Improper Videos

There's Something Even More Outré Than The Festival.

By Stacey Richter

IF YOU'RE LOOKING for something a little more outré than the regular programming at the admittedly adventurous Arizona Film Festival, step across the street to Grill, the all-night restaurant at 100 E. Congress St. For your viewing pleasure, Grill will be hosting four late-night video salons in its lavishly appointed Red Room, beginning at 11 p.m. with screenings that, mercifully, will not conflict with any other festival programming. The videos to be shown have been deemed "very interesting" by festival director Guilio Scalinger, but not quite right for the festival proper. The Grill offerings promise to be lo-fi, sexual, earnest, and weird.

Cinema Included are Devil Tour '94, a series of news reports chronicling the appearance of a horned satyr in an assortment of locations--a devil who turns out to be the filmmaker. On the same program (April 19) is the controversial Footsie, the saga of a foot fetishist that straddles the line between offensive and interesting.

On April 22, Grill will host Northwest Exposure, a variety of videos curated by Blackchair Productions, a Seattle organization with a reputation for spreading the idea of "microcinema" across the country. Microcinema is kind of like the cinematic equivalent of microbrewed beer--these are shorter, intimate, and idiosyncratic works intended to be viewed by small, congenial audiences. The 64-minute program will show 14 films, including an updated "Reefer Madness," on the continuing corrupting effects of the evil herb; "Donut Holes," an exciting new contribution to the genre of the bingo documentary; "Cop Some Glue," a grassroots response to corporate media; and "Three," a disturbing film about a young boy witnessing a sexual encounter outside a rural shack.

Other programs in the Video Salon series include an evening of "cinematic absurdities" by Mike Plante on April 23. Plante recently showed his 16mm, locally made films to enthusiastic crowds at the Screening Room. Plante's films will be augmented with live music by Bob Log III, the sprightly musician of Doo Rag fame; and, though I don't know exactly what this means, the filmmakers promise that this night will be a special "Ladies' Night."

Yes, there's more. Look at your festival program for details. And to sweeten the deal, admission to the Video Salon is a scant $2, with coffee and iced tea compliments of Grill, to keep you wired and watching well into the wee hours. TW

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