IOW: Nice to C-U on CUBlog, pt.2

We’re back with a second sampling of cinematic imagery pulled from our electronic archives that has never before appeared on C-U Blogfidential or in C-U Confidential! This round kicks off with an outdoor scene from TOO MUCH FLESH, starring Jean-Marc Barr and Élodie Bouchez as accidental lovers making life miserable for housewife Rosanna Arquette in the conservative American heartland. Directed by French filmmaker Pascal Arnold and filmed in nearby Rankin, IL, FLESH is the second of three “FreeTrilogy” dramas produced by Arnold and Barr, none of which have been distributed in the United States despite international festival play and home video release. LOVERS (1999) and BEING LIGHT (2001) are the two other features in this trilogy.

The above image appears in the filmed portion of Salvatore Martirano, Michael Holloway, and Ronald Nameth’s late Sixties multimedia collaboration L’s G.A., which we first wrote about a few years ago when Martirano’s colleagues revived the piece during the annual experimental music concert held at the University of Illinois School of Music in the late composer’s honor. Eventually re-edited and released separately, the film component of L’s G.A. is trippy montage set to Martirano’s electronic notations and a creepy recitation of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address by Holloway. Not surprisingly, it is rarely seen or performed although pricey copies of the original Polydor LP soundtrack appear regularly on eBay.

Ten years ago, Robin Christian of Dreamscape Cinema in Champaign moved forward with his dream to make low-budget commercial features by producing, writing, directing, and playing the title role in LINK, an adventure wherein a military vet seeks revenge on a local drug lord. In this behind-the-scenes shot, director of photography Jason Cox patiently waits as Christian goes over a chase scene with his actors including Amy Armstrong, who plays Link’s shady lady “Jamie.” More or less expunged from the official Dreamscape canon in the wake of higher profile follow-ups SHEEBA, DISCONNECT, and ACT YOUR AGE, LINK is available as a self-distributed DVD through this Web site.

Chicago playwright and independent filmmaker Joshua Aaron Weinstein lived in Urbana briefly before hightailing it to the Windy City, but returned to shoot the expressionistic short URBANA for his group Wet City Productions. The above screen grab features the main character, Jeff (Clayton A. Rogers), who performs at open mike nights and falls for fellow singer-songwriter Joslin (Tonya Andrews) with all the bumps in the road that scenario implies. Weinstein told CUBlog in an interview conducted last year that a convergence of friends and family members traveling from several states made the film possible. Streaming video as well as further information can be found on this page; look for our story about the project to post later in the summer!

Maybe far more amazing than the fact Hart D. Fisher’s long-delayed THE GARBAGE MAN finally arrived on home video two years ago this month is that he shot the movie in Champaign-Urbana a whopping 18 years ago this summer, right before your humble editor moved to town. Here, lead actor James Meredith as deviant “Tom” improperly disposes human remains from his killing spree.

We wrap it up with the EC Comics inspired program cover from the 1998 Freaky Film Festival, which took place at the Canopy Club in Urbana not long after that venue opened on the old Thunderbird Theater on Goodwin Avenue. (You might recognize the Canopy “Roost” as the setting in the URBANA scene pictured earlier.) Among other contributions to the second-year event, your humble editor assembled this garish delight in which he incorporated art from promotional materials submitted with AFFLICTED (1996), an extreme culture documentary by Mark Hejnar, MY PRETTY LITTLE GIRLFRIEND (1997), a lesbian breakup comedy by Jennifer M. Gentile, and the immortal FAME WHORE (1997), a stylized satire on the cult of celebrity by Jon Moritsugu. He also drew the central “Film Guy” based on original cartoons by FFF co-founder Eric Fisher, now an East Coast resident.

~ Jason Pankoke

2 Responses to IOW: Nice to C-U on CUBlog, pt.2

  1. Luke Boyce :

    I was in TOO MUCH FLESH. Marc-Barr is a distant relative.

  2. Administrator :

    I knew he had kin in Rankin, which is partly why he decided to shoot TMF there. In which part(s) did you appear?