CBGB MUSIC AND FILM FESTIVAL 2014: BOWERY ELECTRIC & VILLAGE EAST CINEMAS

Film Syrup made its way down to the CBGB Music and Film Festival in the East Village, NYC, last Friday, October 10, 2014. The Bowery Electric, a dimly lit venue with lighting that casts a casual, personable tone upon its stage hosted a few music artists: highlighted here are Silver Dollar and Marc Ford with Elijah Ford and The Bloom.

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You have to love a band with a sense of humor.

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Silver Dollar:

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Marc Ford with Elijah Ford and the Bloom:

Elijah Ford took the stage by himself, initially.

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Film Syrup then headed to Village East Cinemas, where people were gathered around the theatre, getting ready for screenings.

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Overall, the CBGB Film Festival made a big impact on the city last week, bringing music and film together to form a collaboration between industries that help to entertain the masses. Film Syrup chose to cover the East Village venues where the personality is contagiously direct. There were many other venues that hosted different artists, and with high hopes we look forward to CBGB 2015.

CBGB Music and Film Festival says “Thank you New York: See You Next Year!”

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Living Urban Culture Fashion Show

On Sunday, September 21st, Living Urban Culture hosted a fashion show at Dred Surfer Grill in Rockaway, Queens. It included a collaboration of a few designers and their brands: Creative Era by Whitney House, X Z O T I K S W I M by Ashley Couture, Shinade Martin, Designs by Xaiken Ford. As the sky grew darker, the light from the boardwalk lamps spilling in to meet with the brightness of the colorful space at the venue, the room seemed to grow, with onlookers taking seats to see the hard work displayed by the designers. For pre-show interviews check out our previous posting: L.U.C. interviews.

CEO and Founder of Living Urban Culture L.U.C., Eudora N. Chioma provided more information on her company, for those who are interested in fashion:

“Living Urban Culture. L.U.C is an uprising fashion company that combines African, Ameican and other cultures into one to create a new style(s) of living. L.U.C. is a movement for all artistic minds to come together, work together and bring each other up. We also incorporate this “style” into our clothing and accessories for both genders.

Film Syrup asked Eudora what L.U.C. means to her. She responded with a knowing respect for the culture(s) and style she promotes and explores. To Eudora, ” Living Urban Culture is a way of life. It’s a company that shines on all ethnicity and cultures, on all races, or all forms of art and fashion, whether is music, illustration, film, photography, modeling, designing, we do it all. We’re the company that has everything you need under one roof.”
Eudora told Film Syrup that she does not have one “favorite” designer, adding “every designer inspires me in different ways.” In the name of all things Film Syrup! we asked Eudora what her favorite films are. She responded that she enjoys the Harry Potter Series, Twilight Series, and the Hunger Games series, but she enjoys other films as well. She would be able to give great fashion advice to Katniss Everdeen (no offense, Cinna).
Film Syrup asked Eudora a few more questions:

What do you love about fashion?

“I love how the designer expresses him or herself through clothing and accessories and I love how each individual can put different pieces together to create a look that expresses something about them. It’s art.”

What do you love about Living Urban Culture?

“I love the fact that we’re one big family supporting each other and growing together. We all have different goals and we all help each other accomplish those goals.”


Where/who does your inspiration come from?

“From life, from the streets, from individuals, artists, poets, African culture, my family, music, designers etc.”

Eudora’s passion for her niche is impressive and reflects through her ability to organize events that allow fashion professionals to interact with different industries. Last Sunday, September 21st, Film Syrup was honored to attend L.U.C’s fashion show to experience the creative expressions of designers and models who hold inner beauty that they channel into the art of fashion:

Creative Era by Whitney House

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X Z O T I K S W I M by Ashley Couture

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 Designer: Shinade Martin 

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Designs by Xaiken Ford

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U’dora Designs by Eudora/LUC

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Living Urban Culture also collaborated with music artists:

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You know that when everyone breaks out into the “Electric Slide” that it has been a great night.

