For Crispin Glover, the actor best known as nebbish dad George McFly in Back to the Future, acting in Hollywood movies has afforded him the opportunity to follow his passion. Using his full birth name, Crispin Hellion Glover, he produces and directs films filled with primal, psycho-sexual themes with a bend toward surrealism featuring actors with Down syndrome and cerebral palsy.
In an email interview — his preferred format to discuss his work — Glover writes, “Usually filmmakers have hired me because there is something they have felt would be interesting to accomplish with using me in their film. … If for some reason the director is not truly interested in doing something that I personally find interesting with the character, then I can console myself that with the money I am making to be in their production I can fund my own films that I am so truly passionate about.”
His films What Is It? (2005) and It is fine! EVERYTHING IS FINE (2007) are the first two in what he calls the “It” trilogy. Over the course of two days, Glover will personally present the films at Cinema Paradiso in Fort Lauderdale. He will also narrate a two-part slideshow of excerpts from his illustrated books.
“It is a one-hour dramatic narration of eight different, profusely illustrated books that I have made over the years,” he says of the slideshow, something he began developing in 1992. “The illustrations from the books are projected behind me as I perform the show.”
It will be a multi-media experience on Sunday and Monday nights.
“I consider what I am doing to be following in the steps of Vaudeville performers,” he notes.
Everything points to a strange couple of nights for those attending his shows, but Glover hopes that his films will be approached with an open mind. “People should not view the film any differently from when they go see a film at a multiplex, although their experience might be different from going to the multiplex. I do not classify It is fine! EVERYTHING IS FINE, as experimental or underground. I simply consider it a drama. Although it is a drama with humor as any good drama should be.”
He spends a lot of time clarifying what laughter means to him, and it’s not always a reaction to a joke.
“Group situations can illustrate very clearly by means of laughter what is taboo,” he says. “This sort of unsettled audience reaction happens quite a lot in both films … Taboo is the gray area that is not clearly defined by the moral codes within the culture, and it makes for fascinating group discomfort when properly applied, which then can be interpreted in an educational fashion.”
Visit crispinglover.com for more information.
Crispin Hellion Glover appears at 7 p.m. Sunday at Cinema Paradiso Fort Lauderdale with “It is fine! EVERYTHING IS FINE” and “Crispin Hellion Glover’s Big Slide Show Part 1.” On June 29, he screens “What Is It?” and hosts “Part 2” of the slideshow. $20; www.fliff.com.