Linda Castellani (castle) Fri 9 Jun 00 21:11
Yes! Looking forward to a full report!
Fuzzy Logic (phred) Sat 10 Jun 00 04:05
Elvis Mitchell gave it a big strong review in the NYT on Friday: http://www.nytimes.com/library/film/060900groove-film-review.html That was a bit of a relief; EM has become one of my favorite film reviewers but I wasn't sure how he'd take it. So far the critics on balance seem willing to take the film on its own terms rather than try to shoehorn it into some genre box.
mother of my eyelid (frako) Sat 10 Jun 00 11:21
Phred, would you care to tell us a little about how you came to invest in this film? Had you invested in previous ventures? Why did you agree to invest money in "Groove"? What kind of return do you expect, and on what does it ride?
Fuzzy Logic (phred) Sat 10 Jun 00 23:29
Greg and Danielle were unable to get a deal in Hollywood, so they turned to their circle of friends and raised the money that way. I heard about it from a friend of mine last year and eventually contacted Danielle and got the prospectus, which was quite well organized and laid out all the financial considerations very fairly. They had an optimistic scenario, of course, but did not mince any words about the possibility of making little or no money; the investment was completely at risk. In other words, they had good legal help. I really did not expect to make anything; it takes a lot of $7 tickets to pay back a production budget of 7 or even 6 figures. But this movie seems to have a bit of magic behind it, and things just kept working out right. The reason to invest was that I felt a fair-minded treatment of the music scene I've been involved with for nearly a decade would be a very good thing, no matter how widely it was seen. And I trusted Greg and the many others who worked on the movie to insure as much authenticity to the spirit and the trappings of what we've been doing that it might even serve as a bit of a historical retrospective; not that this was a documentary, but it was a re-creation, and much more faithful to the real thing than the typical TV or cable "real life" movie because it wasn't Hollywood making those sets and wearing those "costumes", it was a good sampling of those who have actually been doing all this. And that's the final part -- many of my friends were involved in the production, whether as actors with speaking lines (like my friend Dmitri, whose picture holding that mirror ball on the Muni is a brilliant encapsulation of the spirit of this scene), or extras, or those helping out putting together the sets. A friend of mine's own DJ mixer is the one you see in the close-up shots in the movie, for example. I think we may be using that mixer for an event I'm going to tonight. To some degree, the notion of "Hey kids! Let's put on a show!" is the classic show-biz cliche. But sometimes it actually works that way, and that is why I and many others participated to the extent we could.
mother of my eyelid (frako) Sun 11 Jun 00 13:29
"Historical retrospective," so it seems. Of course, Time magazine and Dateline NBC and 20/20 are treating the events in the movie as "what's happening now." Phred, what is changing the scene? How is this a historical retrospective instead of "the latest thing"?
Fuzzy Logic (phred) Mon 12 Jun 00 17:50
Well, I don't want this topic to become an interview of *me*. But Greg is in Santa Monica tonight for the LA area opening so let me say just a bit to keep the ball rolling. The electronic dance music scene has always had two commercial components -- the club side (where house and techno music originated and still have a strong presence), and the one-off event or "rave" side. But there has also always been a more "underground" approach, and that's what the movie depicts, where making money is not the object of those putting on the event. This "free party" component has a stronger history in the UK, and many of the ideas developed there such as the one-off warehouse party, map points, and so on were devised there during the late 1980s and came over with the "third British invasion" around 1990 that resulted in the development of Toon Town, Rave Called Sharon and many lesser-known "raves" of the rapidly evolving early 1990s scene in SF. "Groove" is rooted in that experience. On the one hand, what most people encounter when seeking out the "rave" or electronic dance music scene will be the commercial end -- clubs or big warehouse events, some legal and some not nearly so, but still definitely commercial. So to that extent the movie is a throwback, since how the event depicted in the movie is organized would not be what you encounter at, say, the Cyberfest mega-rave or the 1015 Folsom club. On the other hand, the truly underground scene is out there now, it's just had to become even more invisible. On Saturday night while I was visiting SF, we called a number in the 510 exchange at 11 pm and heard this: "Hi, this is [insert name of CEO of recently famous company], I'm in the back of the police cruiser here and the party is shut down, but call back at 11:45 and we'll tell you where to go." And at 2 am we were outside listening to DJs play on a quickly set up sound system, watching the moon go down over the Bay while cars sped down 880 not far away. Later we got an awesome sunrise with a great view of the City and Mount Tam. So it's still happening. But I must say, this isn't for everyone. You have to really really like the music and not mind the vicissitudes of the "temporary autonomous zone" (to borrow the old phrase that used to motivate discussions of how this was all organized and what it meant culturally). I'll shut up now :)
mother of my eyelid (frako) Tue 13 Jun 00 09:30
I hope not, phred! Cutting in to say that Ebert and Roeper gave "Groove" two thumbs down last Sunday. They agreed that the film had no interesting characters, had a conventional structure, music wasn't interesting, etc.