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For regular updates on Living Urban Culture, visit L.U.C’s Facebook: LivingUrbanCulture or for clothing: livingurbanculture.com

Living Urban Culture’s Fashion Show: pre-show interviews

Film Syrup traveled to Rockaway last weekend, on Sunday, September 21st, 2014 for Living Urban Culture’s (LUC) Fashion Show. Our team presented themselves with their talents and positions: Vice President and Stylist, Roxanne Pfaus interviewed models, along with contributing writer, Jordan Danner, with our creative director, Paige Skelly and creative advisor, Sarina Penza as accompanying photographers. Phil Zorawski interviewed designers, with Tommy Stang, Grace McGovern, Shaun McMahon helping our cause. Colleen Rowe, Film Syrup’s founder and managing editor of the blog, photographed the fashion show.

Below are the interviews we performed as a collective group, because before anything else Film Syrup is a team.

 
Interviews by Jordan Danner:

Model: Denecia
Wearing: Designer, Sinead Martin
Favorite Designer: Chila 4 Fun
Favorite Film: Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

Her favorite thing about LUC is the unique designs and how you will never see another like them at other shows.

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Roxanne Pfaus and Jordan Danner conducting interviews with L.U.C. models.
Model: Ashley
Wearing: Creative Era, Designer Whitney
Favorite designer: herself, Crookid
Favorite Film: Eve’s Bayou

Her favorite thing about LUC is that it is a melting pot of everything that she loves artistically in film, fashion and music.

Model: Ashley
Wearing: Creative Era, Designer Whitney
Ashley does not have a favorite designer because she says everyone is different in their own unique way.
Favorite Films: Taken and The Fast and the Furious
Her favorite thing about LUC is being able to work with a variety of different cultures.

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The Ashleys: From Left to right: the second Ashley with the first Ashley interviewed.
4. Okeema (MC of the event)

Dress by Eudora of LUC and accessories by MoonGoddie
Favorite designer: Eudora of LUC because she makes and envisions all of her outfits
Her favorite films are Baggage Claim, the Twilight series, Think Like a Man and The Best Man

Her favorite thing about LUC is allowing every model to express their individuality and not discriminating based on race, gender or size.

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 Sarina Penza and Jordan Danner conducting interview with Okeema, the fashion show’s MC.
Interview by Paige Skelly:
Model’s Name: Julissa
Where are you from? The Bronx.
What brand/designer are you wearing? Creative Era
Favorite Designer? Carolina Herrera
What is your favorite movie(s)? Titanic, Avatar, The Notebook
What do you love about Living Urban Culture? Meeting people and traveling.
Interviews by Roxanne Pfaus:
In speaking with some of the show’s models and getting an up close look at the garments, I was able to gain a better understanding of the brand Creative Era, a collection that was completely hand crafted. -Roxanne Pfaus, Film Syrup Stylist

#1

What is your name? Raven Salmon

What designer are you wearing? Creative Era by designer Whitney House

Who is your favorite designer? Highly Humble

What do you love about LUC? I love that it is so unique and different

What is your favorite movie? The Exorcist

Models Raven and Denecia Raven was wearing a top made of both lace and denim, giving a sheer quality to her back. She was also wearing leopard print skinnies. Her outfit was accessorized with the designer’s signature bow tie and thick brimmed glasses, giving her a spunky look.living urban culture film syrup 2

 Models Raven and Denecia.

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What is your name? Joshua Smith

What designer are you wearing? Creative Era by Whitney House

Who is your favorite designer? Asher Levine

What do you love about LUC? I love the diversity, and that it is like a big family that comes together.

What is your favorite movie? Alice in Wonderland, the Tim Burton version

Joshua was sporting a plaid blue flannel, opened so that you could see his white tee underneath. He was also wearing black skinny jeans, along with his retro styled bow tie and glasses.

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Interviews by Phil Zorawski:

Designer name: Sinead Martin

Favorite thing about fashion: “People are able to see and identify with who i am, and how people use my ideas so they can benefit themselves and others in the future.”

Designer name: Yalken Ford

Film: Blood Nightmare

Favorite designer.: “None. Mine!.” (laughs)
Inspiring designer: Kiki palmer
Inspiration for designs: My grandmother.
She says of designing: I love the joy it gives me to see others enjoying my clothes.

Sinead Martin and a friend during L.U.C’s Fashion Show at Dred Surfer Grill in Rockaway, Queens. September 21, 2014.

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Stay “tuned” into Syrup for the fashion show, Part 2! With designs by Creative Era, Sinead Martin, Living Urban Culture, etc. To be released soon!

