1 – HEAD TRIP PUBLIC SCREENING (June 21st North Beach SF)
2 – ONLINE MOVIE RELEASE (late June 2023)
3 – DOGS IN GG PARK (October 2022 – September 2023) (new audio art QRS codes on Dogs in GG Park in June!)
here is the Telegraph Hill Dwellers press release:
HEAD TRIP PUBLIC SCREENING:
SAVOY TIVLOI 1434 GRANT AVE SF
WEDNESDAY JUNE 21ST 7PM
Head Trip is a full length documentary film featuring the Doggie Diner Dogheads on a cross country trip to New York City during “Shock and Awe” 2003. The idea was to spread good cheer cross-country during a tough time. As you will see in the film there was some success. The tour and film were made in collusion with San Francisco’s own punk rock bicycle club Cyclecide with support from Laughing Squid & Christina Harbridge.
Please watch this short trailer for the movie to be found in this wonderful article on the cross country road trip that inspired to movie: https://laughingsquid.com/head-trip-a-doggie-diner-dog-head-cross-country-documentary/We will be re-premiering the full film at Savoy Tivoli on Grant Street in North Beach on Wednesday, June 21st as part of the premier event Films With Friends. Look for the lone 10 foot tall Doggie Diner Head parked out front. The film is a part of a new series sponsored by THOSE GUYS PRESENTS. Brainchild of noted prankster/cineaste/film collector Rob Schmitt, this exciting new series will be taking place in various locations in the BEST NEIGHBORHOOD IN SAN FRANCISCO, NORTH BEACH monthly through the Summer/Fall. more information to come.
ONLINE MOVIE RELEASE:
The film was recently spruced up by Suicide Club/Cacophony and Burning Man stalwart filmmaker/composer Steve Mobia using the original mini-dv tape and it looks better than ever! Head Trip has never lived on line ever with the exception of a short trailer on Youtube and various news articles about the road trip and film premier in 2008. Head Trip will be released on SF Cacophony Society Youtube page sometime to be announced after the June 21st public screening.
DOGS IN GG PARK:
SOME MORE DOG INFO (STUFF ABOUT HEAD TRIP, the movie) :
Starting back in 2003 my friend Flecher Fleurdujon & I made a feature movie about a journey spanning the breadth of America accompanied by three 10 foot tall 300lb chef’s hat & bowtie adorned dachshund heads and a crew of punk rock bicycle clowns called Cyclecide Bike Rodeo. Completed in 2009, the movie was in a couple of film festivals, played at The Roxie in SF for a week & at two showing of almost 500 folks at Rythmix Cultural Works in Alameda CA. The movie played a few more times, but that was it. It has never been online in all the intervening years.
Well before we embarked on our road trip/movie shoot, the giant grinning heads had been the official mascots of The Cacophony Society and The First Church of the Last Laugh. They were recognized all about the SF Bay Area from their tenure as totemic representatives of a local fast food franchise and our contribution to the Doggie Diner legacy was to deconstructed the former commercial icons and facilitate their “re-christening” as disembodied former commercial icons. By the time we started our film project, we had been hauling the three fiberglas objects all around to various non-commercial, often non-profit, nonsensical events as well as City events and parades of various stripes for years.
I met Flecher Fleurdujon when he was 7 or 8 years old back in 1977. Over the succeeding years Flech evolved into an accomplished musician, band leader and videographer. Loving fruitful collaborative work as I do, I had imagined a project where I could work with my friend. “Flech” was the son of my Suicide Club friend Mary Grauberger. I lived a few blocks from Mary with my roommate (another Mary) Mary Friedman and her kids Ben and Nellie. Flech was the same age, and the three of them were in the Suicide Club as the kid contingent. These three and a few other youngsters routinely accompanied their elders into sewers, abandoned factories and the occasional embarrassing foray into “street theater”. Flech was a great kid filled with energy and creativity.
Some years earlier Mary had inspired two stoner friends with a yearly solstice beach art event she organized starting in the late 70’s where she invited her hippie friends to meet her at Baker Beach, bringing musical instruments, food & art. Oh, she encouraged her peeps to burn some of the art. These two fellows went on to start the first Burning Man also at Baker Beach in 1986
During the early Suicide Club adventures, I carried an eight year old Flech on my back into some pretty sketch environments… 12 years or so later, Flech was my assistant at the second Desert Site Works event at Trego Springs on the Black Rock Desert. Already established as operations guy for the ever growing desert bacchanal, my duties at the annual Burning Man event included transportation, set up & clean up. For the liminal Desert Site Works I assumed the same responsibilities . For the preliminary set up, I desperately needed a helper and asked Mary G if I could conscript Flech.
