While most moviegoers are probably familiar with Crispin Hellion Glover from his singular roles in "Back to the Future," "River's Edge," "Willard" and the "Charlie's Angels" films, his reputation as a creator of startlingly out-there films and books is more well-known among cinema buffs. His films "What Is It?" (2005) and "It Is Fine! Everything Is Fine" (2007) are part of a trilogy, and have earned plaudits from a bevy of film critics, several of whom have put the films in the rarified company of legends like Fellini, Buñuel and Werner Herzog.
Glover will be in Central Arkansas this weekend to screen "It Is Fine!" at Market Street Cinema in Little Rock on Saturday and the Malco in Hot Springs on Sunday.
"It Is Fine!" was directed by Glover and David Brothers and stars Steven C. Stewart, who wrote the script in the late '70s and had severe cerebral palsy. His character has a fixation on women with long hair, and over the course of the film he seduces and murders several of same, including a mother and then her teen-age daughter. Glover has said that Stewart – who died in 2000, shortly after the film was shot – "wanted to show that handicapped people are human, sexual and can be horrible."
Glover was awestruck by the script, which he first encountered in 1987.
"I am relieved to have gotten this film finally completed, because ever since I read the screenplay in 1987, I knew I had to produce the film and also produce it correctly," he told the Arkansas Times via e-mail. "I would not have felt right about myself if I had not gotten Steve's film made, I would have felt that I had done something wrong and that I had actually done a bad thing if I had not gotten it made."
Glover wrote that "It Is Fine!" "will probably be the best film I will have anything to do with in my entire career."
Now, before you fire up your Netflix or OnDemand or BitTorrent (shame on you!) to try to watch Glover's films in the confines of your home, there's one thing you should know: Don't bother. You'll only see these films by attending one of his screenings. Glover outlined several reasons for eschewing the conventional model of theatrical/home release for his films.
"There are benefits and drawbacks about self-distributing my own films," he wrote. "In this economy, it seems like touring with the live show and showing the films with a book signing is a very good basic safety net for recouping the monies I have invested in the films."
This model, which he said follows in the steps of Vaudeville entertainers, allows him to prevent piracy and supervise the monetary intake of the films. But there are beneficial aspects of touring with the shows beyond the monetary concerns. After all, how many celebrated filmmakers can say they've been in the room with every person who has ever watched their movies?
Prior to screening "It Is Fine!" Glover will present a dramatic narration of an hour-long slide show featuring excerpts from eight of his books. After the film, he'll answer audience questions and sign copies of his books. You can check out trailers for the films and find a tour schedule at www.crispinglover.com, although squares, prudes and, of course, children, should probably steer clear. Everyone else should take advantage of this rare opportunity to see a highly touted film in the presence of its creator.
Read the Times' interview with Glover at arktimes.com/crispinglover.
Slide show with dramatic narration, screening of "It Is Fine! Everything Is Fine" and a Q&A and book-signing with Crispin Glover.
7 p.m. Saturday, July 2, Market Street Cinema
7 p.m. Sunday, July 3, Malco Theater in Hot Springs.
Both shows are $20, cash only, no presales.