Tuesday, March 9, 2010 at 7:30pm
Der Elvis + My Degeneration
177 Livingston Street, Brooklyn - PLEASE NOTE NEW ADDRESS
Der Elvis, Jon Moritsugu, 16mm, 1987, 23 mins
My Degeneration, Jon Moritsugu, 16mm, 1989, 65 mins
Underground auteur par excellence Jon Moritsugu has produced a string of legendarily lo-fi films in the last two decades—Fame Whore, Mod Fuck Explosion, Scumrock, Hippy Porn—but his most severe work of material degradation may be his first feature. Shot in Providence, RI in 1989 on dirty color reversal 16mm, My Degeneration tells the story of a teen-girl punk band who sell out to become guitar-thrashing shills for the American Beef Institute, featuring a typically sharp-toothed performance by Moritsugu’s longtime collaborator (and spouse) Amy Davis as band member Justine B. With its flashes of abraded emulsion and cardboard-creature animations, the film is especially inventive, poising its narrative elements against a bevy of experimental interventions. The results comprise the ne plus ultra of underground cinema, influenced by the early comedies of John Waters but pushing the midnight-movie aesthetic to new extremes, reveling in its own willful crudity to the point of pure formalism while at the same time satirizing the ethos of indie rock on the cusp of its ascension into the mainstream.
My Degeneration will be preceded by Der Elvis. Made by Moritsugu in 1987 as part of his thesis project at Brown’s Semiotics Department in an act of pure pop regicide, it depicts The King as a monstrous freak. “Stuffed with a mix of multi-media regurgitation and live footage,” Jack Stevenson writes, “it resembles a cut-and-paste punk fanzine more than a movie… Elvis fans who unwittingly attended screenings, as they did in Arhus, Denmark, were outraged.”
Tickets - $7, available at door.