Monday, November 16, 2009

star power

Sonic Youth - EVOL (listen) I was thinking about ol' Lung Leg the other day. Her alluring grimace graces the cover of this record, but really it was her films with Richard Kern, films I've thought about a lot but have never seen, that I was thinking about. Back when experimental film was a very pointed concern of mine, you couldn't actually see these films (I guess if you were dialed in at the right time in Manhattan, I guess you could) but you read about them and they took on their own mental trajectories. We would make a constipated Lung Leg face, hoping someone would ask us who Lung Leg was. I wondered whatever became of ol' Lung Leg and thanks to the myth-shaking internet, I found out, sorta.
As of 2005, Lung Leg was living in Minneapolis and had recently appeared in a Mike Etoll film entitled Sewer Baby. In it she plays a bartender dealing with Tiny Tim (musician), various monsters, special effects and a primordial dwarf.
and then thanks to said Internet, I finally saw clips of one of those Richard Kern movies, right there on my couch

as well as little bloody hunks of Sewer Baby. Not for the squeamish so I'll let you click for yourself rather than tempt you with an embedded player.

It should be noted that I had been thinking about Tiny Tim a little as well, because of this L.A. Weekly article, but I could not make myself listen to his God Bless Tiny Tim (listen). Nothing against it, I've heard it before, but it felt forced to do so. Making yourself embrace something is loving it backwards, which I guess is what EVOL really is about, as well as what loving and discussing films you've never seen is all about, and interviewing marginal characters to reveal them to the greater public that barely cared or knew for their projected reality.

Well, except for Tiny Tim, whose 1969 wedding on The Tonight Show was one of the top things that had ever appeared in TV, 40-50 million viewers.

I'm assuming Tiny Tim did not actually appear in "Sewer Baby" given that he died in 1996, but if he had, he might have had a sweet chat with ol' Lung Leg about the unspoken effects of star power and how it can turn love on end.


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  2. Tiny Tim DOES appear in Sewer Baby. The footage was shot in 1995 at a Minneapolis warehouse.