Thursday, 30 January 2014 16:09

Crispin Glover Gives West Michigan a Multimedia Experience

Written by  Sean Murphy
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Crispin Glover Live Tour
UICA, Grand Rapids
Feb. 2, 7 p.m.
$20
18+
uica.org, (616) 454-7000

Alamo Drafthouse, Kalamazoo
Feb. 9, 7 p.m.
drafthouse.com/kalamazoo, (269) 532-7990

Many know him from his one-armed performance in Hot Tub Time Machine. Others may remember him as George McFly in Back to the Future. Few know he is an author, musician, filmmaker and has his own touring show.

Crispin Hellion Glover (yep, that's his real middle name) has dabbled in nearly every form of entertainment for more than three decades. His show, "Crispin Hellion Glover's Big Slide Show," has been touring around the country since 1992 and comes to the Urban Institute of Contemporary Arts (UICA) on Feb. 2 and Alamo Drafthouse in Kalamazoo on Feb. 9. The show combines many of these projects Glover has been working on since the '80s into one larger production.

The first part of the show is a dramatic reading from eight of his many published books, with illustrations from the books projected behind him through a slide show. The second part of the show will be a viewing of his film, It Is Fine. EVERYTHING IS FINE! Following the film will be a Q&A and book signing with the creator himself.

"The books are taken from old books from the 1800s that have been changed in to different books from what they originally were," Glover said. "They are heavily illustrated with original drawings and reworked images and photographs."

Some of those books will be available for purchase either after the show or through his website.

"I started making my books in 1983 for my own enjoyment without the concept of publishing them," Glover said. "I had always written and drawn and the books came as an accidental outgrowth of that.

"I worked a lot with India ink at the time and was using the ink on the original pages to make various art. I had always liked words in art and left some of the words on one of the pages. I did this again a few pages later and then when I turned the pages I noticed that a story started to naturally form, and so I continued with this," Glover added about his bookmaking process.

The film portion of his show was made with the help of the late Steven C. Stewart, who wrote and stars as the main character. Stewart spent his life living with cerebral palsy and the film deals with very heavy themes of mental illness and violence that, while may be hard for some viewers to watch, are there for a very specific reason.

"Steve had been locked in a nursing home for about 10 years when his mother died. He had been born with a severe case of cerebral palsy and he was very difficult to understand. People that were caring for him in the nursing home would derisively call him an 'M.R.' short for 'Mental Retard'," said Glover, who also expressed his dislike of the term. "When he did get out, he wrote his screenplay. Although it is written in the genre of a murder detective thriller, truths of his own existence come through much more clearly than if he had written it as a standard autobiography."

Within a month of finishing the film, Stewart passed away.

"One of Steve's lungs had collapsed because he had started choking on his own saliva and he got pneumonia," Glover said. "I specifically started funding my own films with the money I make from the films I act in when Steven C. Stewart's lung collapsed in the year 2000."

Some people have been to the shows and have come away quite offended. Glover says that it's not his intention to offend anyone at all, but wants to let the audience come away with their own interpretations of what they've seen.

The film itself is part of what Glover calls "The It Trilogy." It consists of his previous film What is it? and It Is Fine. EVERYTHING IS FINE! He has the third film outlined, but has no plans yet to start working on it, and is coy about any details surrounding it.

People are also encouraged to visit his website, CrispinGlover.com, to get even more information on his films, books, and future projects.

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