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The Laughing Academy
A Life of Noisy Desperation
Crispin Hellion Glover’s “What Is It?” 
10th-Feb-2007 05:09 pm
Odilon Redon - Eyeballs Ablaze
The first installment of Glover’s projected film trilogy is playing today and tomorrow at the IFC Center in the Village. For those of you who haven’t seen the movie, What Is It? features music by the Manson Family and Church of Satan–founder Anton Szandor LaVey; multiple molluscicides (by smashing, razor blade, and salt shaker); a blackface minstrel who uses a hypodermic needle to inject dead snails into his face; a painting of Shirley Temple — wearing only gloves, jackboots, an SS cap and an Iron Cross — rubbing off with a riding crop in front of a Nazi swastika; and a cast consisting largely of people with Down Syndrome playing characters with credits like “Inner sanctum concubine and outer sanctum girl who recognizes burning.”

I watched it last night, and my immediate reactions were (1) Well, that’s the most honestly titled movie I’ve seen and (2) I’ve met my recommended daily allotment of …the fuck? for the next month. I’m also really curious about the sequel, It Is Fine. Everything Is Fine, which will come out in the fall — around the same time as the motion-capture film Beowulf (script by Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary; directed by Robert “Back to the Future/Forrest Gump” Zemeckis), in which Glover co-stars as Grendel.
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