SHOOT THE WHALE
October 02 only
Director Phil Makanna & Filmmakers in person. Brand new digital restoration.
The famed Gonzo Pageant, Acid Test Western. Lost legend of bay area, film-freak heritage. If you studied movies in the bay in the last 40 years, your favorite professor had a hand in this.
Ironically titled, SHOOT THE WHALE would never do so. Rather, it’s a delirious
pageant about violence and the decline of the West. Great barren stretches
around Death Valley and Mono Lake provide the backdrop for a frantic scenario,
conjured into being by The East Bay Sharks, an early–seventies street theater
troupe featuring Darryl Henriques. An act of urgent improv, Philip Makanna’s first
and only full–length film follows this gangly gang of cowboy-garbed gonzo actors
as they stage senseless shoot–outs, meander absurdly at an abandoned mine,
and hungrily serenade a lonely woman. It’s cartoon militarism when a Nazi
half–track arrives on the sandy scene. Beautifully shot landscapes collide with
electronically processed images from circus acts to further heighten the riotous atmosphere. SHOOT THE WHALE unreels like a barbed and anarchic pipe dream stoked by the National Harpoon.
—Steve Seid, Curator, PACIFIC FILM ARCHIVE
• Photographed by Emiko Omori, Blair Stapp. Music composed by Robert Ashley
with Robert Sheff. With The East Bay Sharks: Darryl Henriques, Arthur Holden,
Phil Marsh and Clyde Flowers.
(78 minutes – Color)
The lost bay area classic, miraculously rescued from the psychedelic sands of time by Rick Prelinger. Trip out on this time traveling, nostalgia blast of everything good about the bay.
This isn’t just a film….it is a psychedelic life experience. I think it should replace the much less interesting Rorschach Test. I’m glad I lived long enough to get to enjoy it ! Drusilla Malavase