He and I loaded a 24′ Ryder box truck with a ton of stuff. drove to the proverbial middle of nowhere and dumped all the stuff into a pile next to Trego spring. I had many errands to run and left 17 year old Flech to hold down the site, handing him a Remington Wingmaster Pump action 12ga. shotgun “just in case”.
Ten years later I was sitting in $teven Ra$pa’s lovely apartment on Rincon Hill along with Scott Beale, Helena “Noona” Sullivan, and a half dozen other local event folks and we were planning a Laughing Squid hosted and underwritten NYC event to take place at CBGB’s 313 Art Gallery (affiliated with & next door to the infamous punk club) that would showcase a roster of our SF and NYC underground performers and characters. The session was lively and productive. Then, out of the blue, Noona shouted: “HEY! John! we HAVE TO BRING THE DOGS!!” – like that was a good idea… I literally cringed and shrunk back in my comfy chair, shouting loudly and to the derisive laughter of my associates: “no, No, NO, NO!!!” because I KNEW just how much really dirty heavy work, planning and $ that such a feat would require……. To make a long story short, we made it happen and you can see the results in our movie Head Trip…
I hope that you enjoy the feature movie that Flecher and I made with the help of a cast and crew of hundreds, showcasing The Doggie Diner Dog Heads as they traversed the great American continent to New York City falling into many improbable and serentypical adventures along the way
Thanks to Scott Beale and Laughing Squid for helping produce the original cross country trip the movie is based upon and later help producing and exhibiting the movie on screens in California, NYC & Florida in 2009 & 2010. Thanks to my ex-wife Christina Harbridge for her support during the making of the movie and special thanks also to Cyclecide Bike Rodeo for wrangling the whole shebang and all the heavy lifting…
In a world where everything has a price, the most priceless things are free.
I have the honor and pleasure of introducing a new film by Robin McKenna called “The Gift” at the Castro Theater this Thursday November 29th. This movie is a visually delicious sampling of personal stories that illuminate some of the philosophy behind the popular and influential book by Lewis Hyde published in 1983.
Robin showcases four examples of “gifting” as manifest in some very different cultural settings. My favorite is the story of a anarchist(y) squat in a giant abandoned commercial swine abattoir. Roma gypsys, immigrants and struggling artists conjured Metropoliz out of a derelict property on the outskirts of Rome that no one seemed to want. This experiment ran into some bumps when the real estate started rising in value. A clever counter to this inexorable tide of property greed we have all had to contend with in some fashion was for Metropliz to emphasize the (soon internationally recognized) artistic contributions that famous artists have painted on the various huge walls of the complex. The stature of this new museum has helped fend off eviction attempts by real estate concerns and their political servants to date. The Gift here is an ongoing sharing of the space with the occupants and the outside world of art and culture afficianados.
Another of the four samples of “Gift economies” finds Robin and crew documenting a native potlatch Kwak’wakwala community in Alert Bay in Pacific Northwest Canada. The idea of “The Gift” in some form or other is a part of many tribal and indigenous cultures going back to pre-history. Gifts are not always accepted and often weighted significantly with social and cultural obligations; the unifying factor is simply that the The Gift must not be held. It must be shared with others who in turn are obliged to pass it along.
The Gift also follows the work of artist Lee Mingwei who’s work is a “life meets art/art is life” in the Zen tradition. His work is influenced by Lewis Hyde’s The Gift, a book he carries the book around with him when he travels. Hyde has wrote an introduction to Mingwei’s work, at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.
Last but not least in the quartet of lovely of Gift vignettes is Michelle/Smallfry who created a “circular gift” camp, art car (giant bee called Beezus Christ Supercar) and crew of busy bee pals that took gifted honey from SF beekeeper acquaintances and passed along for free on the playa at Burning Man.
I enjoyed these four symbolic and literal tales, each illuminating the concept of “The Gift” in different though related fashions. Our world, western culture, is driven in large part by the great and valuable philosophies of the spirit of the individual, freedom of will and self determination ruled by “none other.” Unfortunately, we have swung too far in that direction, abandoning the balancing power of community, sharing of resources, the idea that some things must remain free. The Gift is a timely message in this world where literally everything has a monetary value, a price – whatever “the market” demands. If we cannot return to a balance between the individual and the communal, we are surely doomed to a future of even more greed and inequality.