"Space Coast has the evocative sub-kitsch clutter of an Edward Kienholz tableau or Vernon Zimmerman’s Unholy Rollers."
- Village Voice
Venue: Oddball Films, 275 Capp Street San Francisco
Admission: $10.00 Limited Seating RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or (415) 558-8117
Space Coast (Color, 1979)
This rare documentary follows three characters who lived in Cape Canaveral, Florida since the 1940's. When the space program was deactivated in the 1972, the entire region was stricken by an economic depression. Many residents left the Cape, leaving it as an abandoned ghost town, but Mary Bubb, Papa John Murphy, and the Reverend Willie Womack remained. All offer their wisdom on the landscape changing around them: the declining economy, closing of launch pads, and frustrations of the community. Co-directors Ross McElwee and Michel Negroponte traveled from Cambridge, Massachusetts to Florida and captured their lives at the brink of collapse. Predating reality television by 20 years, if Space Coast were made today it would surely be a much different portrait.
“Here’s me in pink stretch pants,” notes Mary Bubb. She’s a space reporter in Cape Canaveral, Florida, at the moment sharing some of her memorabilia with filmmakers Ross McElwee and Michel Negroponte. She smiles as she remembers a friend telling her, “Not everybody has their pink ass on the cover of Newsweek.”
The film follows two other residents of the Space Coast, Papa John Murphy and the Reverend Willie Womack. Papa John keeps himself distracted by wrestling with his daughter Diane and serving as president of the Saints motorcycle club. “Jesus had to have been an extremely rugged individual,” he submits, “He lived the life of a fisherman, he wasn’t no pansy.” Willie owns a construction company, hunts "gopher" with his sons in swamps, and freelances as a clown on local television. Each scene in the film offers poignant images of struggling life, resulting in the reshaping of a culture, built on ambitions unmet and options unknown -- not too far from our country's current social climate.
About Ross McElwee:
“For the past twenty-five years, Ross McElwee has given new meaning and flair to first-person non-fiction cinema. Always wise and irreverent, ever the unreliable narrator, McElwee makes the grandest themes of human comedy his artistic province: love and death, chance and fate, memory and denial, the marvelous and the appalling.”
-The Museum of Modern Art
“A documentary by Ross McElwee could be made by no other. Since his hilarious autobiographical breakthrough Sherman's March (1986), the profound artist-philosopher has been using his own life as a springboard to examine humankind's biggest issues, and tiniest.
McElwee makes movies the way life might, ideally, be lived.”
Michel Negroponte is an award winning filmmaker who has been making feature length documentaries for more than 30 years. His documentary films include the award-winning Jupiter's Wife (1994), No Accident (1996), W.I.S.O.R. (2000), Methadonia (2005) and most recently, I'm Dangerous with Love (2009).
A 16mm bizarre tale of a sick chimpanzee who gets sent to Florida for some R&R. We experience Florida through the chimp's perspective as he squeezes in tours and fun in the famous Florida sun all while recuperating, proving that Florida is the best place to get back on your feet. Not exactly politically correct, but rest assured –- this chimp had a great adventure down South!
The World Parade: Fun In Florida (B&W, 1952)
This 16mm gem will refresh you on everything tourists love in Florida: Historic St. Augustine, snarly alligator farms, exotic sea animals, succulent Palm Beach, shuffleboard, the world's largest trailer camp (at the time) in Sarasota, and many more exotic locales and creatures. Relish in the lush beauty of Florida’s national treasures and discover a new appreciation for the sunshine state.
Jeff M. Giordano is a UNC: School of the Arts – Film School graduate. He is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and has curated over 50 films. Jeff has directed 7 independent films and resides in the Bay area. Giordano is a Pre-Screener for the upcoming San Francisco International Film Festival and also Programmer at SF IndieFest. Visit his website at: www.jeffmgiordano.com