I pulled into the hotel just a little past 1PM on Friday, threw my stuff in the room, kissed Andrea farewell, and made it to the campus of Ryerson University right on time. I found the studios for CKLN 88.1 FM and Stuart Feedback Andrews, host of Cinephobia Radio. Stuart was on the air at 2PM and my segment started a little after 2:30. I plugged the heck out of my appearance at the Toronto Underground Cinema and the screening of John Paizs's amazing film Crime Wave.
After the show, Stuart whisked me away to the headquarters of Rue Morgue magazine where he records the podcast version of Cinephobia. He tied me down to a chair, poured gasoline all over me, and asked me if I ever listened to K-Billy's Super Sounds of the Seventies. Or something like that... What actually happened was something far more gruesome. Stuart put a microphone in front of me and started asking me about Impossibly Funky. Five hours later we left Rue Morgue, dazed, confused, and a sharing a camaraderie that is only seen in people that undergo a traumatic experience like men in combat, maybe, or on a pro ball club in the heat of the pennant drive.
I'm hoping that Stuart can make something out of the epic interview. I rambled, I mumbled, I stumbled over my own words and made a complete jackass of myself.
You know, the usual me.
But, with a little bit of patience and a lot of proficiency with audio software, he might be able to make something out of nothing (and different than the day before).
I had a blast talking movies with him and the fun didn't end there. We met up with Dion Conflict and Andrea over at the Korean BBQ place across the street. Much meat and cabbage came next.
I'm just glad that I had the wherewithal when I finally met John Paizs to say, "I thought you'd be bigger... Broader shoulders," a great line from his movie Crime Wave. I met up with John at a dinner that my pal Rita Su lined up. Also joining us were my pal Jeff Lambert, his wife Andrea (another Andrea who suffers a tape-trader husband!), Greg Woods of Eclectic Screening Room and his wife, Susan. I quizzed John about Crime Wave and Top of the Food Chain all through dinner.
The screening of Crime Wave didn't have as many people there as I hoped. Frankly, I wanted the show to sell out. More people need to see this movie and it's a shame that it's not available on DVD. If I can help spur more interest in some of the movies discussed in Impossibly Funky then I've done my job, but if I can spark the right interest and get some of these movies out onto DVD that are languishing on VHS or maybe not even available on that format, then I've done more than I could have hoped. Regardless, I wanted every seat at the glorious Toronto Underground theater (the former Golden Classics theater where I first met Colin Geddes back in the early-mid '90s) to be filled. Alas, it was not to be.
The forty or so folks who showed up were treated to a digital projection of the movies that was actually sharper than the 35mm blow up on a 16mm print. The colors popped off the screen and I caught a lot of visual details I'd never been able to see on my VHS copy at home before. The audience also got a chance to hear the "quiet man" of Crime Wave speak after the show when John Paizs got up to do a Q&A after the screening. So, yes, there weren't a lot of people but those in attendance definitely seemed to appreciate the movie and that's what matters. And here's hoping they tell their friends about it, too.
With the 162 people who RSVPed "Yes" and 376 "Maybes" on Facebook, along with listings in EYE, Now, BlotTO, and more, I had really hoped for more of a turn out. And, too, more book sales. Nope. I gave out more books to the people that had pre-ordered them (Rita, Jeff, John), than I sold to strangers. I was really hoping to wrap up the tour with some crazy story about how I actually ran out of books, even with the extra few boxes I brought along. Nope. That's not how this story played out. Even without snow on the ground like in Chicago, the response just wasn't there.
I can hope that after the Cinephobia piece and Eclectic Screening Room video podcast go out that sales will soar but I'm much more of a realist than that.
All in all, not a bad way to end the Impossibly Funky Book Tour, 2010 version. I hung out with friends, met folks I had only ever corresponded with via email, met one of my favorite filmmakers, and, hopefully, got the word out about a movie that needs more attention. That's really more than I could ever ask.