Whoop Whoop

Movies, How Do They Work? The Roxie Gives a Sneak Peek of a Savage Juggalo Documentary

Last night San Francisco’s Juggathological community and the merely Juggalo-curious were treated to an advanced screening of Whoop Dreams at the Roxie. The film, still in production, documents five friends’ foray into the annual Gathering of the Juggalos, which today was announced to be moving to Missouri in 2014.

As Uptown Almanac’s Senior Juggalo Reporter, I could not be more fascinated by this subculture—built around a rap group made up of men in clown makeup flummoxed by magnetism. Judging by the speed at which the Kickstarter to make Whoop Dreams was funded, and the packed house at the sneak peek, I’m not alone. The Roxie made the event all the more festive by stocking the concession stand with Faygo:

What we got to see last night was more-or-less the final cut of the film, with a stand-in soundtrack to set the mood in place of an original score, which will be added before the film’s official release.

Whoop Dreams promises “sex, drugs, clowns, boobies, dildos, and people hurting themselves for the sake of their Juggalo family,” and for the most part, the film delivered. With what the trailer teased, I was fully expecting a feature-length shitshow, but what we got was surprisingly tame (even with the extreme nipple torture).

Whoop Dreams may just be the most polite movie about Juggalos you’ll ever see.

How did this happen? Well, as five relatively clean-cut bros in a sea of tatted ninjas and ninjettes, their strength in numbers may have kept them from assimilating into The Family. Coupled with the great care they all took not to mock Juggalo culture, there’s a noticable distance to the film. It’s this neutral stance that is Whoop Dreams’ only weakness. Metaphorically speaking, the guys merely dipped their toes in Hepatitis Lake. During the Q & A, it was also revealed that the guys captured less footage then they’d hoped—only 8 hours in 3 days (they got their fill of family and bounced a day early). And they were only able to allude to a lot of the sex and drugs they witnessed due to their own diligence in getting signed release forms from their subjects.

Despite its lack of teeth, I still really enjoyed Whoop Dreams. Honestly, I love Juggalo culture so much that I was bound to be satisfied by any glimpse into the Gathering. No doubt the rest of the audience last night felt the same. There were plenty of big laughs during the screening and we basically had to be kicked out of the Roxie because the Q&A ran over its allotted time but nobody wanted to budge. And with the guys collecting feedback forms in earnest, there will likely be a few tweaks made before the final version of Whoop Dreams is unleashed on the masses.

My feedback? I think the movie could be improved by including postmortem interviews with each of the guys describing their experiences documenting the crazy shit they saw. These could then be incorporated as voice over to boost some scenes that need additional explanation. (For example: a slow-motion montage of ladies oil wrestling makes a lot more sense when you know that the wrestlers were not the ladies originally hired for the event, but willing Juggalettes who stepped in when the professionals went on strike.) I know they’re planning on creating bonus commentary for the DVD—so why not put the best soundbites in the feature as well?

If they had it to do over again (which the guys emphatically stated they have no interest in), they’d also be better off sending only Matt Lieb and Laremy Legel, who seemed the most down with the clown…or at least into the adventure of it all.

How Whoop Dreams stacks up in the cannon of Juggathological film remains to be seen, but for right now I give it two enthusiastic Whoops. Until I see the final cut, I’m leaving my titties in my shirt.

Let Us Now Mourn Famous Death Dwarves

As you have certainly heard, Lou Reed will be spending Thanksgiving with Lester Bangs and Nico in the great methadone clinic in the sky.  And while there has been no shortage of memorials, retrospectives, and BuzzFeed listicles honoring one of rock's certifiable legends, the Roxie Theater has taken things a step further by scrambling together a whole night dedicated to Lou Reed rarities, deep cuts, and premiering “Berlin”:

When word came down that Lou Reed passed away October 27 at the age of 71, we sprang into action putting together a killer night of clips, shorts and ephemera relating to Lou Reed - as well as his fallen comrades - leading into the SAN FRANCISCO PREMIERE of Julian Schnabel's 2007 concert film LOU REED'S BERLIN: “Thirty-three years after his ambitious concept album Berlin was pronounced dead on arrival, Lou Reed reteams with producers Bob Ezrin and Hal Willner to stage live performances of the now-classic release at concert venues all across the globe. The album, which was savaged by critics upon release, was scored with orchestral arrangements and follows several characters as they experience jealousy, rage, and loss. While many turned their backs on the release back in 1973, the tide eventually turned and Berlin was even named by Rolling Stone as one of the top 500 albums ever released. Filmed during a five-night stint at St. Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn, N.Y., this belated, live rendition of Berlin features an impressionistic backdrop filmed by director Julian Schnabel's daughter Lola and haunting backup vocals courtesy of the Brooklyn Youth Chorus.”

