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Crispin Glover’s “Big Slide Show” comes to town

Hellion on wheels
By ROB TURBOVSKY  |  September 12, 2011

BACKTALK_Crispin_main
FOCUS Glover is devoted to the craft of acting.
Crispin Glover made a career out of being the weirdly jittery guy in big, loud movies like Hot Tub Time Machine and Back to the Future. But it's what he did with that career that's bringing him to Providence. For years, Glover has used his acting work to finance his labors of love as an author, filmmaker, and performer. On September 13 at Brown University's Granoff Center For the Creative Arts (154 Angell Street, Providence; tickets are $20, $15 for students, available at Acme Video, call 401.453.2263), Glover (as Crispin Hellion Glover) will present portions of his "Big Slide Show," sign books, and do a Q&A after he screens a film from his "IT" trilogy. Glover answered questions by e-mail about his films, his slide show, and his one-of-a-kind career.

YOUR CAREER HAS MIXED HOLLYWOOD BLOCKBUSTERS WITH SOME IDIOSYNCRATIC SMALLER FILMS. HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHAT TO DO? The first time I used discretion about choosing films was not till after Back to the Future came out in 1985. After that film came out and had made so much money I felt a certain obligation towards finding films that somehow reflected what my own psychological interests were. The first film I acted in after that was River's Edge.

I have been able to divorce myself from the content of the films that I act in and look at acting as a craft helping other filmmakers to accomplish what they want to do. Usually, filmmakers have hired me because there is something they felt would be interesting to accomplish with me in their film, and I can try to do something interesting as an actor. If for some reason the director is not interested in doing something that I personally find interesting with the character then I can console myself that the money I am making to be in their production can help fund my own films that I am truly passionate about. Usually, I feel as though I am able to get something across as an actor that I feel good about.

WHAT HAPPENS IN THE "BIG SLIDE SHOW" PERFORMANCE? For "Crispin Hellion Glover's Big Slide Show," I perform a one-hour dramatic narration of eight different books I have made over the years. The books are taken from old books from the 1800s that have been changed to different books from what they originally were. They are heavily illustrated with original drawings, reworked images, and photographs.

When I first started publishing the books in 1988, people said I should have book readings. But the way the illustrations are used within the books help tell the story, so the only way for the books to make sense was to have visual representations of the images. This is why I knew a slide show was necessary. The illustrations from the books are projected behind me as I perform the show.

The fact that I tour with the film helps the distribution element. I consider what I am doing to be following in the steps of vaudeville performers.

WHAT WAS THE PROCESS IN CREATINGWHAT IS IT? I wrote it as a short film originally to promote the viability of having a majority of the characters that do not necessarily have Down Syndrome be played by actors with Down Syndrome.

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  Topics: Features , Brown University, Crispin Glover, Down Syndrome,  More more >
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