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Crispin Cracks Up!

Actor Crispin Glover completely flipped his lid at the Loft Theater last week after he learned that his directorial debut, What Is It?, was going to be shown in the smaller upstairs theater rather than the cavernous main auditorium for the last two days of its week-long engagement.

Peggy Johnson, executive director of the Tucson Cinema Foundation, tells The Range that Crispin--shouting such phrases as "I'm an artist!" and "I'm losing money!"--stomped around the Loft's lobby, parking lot and nearby office in a two-hour tantrum before legal issues were ironed out and he departed the premises. When Crispin returned the following day for the final screening of his film--a less-than-linear motion picture described as "Being the adventures of a young man whose principle interests are snails, salt, a pipe, and how to get home. As tormented by an hubristic, racist inner psyche"--he "was very well behaved," reports PJ, who guesses that between 400 and 500 people turned up for the film during the run.

Glover is self-distributing the film because all the "corporate entities" are filled with blind fools who can barely begin to understand his genius.

PJ would like to remind readers that taking a chance on a film like What Is It? is part of the Loft's way of keepin' it real, even when it hurts: "We're here to be a venue for filmmakers to show their work, especially work that's not commercial."

Speaking of non-commercial work, the Loft hosted its first short-film competition last Friday, inviting any creative types who have made movies 10 minutes or less to bring them on down for a screening.

Red Meat cartoonist Max Cannon (whose latest collection, Red Meat Gold, is now on bookshelves everywhere!), served as master of ceremonies, introducing each of the 13 films that were shown over the 90-minute event. Cannon was armed with a gong to end painfully bad films, but he proved to be a reluctant executioner, despite repeated encouragement from tough critics in the crowd.

April's big winner: Garpenfargle, the tale of a tiny white Maltese named Hobbes who is left at home alone to contend with the terror of a ringing phone and the temptation of a very full garbage can. The film, crafted by Bill Kersey and Edward Kim, was also top dog in the Best All-Ages Film category at the San Diego Film Festival.

"The star gave a stellar performance, but his behavior on the set was very unprofessional, and I don't think he'll go far in this business," says Kersey, who won $100 in cash and a roll of Necco wafers. For more on the film, check out

www.raintownpictures.com .

Bring your own film, on DVD or VHS, to this month's fest on Friday, May 27. PJ promises an earlier start time, more movies and chance to mingle with local filmmakers after the screening. Roll 'em!


Taking Out the Trash

Former state lawmaker John Kromko (last seen losing a race for justice of the peace) has teamed up with anti-tax activist Bill Heuisler (last seen losing a race for county assessor) and Libertarian David Euchner (last seen losing a race for county attorney) to announce plans to put the city's new $14-a-month garbage fee up to a vote of the people.

The trio are heading up Enough!, a resurrected political committee that aims to gather somewhere around 14,000 signatures by July to put a repeal of the trash fee on the November ballot. They launched a similar half-assed recall campaign that went nowhere last year against Democrat Carol West and Republicans Fred Ronstadt and Kathleen Dunbar after the council members voted to approve the garbage fee.

Kromko has his hand out, urging Tucsonans to send him $14 now to avoid paying $14--or more!--every month.

Details on the movement: 792-1255 or www.garbagefee.com.


Dr. No

Republicans were crafting a voucher-loaded budget that's sure to end up vetoed by Gov. Janet Napolitano, who continues to just say no. The Napster rejected several more pieces of legislation earlier this week, including a Senate bill that would have diverted Heritage Fund dollars to pay for a water settlement with the Zuni tribe and House bills that would have explored opening a private prison in Mexico, given lawmakers more leeway in raising funds for "constituent service," and allowed county attorneys to remove their troops from Merit Commission oversight. (Wouldn't that have made Barbara LaWall's life a little easier?)

The Range's wish for Napolitano's next veto: The get-out-of-jail-free card lawmakers granted last week to Clear Channel's billboard operation here in the Old Pueblo. Give Napolitano a call at (800) 253-0883 to urge her to discard Senate Bill 1193, if she hasn't done so already.

More by Jim Nintzel

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