by Jim Ridley
Crispin Hellion Glover Live
Where: The Belcourt
When: 7 p.m. Jan. 6-7
The last time actor, filmmaker and multimedia irritant Glover appeared at The Belcourt, for a screening of his 2005 debut feature What Is It? — an indescribable phantasmagoria of unfaked snail homicide, dueling deities and sexual spectacle, performed by actors with Down syndrome — the disconnect between the assaultive film and the host’s eagerness to please once the lights went up produced instant hostility. But even some people who found the movie agonizing admitted to a certain respect for it — mostly because Glover gives people routinely patted on the head (and avoided) as “the handicapped” room to express the same erotic obsessions, angry impulses and fantasy lives as everyone else.
He raises those stakes in his 2007 follow-up It Is Fine! EVERYTHING IS FINE., written by and starring the late Steven C. Stewart — an actor whose mind was imprisoned in a body gnarled and stifled by cerebral palsy, yet who was granted this chance to unleash a lifetime of pent-up self-expression and psychosexual fixation. If you’re expecting either the wacko who terrorized David Letterman or the lovable eccentric who played Michael J. Fox’s dad in Back to the Future, Glover’s post-film Q&As deliver something much more interesting: an almost disturbingly earnest auteur who can articulate precisely why his punishing visions piss people off, and why he thinks they shouldn’t.
Glover will conduct a two-night stand at The Belcourt this weekend, performing his Big Slide Show Part 2 with It Is Fine! Friday, then doing an encore of his Big Slide Show Part 1 with What Is It? Saturday. (Oh, and the trailer above is waaay NSFW.)