Giuseppe Andrews and the wonder that is Garbanzo Gas

April 30, 2016 | By

Giuseppe_picThere are inevitable parallels between Adam Rikin’s portrait of indie / fringe director Giuseppe Andrews in his superb documentary Giuseppe Makes a Movie (2014) and Chris Smith’s American Movie (1999), which similarly followed indie director Mark Borchardt during the making of his horror film Coven (2000), but Andrews is cut from a different cloth, having evolved from child and teen actor (T2, Cabin Fever) to a highly auteuristic director of eccentric films shot very lo-fi using an acting troupe from his environs – a trailer park.

Whereas Borchardt struggled to break into directing with two features to his credit, Andrews went gonzo, grabbing a miniDV camera and shooting many shorts and roughly 20 feature films, and it’s no surprise Borchardt provides an appreciation in the lengthy booklet that accompanies Cinelicious Pics’ excellent 2-disc set which houses both Rifkin’s doc and the film Andrews was shooting, a little gem called Garbanzo Gas (2007).

It’s really hard to describe Andrews’ aesthetic: profane, exploding with graphic language and imagery, but celebrating the ridiculous and basting scenes and characters with a great deal of humour. The degree of deliberate ridiculousness is hard to estimate, but it’s a fair bet Andrews knows the ruminations he commits to film are at least more than a little out there. The greatest bon mots from his script would probably lead to a smack in the face if said in public (except on a late night subway car or bus), but the lines fed to and reiterated (more or less) verbatim by his cast are among the most bizarre prose you’ll ever hear.

Rifkin’s doc is not only one of his best works as director (Look is pretty inventive, too), it’s also a hysterical, poignant glimpse into the world of a prolific fringe filmmaker extremely confident with his skills, his canon, and his extreme cinematic creations, and it’s impossible not to respect Andrews for being completely true to his eccentric, wiry self.

Coming next: in tandem with a visual podcast version of last week’s edited Scanners Q&A between actor Stephen Lack and NOW Magazine’s Norman Wilner for’s YouTube channel, I’ll have a review of a film Lack mentioned in the discussion, Alexis Kanner’s Kings and Desperate Men (1981), a classic CanCon orphan film starring Patrick McGoohan, Kanner, and the city of Montreal in deepest coldest winter.




Mark R. Hasan, Editor

Tags: , , , , ,


Comments are closed.