Clowny Clown Clown
February 12, 2009 8:20 AM   Subscribe

no comment foment lament err portent?
posted by Saddo at 8:25 AM on February 12, 2009

Isn't "Clowny Clown Clown" like 20 years old? I'm pretty sure that video was one of the first things posted to Youtube...
posted by mr_roboto at 8:32 AM on February 12, 2009

You know, I saw him do a book reading in the late 90's in Pontiac, Mi. He read some poems and showed a movie called WHAT IS IT. This movie was primarily comprised of teenagers with down's syndrome smashing snails (voiced by fairuza balk!) with bricks in a cemetary. Glover makes an appearance as the "Dueling Demi-God Auteur and The young man's inner psyche" After it ended, I turned to my friend Michael and said, "so? What'd ya think?" His response was very telling: "It was like a mediocre college senior thesis film, but lacking in anything compelling."

I feel like that is a decent summation of Crispin Glover's professional output (Post-Rubin & Ed, which was a classic.)
posted by orville sash at 8:36 AM on February 12, 2009

I thought he did a good Warhol in The Doors.
posted by originalname37 at 8:47 AM on February 12, 2009

He just tries too damn hard to be weird. The earnestness kills any speck of anything interesting. The best performance by Crispin Glover was as the Beaver Kid in The Beaver Trilogy. Anybody? Anybody? Freaking great film.
posted by billysumday at 8:49 AM on February 12, 2009

I can't watch the Ben video without crying.

I was 13 when my dad took me to see Alien. We’d both read the book already, and had seen some previews, so we had some idea of what to expect. Mostly I remember how special it was to do something with just me and Dad—he worked a lot, and I had an older brother, so I didn’t get a lot of alone time with him. One thing we always did together was to watch B-movies on late-night TV, just me and him watching old Buck Rogers reruns, Night of the Lepus and Gargoyles and Willard and Ben. We had a great time discussing the differences between the book and the movie, and I remember him telling me not to tell Mom too much about the blood and gore. A secret from Mom! Fantastic.

Fast-forward about 25 years. Dad had died recently, and I come across the Ben video. I’m watching this bizarre, utterly weird video with tears in my eyes, really understanding for the first time that the one person in the world that I’d want to share this with is gone. I showed it to Mom, and she had the same reaction, the two of us sitting there bawling in front of the monitor as Crispin Glover danced around with rats and R. Lee Ermey.

Later, when I went to see the new Willard, there was this dad sitting in front of me with his 13-year-old kid, and I got seriously sentimental. It just seemed so sweet. Yeah, I know, weird. But that was me and Dad.
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:59 AM on February 12, 2009 [6 favorites]

Who is "Crsipin Glover"? [See opening and closing video titles]
posted by terranova at 9:01 AM on February 12, 2009

This is the video I send to coworkers when they email me with questions to which I don't have any real answers.
posted by katillathehun at 9:16 AM on February 12, 2009

I don't think Glover tries to be strange. I think he's pretty much a strange guy from the get-go.

I saw him for The Big Slide Show and What Is It?. The theater was dark when he came in, just a few sources of light from the outside. Between my fairly-good night vision and proximity, plus the way what little light gave him a silhouette at my angle, his posture, that of an introvert almost contorted with social anxiety, was clear: shoulders bowed over, hands knotted together, head ducked, standing like he was ready to dash out of the room at any second.

Then lights came up in a snap and he turned on his public, affable face. Later, there was a tense moment involving a young lady with a cellphone, possibly a cameraphone, just a few rows from the front. He was a pleasant fellow to talk to afterwards (surprisingly nice skin up close), but, yeah, I got the feeling that public speaking is not his gig.

I suspect he's an odd duck interested in capital A Art. It could all be a monumental put-on, but if so, he has taken it very far, spending money from bit roles like Charlie's Angels 2 to finance films with actors who have Down's, films that take seven years to get made. He's got an eye for authentic detail, like that codpiece in The Wizard of Gore remake. If his performance is a long-running prank, it's on the scale of Fred Phelps being an agent provocateur for the left. Glover probably does the public stuff to pay for his weird, not to show it off.
posted by adipocere at 9:23 AM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

Must be pretty old. Aside from how he looks, I could see the ruined walls still standing in Runyon Canyon Park - the same location, incidentally, where Richard Gere makes his last stand in the remake of Breathless.
posted by jfrancis at 9:25 AM on February 12, 2009

I see what you did! This was, at most, two playlists away from the Letterman / Phoenix thing. I just got done watching this video and found you here, Electrius! Not saying it is bad or anything, just that I am on to you big time.
posted by Meatbomb at 10:21 AM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

it's my experience that normal people don't constantly try to be weird. when you see someone doing what you think is constantly trying to be weird, rest assured: they're actually weird. it's just that normally, when they're not trying so hard, people react to them for being weird anyway. and those with truly deep self-esteem issues find themselves more comfortable with being treated like a weirdo when they're doing it on purpose than when they're just trying to do their thing, man.
posted by shmegegge at 11:21 AM on February 12, 2009 [2 favorites]

But do you know about Crispin's dad, Bruce?

You may know him best from this...
posted by markkraft at 11:59 AM on February 12, 2009

Here's a cover version of Crispin Glover's pro-masturbation rap, Auto-Manipulator.
posted by jonp72 at 7:53 PM on February 12, 2009

I don't think Glover tries to be strange. I think he's pretty much a strange guy from the get-go.

I agree that he is pretty strange, but that's not the reason I can't fucking stand him. The reason I can't fucking stand him is that everything he's ever created is self-indulgent pablum, blatantly intended to be as weird and avant-garde as possible. When it comes to creative endeavors, most people have an instinctive, finely-tuned bullshit detector that they don't even realize is there, and everything I've ever seen Glover do has sent mine flying into the red. He's not aiming for compelling storytelling or emotional rapport, and he doesn't even manage to make his audience think deep thoughts, which is the next best thing. All he accomplishes -- indeed, all he seems to want -- is to get the audience to think, "what the fuck is this weird shit I'm watching?" If you want that, you can go to 4chan or watch an Otto Muehl movie (Muehl's an asshole too, but at least he's better at what he does).

In fact, the only thing Glover has ever done that's actually entertained me was that Letterman interview, because he actually seemed like he was freaking out -- it was like that thick, cloying veneer of pretense he always wore was finally gone. Plus he pissed off Letterman, which is always hilarious.

(Since Meatbomb mentioned Werner Herzog, I will add that I often get the same impression of Herzog. The difference is, Herzog is actually capable of constructing a powerful, thought-provoking narrative without letting his pretentiousness completely destroy it.)
posted by Vic Morrow's Personal Vietnam at 12:17 PM on February 13, 2009 [1 favorite]

I think I agree with Vic. Glover is trying to be a provocateur, and he's just not doing a very good job at it. In fact, the only directors I can think of right now who are very good at it are Europeans. Von Trier, who I generally really enjoy, and Haneke and Breillat, both of whose films drive me into an irrational, hateful, rage.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:37 PM on February 13, 2009

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