Former child actor Giuseppe Andrews has grown up to be a highly creative soul, making bizarre underground movies in the trailer park where he grew up. Join him on his two-day journey as he tries to make "Garbanzo Gas" with his good friends from the trailer park - such as neighbours and the homeless.
Giuseppe Andrews was a child actor who you might remember from movies like "Independence Day" or "American History X". Odds are that you're like me, that you remember him as Lex in "Detroit Rock City", as he is one of the lead guys in the movie. Adam Rifkin is probably a bigger name, as he not only directed "Detroit Rock City", but he also wrote and directed the surreal black comedy "The Dark Backward" and the "Wadzilla" segment of "Chillerama". He's been on a rocky road directing both excellent movies and shamefully bad ones, and perhaps that makes him the perfect director to document what Giuseppe Andrews does with his time nowdays.
Giuseppe Andrews left the world of acting (or at least he doesn't frequent in it) to make his own movies. They're completely independent, free from conventional thought and filled to the brim with absurdities. A few of his movies have been picked up by Troma ("Period Piece", "Trailer Town" and "Touch Me in the Morning") but even there his movies are outsiders. If anything, they'd pair up with Yakov Levi's "Shameless, Tasteless: Trash Cinema From The Soviet Underground" set, which is also at Troma. But no, I'd say that Giuseppe Andrews is still in a league of his own. Other movies might have similar style, but that'd be pure coincident, because you tell that Giuseppe makes movies from his heart and mind, not from outside inspiration. I find a lot of interest in his movie and they intrigue me on several movies, but I am also not the core audience for them. They're just not offering what I generally look for in movies. Be it that I am too conventional for them or not, I don't know, but it would be very hard for me to sit through the majority of his movies. Though there is something in them, something undeniable, that fascinates. Adam Rifkin's "Giuseppe Makes a Movie" captures exactly that.
In this documentary about Gieseppe Andrews we follow him as he makes a new movie called "Garbanzo Gas". The movie he is making is about a that cow wins a paid vacation from the slaughter house, and goes to a motel. The idea is to break his record of shooting a movie in the least amount of time, trying to shoot this feature in just two days. Giuseppe goes to his regulars to fill the parts, and these include the people who live around him in the trailer park in Ventura, California. Homeless people have become his friends and regular actors, other acquaintances jump in to fill certain roles, his dad helps him with everything behind camera, and so forth. He's a bit of a legend in the area, and everyone he knows are dying to be part of his new creations. Though, to be fair, some do it for the alcohol that they get paid with.
It's very interesting to see behind the scenes of a movie that is made in a trailer park, using homeless as actors. It makes it completely mental when Giuseppe's story is as weird as it is, but it's exactly how he wants the movie. Giuseppe isn't taking advantage or making fun of the homeless, so make no mistake. He is a friend and takes care of them while they're shooting. There's even a moment where he has to wipe shit from the ass of one of them. I wouldn't do that, but then again I am not Giuseppe Andrews, and that's what makes this documentary so worth checking out whether you like his movies or not.
"Giuseppe Makes a Movie" shows underground filmmaking, unchanged from what it has always been. It's the core of independent filmmaking. If you enjoy what is produced or not doesn't matter because it's admirable, captivating and entertaining from start to finish to watch. As a fan of "Detroit Rock City" and "The Dark Backward", I enjoy seeing both Giuseppe Andrews and Adam Rifkin making this documentary. There are a number of "industry" documentaries that are uninspiring and bland, but this is completely energetic and fun and should be watch by anyone who wants to see a unique side of filmmaking. It's times like these that make you wonder why movies have became so structured, and why there has to be rules for anything. If you want an automatic audience, then yes, structure would help, but if you want to create first and foremost, then Giuseppe Andrews has got it completely right. Do what you want and show your voice.