Chicago Underground Fest Packs Slate With Premieres,
Morrissey Tribute, and Rare "Fabulous Stains" Showing
by Mark Rabinowitz
The Chicago Underground Film Festival (CUFF) announced the lineup for
its 5th edition on Tuesday, and the event features approximately 125
features, documentaries and shorts. According to festival programmer
Brian Wendorf, virtually all of the films selected are either world or
Chicago premieres. Highlights of the event include a tribute to Warhol
"Factory" member and filmmaker Paul Morrissey, and a special screening
of rarely-seen 1982 cult film, Lou Adler's "Ladies and Gentlemen, the
Fabulous Stains." Scheduled to run from August 11-16, this year's event
is being extended by a day to six days, giving organizers the chance to
schedule repeat showings of some of the more hotly anticipated entries.
The opening night film will be the Midwest premiere of Tamara
Hernandez' South by Southwest Film Festival prize winner, "Men Cry
Bullets," while the closing night film is set to be the world premiere
of Chicago-native Anna Cimini's "Driver."
Tribute honoree Paul Morrissey is best known as a member of Andy
Warhol's New York "Factory" in the 1960's and 70's, and CUFF has
chosen to screen his 1974 film, "Flesh For Frankenstein" and the 1972
film by Morrissey and Warhol, "Women in Revolt," starring Warhol
superstars Holly Woodlawn, Candy Darling and Jackie Curtis.
"Frankenstein" will be shown in its original uncut 3D version.
Adler's "Stains" is well known for the acting debut of the 15 year-old Laura
Dern ("Rambling Rose") as well as performances by Diane Lane ("Indian
Summer," "Streets of Fire") and Sex Pistols Paul Cook and Steve Jones.
Filmmaker Sarah Jacobson ("Mary Jane's Not a Virgin Anymore"), who
earlier this year wrote an extensive piece on the film in the magazine
Grand Royal, will introduce the screening.
The remaining narrative features include the world premiere of Jim
Sikora's digital feature, "Rock & Roll Punk," which was written and
produced by former SST Records (Husker Du) topper Joe Carducci; Camera
Obscura's "Virtue" (world premiere); "Flush," a world premiere digital
film by Randy Cook; "Me and Will," starring and directed by Melissa Rehr
and Sherrie Rose; Lance Weller and Stefan Avalos' digital feature, "The
Last Broadcast"; Kevin DiNovi's Slamdance and New York Underground
winner, "Surrender Dorothy"; "Purgatory County", a western by director
George Ratliff; Todd Verow's "Little Shots of Happiness," and Ian
This year's CUFF has programmed an interesting selection of
documentaries, including Sundance-screeners "The Decline of Western
Civilization Part III," by Penelope Spheeris, and Iara Lee's look at
techno music "Modulations." Other docs screening are Marina Zenovich's
Slamdance screener "Independent's Day," a look at some of the characters
that make up the world of independent film; Catherine Gund Saalfield's
"Hallelujah!", a look at performance artist Ron Athey; John Carluccio's
"Battle Sounds"; the Midwest premiere of "Whipped," Sasha Waters & Iana
Porter's look at several New York City dominatrices; Daniel Kraus'
"Jefftowne"; Phillip Glaus' "Circus Redickuless" ; Greg McKean & Dan
Sykes' "The Year of the Pig"; David Vasibond's "Juicy Danger Meets
Burning Man" and Igor Vamos' "Le Petomane, Fin-De-Siecle Fartiste" a
look at a French artist who entertained the upper class of late-19th
Century France by controlling his farts, and "Herd Mentality" by Mark
Some of the nearly one hundred shorts programmed at this year's CUFF are
the Chicago premieres of Jamie Babbitt's "Sleeping Beauties," Matthew
Harrison's "The Bystander From Hell", and Gray Miller's "Hellzapoppin'."