Tickets for Wednesday's 7 and 9:15pm shows are on sale now.

Dolores Park, Bi-Rite Starring in New Drama About App Developers

Betas,” Amazon's new direct-to-streaming show about four (male, mostly white) app developers hoping to retire by puberty, is reportedly filming outside of Bi-Rite Creamery and famed shuttlebus stop, Dolores Park, this morning.  They're even sexing up the park with trash-cans!

The show stars Ed Begley, Jr. has an aging tech mogul investor and Moby as Moby, so expect to see them around town as you dodge the cast of The Real World.

UPDATE: They also might be filming at Doc's Clock:

UPDATE II: Because the Mission is one giant Holywood lot, Mission Local is reporting that HBO's “Looking,” a gay drama about two video game programmers, is being filmed at Doc's Clock.  Mission Mission has the info on how you can be a cool, hipster-y background extra in that show.

[Photos by heykd and Dolores Park Works]

Everything Is Terrible (This Weekend Only)

Everything is Terrible! is the yearly menagerie of found VHS footage—the venerable clip show of the worse of the worse the EIT curators can find in our nation's trashiest thrift store bargain bins.  Past editions of Everything is Terrible! have unearthed such memorable gems as “So Your Cat Wants a Massage?” and “Soccer Moms Need Guns Too,” and they have a bunch of supremely psychotic clips lined up for Friday night's show at The Roxie:

Comic Relief Zero is a stand-up comedy special that's the opposite of special, jam-packed with the most cringe-worthy set up and punchlines. You'll laugh and want to cry as you watch these ventriloquists, prop comics, impersonators, racists, talk show hosts and misogynists stumble through their “jokes”. And to prove that they're still 'with it' and 'urban', Everything is Terrible! Does The Hip-Hop! A continuous mix of white rappers promoting hamburgers, children rapping about stamps, claymation doughboys spittin' rhymes about crescent rolls…you know, REAL hip-hop! After watching EIT! Does The Hip-Hop!, you’ll never need to listen to music again!

And, as a bonus, EIT is hosting a screening of GETEVEN, a gun and tit-filled 90s vanity movie shot by the a middling LA lawyer, tonight at the Roxie.  The synopsis alone makes this worth watching:

f the Gods Of Holyfuckingshit! were to descend from the heavens and give us their golden nectar, Geteven would be served in a golden funnel — and you would chug every last drop. In 1993, trial lawyer John De Hart traded his suit and tie for a pair of sweatpants and a machine gun, as he wrote, directed, produced, and starred in this unbelievable piece of work. De Hart plays Rick, a cool cop who likes his shirts tucked in and his women turned loose. After Rick and his partner (Wings Hauser!) are betrayed by the maniacal Normad (William Smith!), we go on a rollercoaster ride of unfiltered insanity: drug deals, gunfights, Shakespeare quoting, Huckleberry Finn-inspired cults, Satanism, soapy baths, baby sacrificing and more!

But let's not ignore the totally NFSW trailer, either:

It's worth mentioning that EIT's live-shows are cuss-filled, traumatic, and all-around hilarious, so be sure to shell out some dollars and see this in person.


New Central Cafe Evicted Following Role in Woody Allen's "Blue Jasmine"

New Central Cafe, the Mexican restaurant at the corner of 14th and South Van Ness forever immortalized as the exterior of Ginger's apartment in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine, has already been booted out by the Sheriff's Department and their landlord.  The notice, dated June 19th, is admittedly a touch old (I don't make it to that part of the neighborhood that often and it's not like I ever ate there or whatever) and doesn't offer up any details for the reasoning, but we can only imagine some savvy owner is looking to cash in on this:

FILMAGE: Descendents/All Documentary Set to Make Its SF Premiere

DESCENDENTS fans have been awaiting FILMAGE for a few years now—the first documentary to ever look at the seminal pop-punk crew of nerds. Fortunately for us, it's making its San Francisco premiere at The Roxie for a special high noon showing on Saturday, September 7th.

We're sure if you're familiar with the Descendents, you're already on-board. But for those of you who like to read plot synopses, here's how The Roxie describes what you'll be seeing:

FILMAGE: The Story of DESCENDENTS/ALL follows band leader/drummer/square-peg Bill Stevenson and his “caffeinated retardedness” as he pushes his rotating door of bandmates to “achieve ALL,” his philosophy of going for greatness at all costs. Stevenson is a force to be reckoned with, proving that not even a grapefruit-sized brain tumor can keep him down. Interviews with the band, along with their contemporaries, reveal the story of a band—if not THE band—responsible for pop-punk as you know it.

We're told that The Roxie sold 44 tickets within an hour of going on sale this afternoon, so if you want catch this one-off screening, get your tickets quick (sorry Burners).

(And, of course, the trailer:)

Woody Allen's Contempt for San Francisco?