“Sick Exhibitionism” in John Waters’ “Female Trouble”: I can take much more!

By Colleen Rowe

The first time I ever watched a John Waters film was when I was ten years old— it had been almost a decade since it had been released. Serial Mom (1994) was initially shocking for me, but even at that age I understood the humor of Kathleen Turner’s portrayal as Beverly Sutphin. I always made sure not to wear white after Labor Day after that, especially in areas where phone booths were prevalent.

Over the years, I watched a few of John Waters’ films here and there, but in my late teens, I was finally shown Pink Flamingos (1972) for the first time by a friend. I’m not sure what my friend was thinking, to be honest. Not because I felt overly disgusted by Pink Flamingos, which is the appropriate response, but because it was our first one-on-one interaction together. I didn’t see much of my friend after that.

IMG_6796John Waters post screening of Female Trouble at Lincoln Center Film Society’s “Fifty years of John Waters: How much can you take?”

After the initial horror of egg-eating, ass-dancing madness, I decided that Pink Flamingos was truly original. As Mink Stole said in a clip from AMC’s nine-part series, Movies that Shook the World: Pink Flamingos, “There’s barely a moment in it that could be shown to any God-fearing household.” If you can make audiences twist their faces in anguish as you present a larger, thought-provoking point, you have truly accomplished something great. Waters explained that when titling Pink Flamingos he wanted it to have a non-sensational name since the film was so shocking in itself. Waters did this by capturing the foul, puke-antagonist that is Pink Flamingos and its “poor step-sister,” as he termed it, Female Trouble./ Theme song./

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J. Hoberman and John Waters at the Walter Reade Theater during opening night of Lincoln Center Film Society’s Fifty Years of John Waters: How Much Can You Take? Q & A post-screening of Female Trouble.

Dawn Davenport’s (played by Divine) psychotic behavior is partially foreshadowed in the infamous Christmas morning scene where she actually pushes her mother (her parents didn’t buy her Cha-cha heels!) and a Christmas tree falls on her. At the Walter Reade Theater at the opening night of Lincoln Center Film Society’s “Fifty Years of John Waters: How Much Can You Take?” Waters recounted to critic J. Hoberman and his audience that a Christmas tree had fallen on his grandmother when he was growing up and he exaggerated slightly. She was not hurt, as Davenport’s mother seemed to be. “Knocking over the Christmas tree has become a holiday favorite,” Waters remarked on Friday night, a comment that made the audience explode with laughter.

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Waters educated the crowd on Cha-cha heels further, explaining that a lot of people didn’t know what real Cha-cha heels looked like (Apparently Cha-cha’s had smaller heels than most people thought). He added comically, “I had to teach drag queens about life.”

Dawn runs away after her dramatic outburst and crosses paths with Earl Peterson (also played by Divine). Earl literally screws himself for associating with a woman such as Dawn, and vice versa.

One of the greatest characters in Female Trouble is Taffy Davenport. Mink Stole portrays the older 14-year-old Taffy who interrupts Divine and her husband, Gater (Michael Potter), while they are having sex (take note that Mink Stole was in her late twenties when this film was made). Taffy’s responses to Gater are honestly appropriate. He’s a sick pervert and she knows it. Her infamous line: “I wouldn’t suck your dick unless I was suffocating and there was oxygen in your balls!” will make audiences laugh out loud with the follow-up classic one-liner, in response to Gater’s questions: “Writing a book, hippy? Why don’t you go listen to some folk music and give me a break!?” Taffy is emotionally and mentally tortured throughout this film and she has every right to insult the “morally bankrupt,” as the only apparently logical character, Dawn’s doctor, calls them, adults who surround her.IMG_6809Initially, Dawn and Gater spend a lot of time at a local beauty salon where Gater works. Here, Dawn meets the bigot-yuppie couple, Donald (David Lochary) and Donna Dasher (Mary Vivian Pearce) who are absolutely obsessed with beauty. With her eyes perpetually rolling, Sally (Sally Albaugh), a customer at the salon, comments: “Well throw a goddamn penny in the fountain and make a goddamn wish and maybe it will come true.” Waters always found it hilarious that a lot of people had wishing wells on their front lawns. Along with other front lawn decorations, a lot of people also had pink flamingos. John Waters commented that he disapproved of the resurgence of pink flamingos that critic, J. Hoberman, spoke about during the Q & A at the retrospective’s screening of Female Trouble. Waters said, “‘I’m for them if you’re 75 years old and you have the plaster kind, the original since the 40s, I’m against it if you’re a yuppie with a plastic one on your front lawn meant to mock blue collar people.” He added: “Now they’ve become wearisome.”

