Derailroaded, January 18
Chris Metzler in Person. Narrated by John Waters, this documentary dives into Southern California's Salton Sea to explore the ecology, history, and culture that have developed around this saline sinkhole. Variety called it "jaunty and fun . . . with a cast of colorful locals who make the residents of Vernon, Florida seem normal." With short Dimmer.
Antonia Kao in Person. Elizabeth Elson's Born in a Barn takes us into the world of ponyplay, a fetish in which enthusiasts role-play as human ponies and handlers. About finding an identity in the pursuit of an unconventional desire, "Elson's delightful doc is an intimate and affectionate look at this unusual, close-knit community."-S.F. Independent Film Festival. With Kao's short Pup.
Back by popular demand from our 2002 Weird America showcase, this documentary discovers the joys of hand-fishing, down-home Oklahoma's own extreme sport. With short Friends Seen and Unseen, on Nashville evangelist The Prophet Omega.
Don Bernier in Person. Ninety-two-year-old Elizabeth Tashjian knows everything about nuts, both the fruit and the human variety. A gifted artist since childhood, in later life she turned her creative talents toward the Nut Museum, a shrine to a friendly fixation. Bernier's well-salted portrait gets to the pith of Tashjian's unusual passions.
Duncan Macleod and Jason Blalock in Person. With its exotic masks, drag personas, and gloves-off ethos, the Mexican wrestling variant called lucha libre is right at home in Southern California, as this doc attests. With Blalock's Oakland Raider Parking Lot.
If you remember L.A.'s Sunset Strip in the '60s, you probably remember Wild Man Fischer, the Frank Zappa protégé who, unlike Weird Al Yankovic and Dr. Demento (who appear in the film), really was plagued by demons. Josh Rubin's riveting doc follows the artist's track from bruised child to limelight loony.