Reviews for Blue Jasmine, Woody Allen's latest film, are finally coming in, and the critics can't help but notice Allen's supposed contempt for the city he shot he shot the film in.  Consider The New York Times' review, which outlines San Francisco's place as an humdrum refuge for New York's down-and-out elite:

Jasmine, née Jeanette, having reinvented herself, had risen to become a member of New York’s elite but, with everything gone, has come to San Francisco to move in with her sister, Ginger. For Jasmine this isn’t a comedown, it’s a catastrophe — everything is. When she first walks into Ginger’s apartment, she stops dead, as if paralyzed by its unspeakable ordinariness.

It’s hard to know if Mr. Allen shares Jasmine’s shock at Ginger’s place. (Mere mortals will note the ample square footage, natural light and fireplace.) With a series of sharp contrapuntal flashbacks that move forward in time — Hal and Jasmine in their empty new Park Avenue apartment and then later presiding over a dinner bathed in light so burnished golden calf must have been on the menu — Mr. Allen illustrates just how drastically she’s been humbled.

Gawker takes it a bit further:

Jasmine's presence in Ginger's modest apartment quickly grates, as Jasmine dispenses unwanted advice about Ginger's various working class boyfriends and crummy surroundings. Among other things, Blue Jasmine is a weird, inexplicable portrait of San Francisco. Allen shoots a series of throw-away touristy scenes and then a seedy grocery store, a clinical dentist's office, and nondescript restaurants. His disdain for the West Coast is obvious, but his uninspired indifference to San Francisco in Blue Jasmine is far less amusing than, say, the playful contempt of Los Angeles he put on in Annie Hall. In Blue Jasmine, San Francisco is painted loosely and tritely, and it suffers in comparison to Allen's careful portraits of New York.

Mind you, those crummy surroundings are the Mission District.  The so-called “modest apartment” sits behind the old Force of Habit record shop at 20th and Lexington—and would assuredly fetch three-plus thousand dollars a month if put on the rental market today.  However, it's widely known that Allen chose the significantly shittier corner of 14th and South Van Ness to act as the apartment's exterior location, suggesting he intentionally set to make the neighborhood look grodier than everyone knows it actually is.

It's staged as a clever, if not slightly dishonest way to introduce viewers to the city: dumping the fine-looking Jasmine out of a cab onto a four-lane urban freeway littered with crummy car lots, opposed to tree-shaded, single-lane street the apartment sits on in reality. (As the Times describes the scene, “[As] she stands with her monogrammed luggage on a nondescript San Francisco sidewalk, she looks frightened, alone — like someone who could benefit from some kindness. Instead, she waves off a stranger and, posing a question that’s as existential as it is practical, demands, “Where am I, exactly?”).  Surely this is set to depict Jasmine's unmistakeable fall from grace as definitively as possible, but the reviews suggest the joke is on San Francisco.

Blue Jasmine opens today in New York and Los Angeles.  San Franciscans will have to wait for a limited release at the Clay Theatre on August 2nd.

Trailer For Woody Allen's Upcoming Movie Shot in SF, Blue Jasmine, Released

Based on the trailer, it's definitely a Woody Allen movie (that is, overtly romantic and possessing a 40% chance of being watchable).  But it features lots of familiar Mission settings, calls Louis C.K. a loser, and includes a bunch of interior shots filmed above 20 Spot on 20th and Lexington.  Enjoy:

[Thanks, Grizzled Mission!]

New Indie Movie Being Shot in the Mission

There's not a whole lot of information about the flick online, but it's a comedy called “Quitters” and its production vehicles have taken over Valencia between 21st and 23rd.  Woody Allen and Cate Blanchett are no where in sight, so our hopes of seeing bummed old men in bucket hats are greatly diminished, but the director goes by the name of Noah Pritzker and his biggest contribution to YouTube seems to be the trailer to Little Dad, which was shown at SXSW last year:

We asked a haggard old woman near the makeup trailer for more info, but she rolled her eyes like she had a job to do and gave us nothing.  We'll update if we hear anything of interest.

The Bicycle Film Festival Returns This Saturday

The Bike Film Festival has been bringing San Francisco some of the world's best cycling shorts right to the Victoria Theater for the past few years.  Typically, the BFF has been a two day affair, with sideshows ranging from parties to street fairs all weekend long.  However, this year, they're scaling things back a bit, packing all their screenings into one day.

But in spite of their tighter schedule, they're not skimping on quality.  To get a taste of the kind of shorts you'll see, give this mini-doc on 1 legged, 1 armed track racer a watch:

Or this clip shot by the San Francisco-based kids at Full Frame Collective and Werehaus:

If that's to your liking, you can get tickets to any individual program for $10, or splurg on a full day pass for $20.

[via MASH]