Waters also expanded upon the act of “hitchhiking,” which Divine does in Female Trouble. Waters said, “Most people don’t know what hitchhiking is. I was hitchhiking once in Provincetown and a family picked me up. The little kid was staring at me like “’Dad, why is this man in the car?’”

Taffy is the only one who seems to realize how preposterous the idea of Dawn’s modeling career is. When Donald Dasher says that the camera he has is for taking pictures of Dawn, Taffy blatantly exclaims, “You must be cock-eyed!” and proceeds to annoy Donna Dasher with her drawn out “Hey, Laaady” as she drops chips all over Donna, who pretty much deserves it. One of the best lines in Female Trouble (keep in mind that almost every line is quotable in its entirety) is said by Donna Dasher after Dawn offers them dinner. With a long drawn out half-sigh, Donna says: “I couldn’t possibly eat spaghetti. Do I look Italian?” It isn’t so much the comment, which is in itself hilariously ridiculous, but the way Pearce says it.

This is not the only notable comment by Donna, who says to Dawn, dreamily, with the seduction of the movie-fame life overhanging, “We’ll give you a new look, an interest in life… and together, we could overcome… this boredom that imprisons us all.” Pearce’s drawl is the voice we hear when we read advertisements on highways, pushing without direct contact with the subject. Those sprawled out magazine famous models are the products that their industries make them become, and Pearce portrays this almost too perfectly with an eerily captivating tone. Her voice is the fine print that we did not care to read.

Dawn’s violent tendencies are finally captured! The Dashers start taking photographs after young Taffy throws a bowl of Dawn’s spaghetti at the wall. As Dawn is about to beat Taffy down with a chair, the Dashers excitedly ask her to pause for a great shot. Don’t worry, it doesn’t stop her from performing the act, and suddenly Taffy is Dawn’s trophy, messily sprawled across the floor like an overused prop. So Dawn begins to trade pain for fame, as many people do, and then a serious undertone takes its place beneath the blatant comedic obscenities that are performed. The Dashers are loving it: the exploitation, the opportunity to record shocking images. They are the show business industry.

While the Dashers embrace conforming behavior, or what they think is impressive, Gater’s Aunt Ida (Edith Massey) defames it. Aunt Ida states, “The world of the heterosexual is a sick and boring life.” It sounds familiar, maybe it’s usually said a little differently. How many times have we heard it on the street, at work, in school, among colleagues, friends, acquaintances, and especially enemies?: “Homosexuality is sick”, but Aunt Ida turns around and points the finger at you, heterosexuals! Why are you the exception? Aunt Ida is an important metaphor for the ignorant phrases we hear of those who dwell too long in the realm of homophobia. The next time you’re about to express a phobia against someone’s sexuality, just think of Edith Massey, and how she looks better than you in that tight, black dress.

Female trouble escalates quickly. Dawn starts to completely lose her mind as The Dashers direct her like sideshow puppeteers. Behind the scenes of her first big performance, Dawn points a gun at The Dashers, shaking it playfully with big, wandering eyes. This scene is hilarious at first glance; the shot of her as the screen flicks back to the dressing room where her high school friends, Concetta (Cookie Mueller) and Chicklette (Susan Walsh), and The Dashers sigh happily with joy as Dawn forcefully dangles a lethal weapon.

Taffy shows up behind the scenes, dressed beautifully with a new light in her eyes. She has joined the Hare Krishnas, a decision that has seemed to affect her positively.Taffy speaks with Aunt Ida who tells her, “If you get tired of being a Harry Krishna, you come live with me and be a lesbian.” It’s a pretty great offer.

Dawn “embarrassed” and horrified that Taffy has chosen to associate herself with such a group, strangles Taffy within minutes and the witnesses squeal with happiness. Taffy had said to Dawn, before she had left to be a part of the Hare Krishnas,“You can’t kill Krishna because Krishna is consciousness.” If you beat it down or ignore it enough, I guess you really can kill something.

