Bright Lights Film Journal

We Got Announcements

Herewith is a new occasional announcement entry for various and sundry doings by Bright Lights writers and friends that may interest readers.

First, our pal Bob Moricz, future reviewer of the notorious “pink films” and auteur of the wild, Kucharesque indie Palace of Stains (reviewed here, is back with an intriguing new feature called BUMPS. It’s premiering as (appropriately enough) a one-night stand on Thursday, July 30, at the legendary Clinton Street Theatre in Portland, Oregon, at 9:00 p.m. Below is the youtube vid and the author’s statement.

BUMPS is based on the Gloucester High School teen pregnancy controversy which made national headlines in July of 2008. It is not a direct representation of the events. The headlines were merely a diving board into a pool of cinematic possibilities.

I recruited the actors through a local ad. Once the cast was assembled, the actors received the guidelines and motivations for their characters, list of scenes, and the dramatic arc of the story. No dialogue was scripted. I am a 35 year old man. There is no way I can possibly write for teen girls. That’s just not my world. I figured the actors (ages ranged at the time of shooting from 16-19) would be way better at coming up with their own dialogue.

I wanted real spontaneity. Any script for this story would have been totally phony. I trusted the actors to use their own ideas and experiences, giving them a strong investment in the film. This gives the picture kind of like a documentary feel. It’s very intimate and personal. Almost uncomfortably so. I think they all basically played themselves.

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Next up, Greg Ford, the noted critic and animator whose exegesis of Tex Avery enchanted and enthralled us, is the star of a witty vid riffing on Tom Gammill’s “Learn to Draw” series.

Here’s the video along with Greg’s take, excerpted from his email:

Check out the “LEARN TO DRAW with Tom Gammill” spots on You Tube, specifically the Number Seventeen episode guest-starring yours truly (with Ronnie Scheib in the role of “the great Polish animator”). I was attempting to pull off a self-satirical “Porky’s Preview”-type piece, except that it’s mostly live-action and makes the current rotten state of the economy part of the joke. The running gag of LEARN TO DRAW is that Tom is a sorta self-deluded comic-strip artist (everybody hates his family-friendly strip, which is called “The Doozies”). In episode #17 which I kinda co-wrote and -directed, Tom hires “Greg Ford” to create a feature-length film adaptation of the strip called “The DOOZIES Movie,” and hilarity ensues.

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Finally, regular Bright Lights contributor Erich Kuersten has been running a fascinating blog devoted to “acid movies” on his essential “Acidemic” blog. Under the Volcano and The Trip are, respectively, numbers 21 and 20 on this list that we predict won’t end soon in our happily drug-addled cutlure. Erich brings his distinctive brand of “grab that zeitgeist!” critique-making to many of the usual suspects — including Psych-Out, one of our favorites from the golden age of such movies — but perhaps you can surprise him by suggesting he tackle an obscure, perhaps subtly “acid” movie that has somehow escaped his compound eye!