The greatest 16mm action movie of all time.
In 1988, 21-year-old Jim Van Bebber took his student loan money, dropped out of film school and decided to invest his small pool of money wisely (in our opinion) in a nonstop action-packed gore-and-sex-filled street gang flick, shot on 16mm in the mean streets of Dayton, Ohio. The end result is everything our inner adolescent loves about testosterone-laden movies from the ‘80s, executed with love, skill, and excellence on the tiniest of budgets, done without even a trace of irony. Van Bebber isn’t just a natural filmmaker -- starring, writing, directing, and editing -- he’s an all-around badass. That’s him up on the screen wielding nunchucks and hurling shurikens with the skill that comes from hours upon hours of front-lawn practice. That’s him risking his life and doing his own crazy stunts (jumping off dams, rappelling down shopping mall parking lots) with the kind of stupidity that only comes with youth -- and yes, that’s him giving his emotional all in every scene with true metalhead angst, like a hesher without a cause. Deadbeat at Dawn is our new favorite movie, and we can’t wait for it to be yours. Jim Van Bebber will be here to answer your questions in person during a Q&A between the films!
Dir. Jim Van Bebber, 1988, 16mm, 80 min.
The Manson Family - 10:00pm
Fifteen years in the making, The Manson Family was Van Bebber’s ultimate passion project -- his Moby Dick. Started just two years after Deadbeat At Dawn, using limited resources (that is, using the help of many friends, and with almost no money), Van Bebber committed totally to the project, giving blood to raise money, filming in the nude during sex scenes to comfort his cast, and refusing to start another feature until he finished his opus. Using a framing device of faux-doc interviews with all the Family members, Van Bebber shifts the focus away from the circus atmosphere of the trial and its media coverage, choosing instead to go deep into the heads of the people wrapped under the spell of this infamous mind-fucker. Manson himself takes a backseat here; what we get is the acid-soaked internal world of his minions in a drug-and-sex-and-blood transgressive freak-fest that viscerally puts you right there in the action. With an explosion of cinematic devices, skilled framing, complex structure, Van Bebber delivers underground filmmaking at its best.
Dir. Jim Van Bebber, 2003, 35mm, 95 min.
FOr more info: cinefamily.org/calendar/saturday_late.html#vanbebber