The Fabulous Allan Carr

April 201890 minutes
Independent

Armed with a limitless Rolodex and a Benedict Canyon enclave with its own disco, Allan Carr threw the Hollywood parties that defined the 1970s. A producer, manager, and marketing genius, Carr built his bombastic reputation amid a series of successes, including the mega hit musical film “Grease” and the Broadway sensation “La Cage Aux Folles,” until it all came crashing down after he produced the notorious debacle of the 1989 Academy Awards.
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Rotten Tomatoes® score
Audio language
English (5.1)
Subtitles
English [CC]
Rental Period
Start within 30 days, finish within 48 hours.
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Run time
90 minutes
Uncle Howard was buried on his thirty-fifth birthday. He was gay; an Ivy League graduate; a broke artist; a rising Hollywood star; a heroin user; a jetsetter; a seedy nightlife lover; a director of cult docs; a devoted friend. To director Aaron Brookner, he was a loving uncle who died of AIDS in 1989 when he was only seven and right when Howard was about to make it as a filmmaker. William Burroughs wrote: “Immortality is the only goal worth striving for". Howard’s relationship with the famed writer marked his gateway to artistic and personal freedom. Twenty-three years after his death, Howard’s work and memory are fading but Aaron wants to fight for his uncle's right to be immortal. He finds the clues to the many sides of his uncle’s story in a modern day tomb: Burroughs’ New York City bunker. More than 300 cans of film offer a glimpse at Howard’s life and career, including outtakes from his 1983 debut film Burroughs: The Movie (the first and most revealing film about the iconic writer), Howard’s video diaries documenting his illness and personal feelings, photographs, rehearsal videos from his Hollywood feature with Madonna and extensive documentation from the mid-80s. Through conversations with family and close friends – including Jim Jarmusch, Tom DiCillo, Sara Driver, Hisami Kuroiwa, Brad Gooch, Darryl Pinckney, James Grauerholz and Robert Wilson – comes an exploration into the cultural revolution of the late 70s and early 80s, a bankrupt and sordid New York City, the eruption of the AIDS plague, sex, drugs, politics, and the artistic determination of a filmmaker whose life was cut short. Featuring long-lost footage and archival photos of William Burroughs, Patti Smith, John Giorno, Allen Ginsberg, Brion Gysin, Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson, Terry Southern, Andy Warhol, Spike Lee, John Waters, Francis Bacon, Matt Dillon, Madonna, and more, Uncle Howard reveals a portrait of the tumultuous and mysterious life, struggles, and untimely death of Howard Brookner.
While the rest of America slept, DIY filmmaker/musician Giuseppe Andrews (a one-time teen actor in Independence Day and Detroit Rock City) has made over 30 experimental features with titles like Doily’s Summer of Freak Occurrences, Trailer Town and Utopia Blues. Set in some demented alternate universe (i.e. Ventura, California), they are populated by real-life alcoholics and drug addicts, trash-talking senior citizens and trailer park residents dressed in cow outfits and costume-shop wigs, acting out booze-fueled vignettes of severe psychosis filtered through Giuseppe’s John Waters-meets-Harmony Korine-meets-Werner Herzog sensibility. Director Adam Rifkin (Look, The Dark Backward) creates a wildly surreal, outrageously funny and strangely touching portrait of an Outsider artist inhabiting a world few of us even know exists, as he follows Giuseppe and his seriously impaired troupe on the production of his latest 2-day opus, Garbanzo Gas, starring Vietnam Ron as a Cow given a weekend reprieve from the slaughterhouse at the local motel. Beyond the sun-stroked Theater of the Absurd madness of Giuseppe’s vision, there is a remarkable and endearing sense of family among the director, his amiably bonkers dad Ed, patient girlfriend Mary, Sir Bigfoot George and the rest of his surreal Trailer Park rep company. As skate-punk Spit sagely observes about Giuseppe’s movies: “They’re just like, nothing really makes any sense, and I don’t know, that’s kinda how reality is, and nobody really cares to accept that.” The stranger-than-fiction documentary explores the Giuseppe universe, showing how the self-taught filmmaker captures an unexpected level of humanism and creates a family unit for a group of people who need one. Giuseppe Makes a Movie is an Official Selection of Hot Docs 2014, Los Angeles Film Festival (LAFF) and the Rooftop Films Summer Series.
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