William Clark is an artist and DJ; a master of the penis sculpture. James Curcio, or J.C., is his manager and patron, who is convinced the only way to get good art out of Clark is to keep him drunk or drugged out of his gourd. Daniel D. Warwick is the documentary filmmaker hired by J.C. to film Clark. Got that? Because that’s as straightforward as it gets.
What results from Warwick’s footage is a “gonzomentary,” a mix of fourth-wall busting filmmaking, mockumentary, Gonzo journalism and whatever else can be added into the mix, which includes: Uncle Binky the pedophile clown; a Christian producer/investor who wants the film to contain no swearing, no drinking and no drugs, right before she has a crisis of faith and becomes a mime; a silent film; Tito the drug dealer, who is actually a British actor (David Proch) stuck in a Method acting Hell and Warwick’s own descent into madness while chronicling the adventures of Clark and J.C. And penises. Lots of penises.
Clark: A Gonzomentary Part 1 is a whole bucket of crazy, and I really enjoyed it for all of its insanity. At no point did I really have a grasp on what I was watching, as it constantly turns in and over on itself. Even when I’d come up with a criticism to lodge at it, the film itself would find a way to address it.
For example, at one point the film’s dynamic between Clark and J.C. becomes repetitious and stale: Clark says he doesn’t need money, calls J.C. a parasite and J.C. points out how wrong he is. This “conversation” happens quite often in the film, and the moment I started to make note of how old it was getting, the film started f*****g with its own audio, looping the two going back and forth at each other. In other words, the film was just as annoyed as I was; it’s like the film itself had become self-aware.
And to address the premise that sculptures and scribbles of penises are not art, and that’s one of the main jokes J.C. makes at Clark’s expense, I recently visited the World Erotic Art Museum in Miami, Florida and let me tell you, friends… penises are art-friendly. Sculptures, paintings, doodles, you name it; that museum was full of dick. I even posed for a couple pictures with a giant golden penis. In other words, even when you think of the most obvious absurd moments of this film, it’s really not that absurd.
Well, the whole cutting off someone’s face and wearing it might be absurd, and the silent film aspect is a little silly. OH! And the random grindhouse-style teaser trailer for A Gonzomentary Part 2, focusing on Tito, was pretty out there too. F**k it, this film is a mess of nutty… but I liked it.
In the end, this is the type of film that is so all over the place, you really don’t need to watch it in one sitting. Have a party, get drunk (or whatever) and just put this thing on loop. It’ll be just as much fun if you don’t know what’s going on as if you watch it and take notes (equally not knowing what’s going on). Again, it’s a fun clusterfuck; the idea of a “gonzomentary” truly realized.
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