of Cinefamily’s most long-standing filmmaker supporters, and we were lucky enough to have Mister Lonely as one of our very first sneak preview screenings. Here’s the international trailer from the film —

EVILSPEAK – October 7th, 2008
Simply one of the most bat-shit crazy horror hybrids of the ’80s! A mutated cross between Carrie and Wargames, Evilspeak stars Clint Howard as a tormented boarding school student who takes revenge on his teenage tormentors by summoning up the powers of Satan — through his computer!


WEASELS RIPPED MY FLESH – November 29th, 2008
While in his teens during the late ’70s and early ’80s, Long Island native Nathan Schiff directed two bonafide classics of homemade horror: 1979′s Weasel’s Rip My Flesh and 1980′s Long Island Cannibal Massacre. Deliriously over the top and manic, Schiff’s films fill us with the giddy sense of endless gory possibilities — and we were stoked to have him fly out to L.A. for a night we dubbed “The Super-8 Gorenography of Nathan Schiff”. Here’s the original calendar writeup:

If home movie gorenography is a religion, then Nathan Schiff is its Pope. Starting while still in high school, Schiff produced absurdly gory, indiosyncratic and indulgent micro-masterpieces were made for no intended audience other than the friends and family who made them with him. Shot with no money and lots of heart, these plasma-spattered Super-8 labors of love are a snapshot of horror history long gone, filled with fetid atmosphere, cribbed music, and homegrown special effects. Full of ingenious solutions to no-budget problems, Schiff’s films helped to pioneer the DIY homemade horror craze which continues in our digital, straight-to-DVD era. Schiff’s first film at the age of 16, Weasels Rip My Flesh, appalled his fellow high school students with its rampaging killer weasels and deliriously absurd finale, while the relentless Long Island Cannibal Massacre exposes Nathan’s East Coast home turf as a breeding ground for rampaging psychopaths as a determined cop hunts down some bloodthirsty lepers. Eventually, Schiff started to play these films occasionally for club audiences, having to mix the soundtracks live with favorite rock songs by the likes of the Beatles and the Who. Now is your first and only chance to see jack-of-all-screams Nathan present these two milestones in person, with their original makeshift music soundtracks that couldn’t be cleared for their home video release. When you hear the phrase “teenage home movie horror”, Nathan Schiff’s films are everything you dreamed they would be. Nostalgic, warm, dazed and confused masterpieces of lo-fi goodness, with lots and lots and lots and lots of blood and guts.

For some more background not covered in our Q&A, check out Bleeding Skull’s great interview piece with Nathan from 2004. Here’s the epic “weasel fight” from the film —