CRISPIN HELLION GLOVER
Interview by Night Watchman

CRISPIN HELLION GLOVER FIRST CAME TO THE ATTENTION OF THE WORLD AS MICHAEL J. FOX'S GEEKY FATHER IN THE FIRST BACK TO THE FUTURE FILM. BUT SINCE THEN, HE'S BEEN CARVING OUT HIS OWN PARTICULAR BRAND OF ENTERTAINMENT. WITH ALBUMS, BOOKS, AND HIS OWN INDEPENDENTLY-FINANCED FILMS, GLOVER IS DETERMINED TO MAKE THE KIND OF MOVIES HE WANTS TO SEE: THE KIND THAT MAKE YOU ASK QUESTIONS. HE WILL BE AT THE TIMES CINEMA IN MILWAUKEE ON MAY 5TH AND 6TH TO SHOW AUDIENCES CRISPIN HELLION GLOVER'S BIG SLIDE SHOW, AND TO SHOW THE FIRST IN A PLANNED TRILOGY OF FILMS CALLED WHAT IS IT? NIGHT WATCHMAN GOT TO TALK WITH CRISPIN A WEEK BEFORE THE SHOW.

Night Watchman: Talk a little bit about the event that is happening at The Times Cinema here in Milwaukee.

Crispin Glover: Well, I will be showing my film that Iíve been working on for many years entitled What Is It? And before I show the film I will be performing a slide show. Iíve always called it Crispin Hellion Gloverís Big Slide Show. Iíve been doing it for fourteen years now. Itís not something that Iíve promoted a lot, except locally, but the slide show consists of ten different books that I have made over the years. It lasts one hour, and I dramatically narrate each of these ten books. The reason there are slides is because the books are profusely illustrated-- virtually every page has an illustration on it. So the story itself would not be as clear if I did not have slides of the images in the books. Years ago, people had asked if I would do book readings for my books, but it didnít make sense unless I had the images. Thatís how the slide show came about. So that lasts for an hour, and then the film is seventy-two minutes long. Then I will have a question-and-answer period, which lasts anywhere from a half-hour, generally, to about 45 minutes or so. And then after that I have a book signing out in the lobby with the books that Iíve published. Some of those are in the slide show.

NW: For people that arenít familiar with your film-- I know it must be difficult to summarize, but can you describe what it is? How do you express what the film is about?

CG: Well, most of the actors in the film have Down's syndrome, but the film is not about Down's syndrome at all. How I always describe it is as being the adventures of a young man whose principal interests are snails, salt, a pipe, and how to get home as tormented by an hubristic, racist, inner-psyche. It sounds a bit confusing when ones hears that, but after one has seen the film, on some level, it does encapsulate what the film deals with.

NW: And for anyone who has not seen the trailer, which is available on your website, it looks like a very visually interesting film as well.

CG: Correct. That's one of the reasons that Iím taking the film around and personally touring with it. I want it to be something that is worth the nine and a half years it took me to make the film. I wanted it to be a 35mm print, so itís worth it for me to come out and take the time and make sure that itís being seen properly. It also has evocative elements within the film that promote questions, and the questions deserve to be heard and discussed. So thatís another reason for me to come out and do this.

NW: So it really is a big event, because people get to hear some readings, see the film, and then grill you about what youíre trying to accomplish with the film afterward.

CG: Correct. And with the readings, itís really more than that. I dramatically narrate each one, so itís not just like a regular book reading.

READ OUR SECOND INTERVIEW WITH CRISPIN HERE.

CLICK HERE TO PREORDER PRINT ISSUE #9, WHICH FEATURES A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT AND MORE IN-DEPTH INTERVIEW WITH CRISPIN GLOVER!