Fuzzy Logic (phred) Tue 13 Jun 00 11:29
That's sad to hear, but perhaps not surprising. I don't think the movie will have much appeal above the age of 35, probably.
Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Tue 13 Jun 00 11:37
Well I'm eager to see it. Still waiting for it to be released up here in sticks, though.
gazorninblat (dwaite) Tue 13 Jun 00 13:36
I'll be looking for it in Chicago.... I've never paid much attention to Ebert's critique's..... he seems to like round and sterile films IMHO.
No, I thought. I'm not crazy. I'm an adventurer. (fom) Tue 13 Jun 00 18:32
Huh. I'm 57 and I loved it.
mother of my eyelid (frako) Wed 14 Jun 00 09:56
I think the music, which they're not used to hearing and thought was repetitive and same-sounding, and the level-headed attitude towards drugs, which they obviously don't use and don't condone, turned them both off. This is why I think the Ebert show desperately needs new blood.
Linda Castellani (castle) Wed 14 Jun 00 20:07
There was a blurb in the Chronicle about the mini disco balls given out at the premiere and how there is a big demand for them... It's getting lots of ink. How are the numbers?
Fuzzy Logic (phred) Wed 14 Jun 00 23:31
Don't know. But I got one of the disco balls at Sundance!
Linda Castellani (castle) Thu 15 Jun 00 15:16
I want one!! I also tried to get the flashing light bracelet that Greg's girlfriend told me about but they have been sold out. She said that they were trying to get those also, with the word "Groove" flashing. Did she succeed?
mother of my eyelid (frako) Thu 15 Jun 00 17:45
More appearances and new reviews from Jason at groovethemovie.com: I just found out that three cast members from GROOVE--Vincent Riverside (Anthony), Denny Kirkwood (Colin), and Steve Van Wormer (Ernie)--will be featured on a live webcast of the Dr.Drew.com show (of Loveline fame). The show streams in Real or Windows Media Player format starting at 7:30pm west coast time TONIGHT (Thursday 6/15) and can be found at: http://www.drdrew.com/show/showevent.html?eventid=119 You can also read recent reviews of GROOVE from the New York Times and Newsweek on groovethemovie.com at: http://www.groovethemovie.com/reviews.html
Greg Harrison (greg-harrison) Fri 16 Jun 00 14:18
I'm finally back in town! Very sorry I've dropped off the earth, but this past week has been intense. I vow to catch up on what's happened and start answering questions. Frako and Linda, I'm willing to keep going beyong this week if you like, just to make up for the lost time.
Linda Castellani (castle) Fri 16 Jun 00 22:58
We'd love to have you as long as you would like to stick around. Can't wait to hear the stories...
mother of my eyelid (frako) Sat 17 Jun 00 19:40
Yeah, me too. Greg, you went to the Seattle Film Festival with "Groovem," then it premiered here, then LA, then ....?
mother of my eyelid (frako) Tue 20 Jun 00 12:37
The GROOVE soundtrack is available in stores starting tomorrow, June 20th from Kinetic Records. For specific info, including a track list, go to: http://www.groovethemovie.com/musicSOUNDTRACK.html You can read a review of the WishFM mix CD at: http://www.groovethemovie.com/EWsntkREV.html There are more articles from various publications, including an article in San Francisco Magazine by Greg Harrison: http://www.groovethemovie.com/FILMcoverage.html
Linda Castellani (castle) Tue 20 Jun 00 13:32
Thanks for the info, frako.
blather storm (lolly) Mon 3 Jul 00 08:29
I just want to say that when my niece and I saw the movie we both thought the scene at Sutros (?) with the Volkswagen guys was so sweet.
mother of my eyelid (frako) Mon 3 Jul 00 11:54
Sutros? What is that, lolly? I noticed a tiny interview with Greg in the current Advocate asking about his use of gay characters in the film.
Linda Castellani (castle) Tue 4 Jul 00 16:26
And I noticed that both Greg and Danielle have an upcoming class at The Learning Annex about how to market independent films!
mother of my eyelid (frako) Wed 5 Jul 00 15:13
Is it a good thing to organize a film as if it were an Internet startup?
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