Crispin’s Night Speech


Beth, Stephanie and I saw Crispin Glover at the Alamo Drafthouse last night. If you don’t know who he is, he played George McFly in Back to the Future and came close to kicking David Letterman in the head. He’s known for being very odd; I remember R. Lee Ermey saying he didn’t know if Glover knew what year it was or who the President was. From what he said last night, he clearly knows both of these things, but he does give off the impression of being somewhat of an outsider from society, at least as much as an occasional Hollywood actor can be. The first thing he did when coming on stage was a slideshow of parts of old books that he had rearranged and imbued with his own absurd content. One of them I recognized as The Water-Babies, a popular nineteenth-century children’s book that nobody reads anymore, which Glover turned into a story of sex and rebirth. He then showed his film What Is It?, originally intended as a short but turned into a feature. Honestly, I think it probably would have worked better as a short, as it kind of drags. Of course, with avant-garde stuff, you can’t always tell whether that’s part of the point.

It was a bizarre and disturbing piece, involving murder, sex, monkey women, Shirley Temple mixed with Nazi imagery, and a lot of snail-killing. Most of the actors had Down Syndrome, which Glover assured us was not meant to be mean or mocking. It also utilized an incredibly racist country song by Johnny Rebel, who apparently is commonly confused with Johnny Horton. Horton did have a song called “Johnny Reb” that took a positive view of the Confederacy, but it didn’t actually mention race. That’s problematic in and of itself, but I’m pretty sure none of his songs used the N-word. Also, he died before any of the Johnny Rebel recordings were made. Glover explained that the message of the movie was how Hollywood and its corporate sponsors tend to censor anything that might make people uncomfortable, or cause them to ask questions. He did do a follow-up, It Is Fine! Everything Is Fine, which he showed on the previous night. A question-and-answer session followed, and Glover gave long answers and frequently went off on tangents. When we’d been there for almost four hours total, we decided we should leave, as we had work in the morning. I really don’t know how much longer the show lasted. Glover is pretty extreme in his viewpoints, or at least comes across that way. He did bring up some interesting thoughts about propaganda and corporate control, and I agreed with him on many of them, even if I wouldn’t have expressed them in quite the same way. But then, that could be why I’m not the one giving shows at the Alamo Drafthouse. He did mention Back to the Future at one point, saying that he didn’t like how the McFlys became richer at the end, giving the suggestion that money was what marked a happy ending. This was actually in the book I read about the movie series, but it was dismissed as simply an easy visual way to represent a happier family. According to Glover, Robert Zemeckis told him that he wanted to make money from the film, and that was what audiences and sponsors wanted to see. I didn’t really think of that when watching the movie, but I think there’s a valid point there. Of course, stories ending in material rewards long predate corporate sponsorship.

“Hey, you corporate sponsors, get your damn hands off her!”

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This entry was posted in Celebrities, Conspiracy Theories, Corporations, Humor, Live Shows, Music, Prejudice, VoVat Goes to the Movies and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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