your head around this—Giuseppe Andrews has made more full length features than
either Terrence Malick or Quentin Tarantino. Andrews would consider Garbanzo Gas his tenth “proper” feature,
but there were ten or so earlier films that just didn’t come together the way
he hoped. Of course, Andrews will be the first to admit “proper” is a decidedly
subjective term in his case. Adam Rifkin documents Garbanzo’s whirlwind preproduction and two day shooting schedule in
Giuseppe Makes a Movie (trailer here), which opens this
Thursday at Anthology Film Archives.
lives in a Ventura trailer park, next to his producer-father, Ed, a former
back-up musician with the Bee-Gees. After previous stretches of veritable
homelessness, both men feel they have finally put down roots. The experience
gives them a clear affinity for their regular cast-members, most of whom are
either homeless or living a half step away. Yet, they have made lasting
friendships and scored quick pocket money through their work on Andrews’ films.
on the behind-the-scenes footage of Garbanzo
and the judiciously selected clips of his precious movies, an Andrews joint
looks darned near unwatchable. Yet, despite his obvious eccentricities, the
micro-budget auteur comes across quite well adjusted and even sort of
insightful. Unlike Ed Wood or American
Movie’s Mark Borchardt, Andrews harbors no illusions about the level of his
artistry. Nor would he argue he just needs some time to hone his craft, like
the ambitious filmmaking duo in Journey to Planet X. Instead, Andrews more or less acknowledges he is a Z-grade
filmmaker, but he is okay with that, which is cool.
fact, Andrews is clearly well versed in European auteurs like Fassbinder and Buñuel,
has a normal girlfriend, and maintains an obscenely healthy diet. Naturally,
lunacy is inescapable on his sets, but his shoots are considerably calmer than
you would expect. Frankly, aspiring micro-budget filmmakers should check out
his technique, because he must be doing something right, considering how
prolific he is. Arguably, he is a real professional, at least by some weird
standard. Maybe Martian.
are plenty of head-shakingly insane moments in GMaM, but for the most part, it is Andrews’ earnestness and energy
that propels the film along, as well as the camaraderie of his ensemble
players, such as Vietnam Ron, Sir Bigfoot George, Walt Dongo, and “Spit.” It is
pretty hilarious watching “the magic” happen, but Andrews’ affection for these
outsiders’ outsiders is rather endearing. Recommended for idealistic cineastes
and those who appreciate the micro-budget scene, Giuseppe Makes a Movie opens this Thursday (1/15) in New York, at
Anthology Film Archives, where they are also screening Andrews’ Garbanzo Gas and In the Garden, so good luck with those if you’re going.
Labels: Documentary, Giuseppe Andrews, Micro-budget