Why do onlookers and show business “professionals,” i.e, The Dashers, find the thrill of being killed so humorous? Why is Dawn being presented as a part of a show when she should really be getting some psychological help? Why is any of this okay in any film? Oh, you will make a lot of money. In fact, it’ll be a hit! You’re famous suddenly as the screen turns red.

Dawn’s speech during her show is most memorable:

“Thank you from the bottom of my black little heart! You came here for some excitement tonight and that’s just what you’re going to get! Take a good look at ME because I’m going to be on the front of every newspaper in this country tomorrow! You’re looking at crime personified AND DON’T YOU FORGET IT! I framed Leslie Bacon! I called the heroin hot line on Abby Hoffman! I bought the gun that Bremmer used to shoot Wallace! I had an affair with Juan Corona! I blew Richard Speck! And I’m so fucking beautiful I can’t stand it myself! Now, everybody freeze! Who wants to be famous? Who wants to DIE for art?”

As Dawn says, “everybody freeze!” she reveals a gun, pointing it at the crowd. As she shows herself off, her trampoline routine is quite entertaining, but as soon as the weapon is revealed the situation changes from hilarious to truly terrifying in an instant.

In the final scene, Dawn is strapped to an electric chair. During his Q & A with Hoberman, Waters recounted that he and his crew, “Walked across the prison yard carrying the electric chair.” He continued, “Could you imagine that being allowed today?” The prisoners, probably horrified, were onlookers right before this scene was shot.

After laughing so hard throughout the film, it’s shocking how calm you’ll suddenly become as Dawn is finally reprimanded for the seriousness of her “sick exhibitionism”, as Donna Dasher calls it. Dawn states in her testimony during the trial that produces the result of her landing in that death chair, “How can they not want to die if they want to become famous for it?” and “Without all of this, my career couldn’t have gotten this far.” Here, the timeless question is asked through dialogue: How far will a person go for money and fame? Dawn is proud of the offenses she has committed against others. She demands to be on television.

The most horrific stories are always highlighted in the news, movies, books. People like to talk about murder or any terrible crimes because it makes their content in its entirety more interesting. Forget about morals, it is all about the special recognition. If you’re watching a film made by John Waters, the violence isn’t overtly gruesome like many films today exhibit. The dialogue is the key factor while watching Female Trouble. There are countless subtle meanings behind almost every sentence that reflect a critical idea. Through the dialogue that runs smoothly alongside the situations portrayed, homophobia, religious persecution, child neglect and abuse, sexual exploitation, snooty upper-class norms, glamorizing drug use, and many other social issues, are portrayed obscenely but correctly.

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On opening night, a few of the Dreamlanders were present at Lincoln Center Film Society’s John Waters Retrospective, including Mink Stole. Kathleen Turner (Serial Mom) was also present. He described the Dreamlanders who were present, and also those who have passed on, as “my friends, my colleagues, my gang,” some of them for over 50 years.

Prior to the screening, Waters said, somewhat apologetically, that he is sorry that everyone in this movie seems to be screaming constantly. It’s a very “loud” film. Overall, Waters said that this film, after its initial release got good reviews, “but people didn’t know what to make of it at the time.”

Today, John Waters, remains a huge part of pop-culture, influencing other filmmakers and social commentators.

There’s one great lesson to learn from Female Trouble: Remember to never mention a sex act in front of anyone respectable and rich because it is vile and crude!

“Trouble With Women” (2014) Photo Collection (Q&A) : Long Beach International Film Festival

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Trouble With Women,” Directed by Alan Ginsberg, starring Montgomery Sutton,  Andrew Mauney, & Brian Boswell.

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After Brian Boswell was asked if he was anything like his character in real life, (apparently it happens a lot):

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Alan Ginsberg & part of the cast

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Stony Brook Film Festival Photo Collection

Andrej Landin at Stony Brook Film Festival’s Q & A for his short film: “Into the Silent Sea.” Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014Andrej Landin

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Don Cherel at the Q & A for his short film “Sorta’ Horny”, Tuesday, July 22, 2014

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Film Syrup model & contributor, Paige Skelly with Daphne Rubin-Vega (Smash, RENT [Broadway]) after the showing of “Fall to Rise.”

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Cast members and director, Jayce Bartok during the “Fall to Rise” Q & A. Saturday, July 19th, 2014.

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