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Hello – people are still looking at my blog in dribs and drabs – I wonder if I should restart it – with an update on Freak Show and then new projects – instead of starting a new blog – what do you think ?????

Here’s a link to an excellent article in the Guardian today about the film

http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2009/mar/27/last-american-freak-show-disability

I am rushing about with preparations for the screening next tuesday – see you there?

buff So the first screening of the film was last night in Boston at a cool little cinema – The Brattle – it was  reasonably well attended, including by some sideshow folk who had recently worked with some of the freaks in the movie. Apparently they ain’t received the DVD I sent them ages ago ……maybe they should contact me to get another. The reaction to the film was positive and the Q &A was actually fun ( I was crapping myself beforehand…. ).  Boston Underground is a small festival but the people are great and really enthusiastic and they know their cult, weirdo films alright.They also throw a good party and I became unusually inebriated at the party sponsored by Makers Mark ….free bourbon – oops. There’s a repeat screening at the Kendall theatre, but I will have returned to the UK by then….

Here’s a serious statement about why I have made this film and insist on promoting it in the face of hostility and indifference….

Disability is ubiquitous. Over 50 million Americans and 3 million British people are disabled. Where are they? You hardly ever see them and when you do it’s usually in transit or in a situation outside of their control. This is why the “The Last American Freak Show” is important. It shows disabled people taking control of societies perception of them and reflecting it back at itself. It also shows the disabled as ordinary people and not as some kind of pitiful hero or brave plucky competitor in the rat race of life. Disabled people are discriminated against at every level of society and the fact that this film makes some able-bodied people feel uncomfortable is a testament to this fact.

This film is meant to make the watcher question their own concepts of disability and to cause debate and dissension amongst the consensus view that flaunting your body is considered wrong (unless, of course, it’s beautiful). I make no apologies for the discomfort factor – it’s what I felt making it and it’s what I want you to feel when you watch it, and I want you to laugh as you find yourself looking beyond the bodies and at the people living inside them.

Here’s a link to an interview I gave to the London International Documentary festival website this week – kind of states the case… http://www.lidf.co.uk/lidf09/conversations/interview-with-richard-butchins/

Off to Boston on Thursday. I will blog from there to let you know what an underground film festival is like, presumably it’s not actually underground – though that would be good – sewer screenings …

freakery ahead

Now listen up I have happened across the International Kazoo Orchestra or Kazooniverse as they are known. I bumped into a member at the press launch for the London International Documentary Festival (she also reviews films for CNN) and the upshot is that a detachment of the Orchestra are going to perform prior to the screening of the film at the festival (31 of March at Curzon Renoir ). Which, call me odd, I think is super exciting….and really now it’s a must go to event !

Masters of the Kazooniverse

Masters of the Kazooniverse

So the the screening will be entertaining and lively and hopefully there’ll be some media types to interrogate afterwards as I am doing a Q & A as well

Well what’d’ya know I am back, after getting snowed in and frozen out through a grim January and bleak Febuary. The suns back and I am no longer feeling that life is chopping my hands off and then demanding I play the piano….

There’s a little good news regarding the film as well ( that freakstone around my neck) :-) It’s in a couple of Festivals – amazing – The London International Documentary Festival and the Boston Underground Film Festival. I’m pleased it’s a start and a good one, So lets hope that the ever expanding pile of “not selected” letters slows down a bit – Oh and I have joined a circus WTF….

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