The Neo-Benshi craze finally found its way to Los Angeles.
Only here it's called Da Benshi in order to differentiate it from the Bay Area chapter. Like Berlin and Zurich DaDa?
Amar Ravva and Harold Abramowitz are curating the bi-monthly live film (or video) narration series at Beta-Level in Chinatown (Da Benshi Code is the official series name).
The Mask of Zardoz is its logo.
Saturday night was Episode 1: My Dog Benshi, featuring "Jury Duty" by Oliver Hall (A Few Good Men served as the source text; instead of being court-martialed, Jack Nicholson was brought to court for...); "Monster" by Jason Brown (Jason used a sampler and turntable to narrate a collage of silent monster films); and "Bubonic Phonics" by DJ Eng (found footage of a squirrel met a live human chorus shouting "Bu-bo-nic Plague!").
The highlight of the night, however, was "Goooaaalll!!!" by Stan Apps and Mathew Timmons. Stan was out of town, so his disembodied pre-recorded voice ineracted with Matt's live narration as they scoured the tubby universe of Spanish commercials and trash television.
Guess who they found there?
Jim Behrle, "the poet capitalist", "the fruit of the loom of romanticism".
Lucky for us, Stan and Matt have taken a video polaroid for posterity.
Watch Goooaaalll!!! by Stan Apps and Mathew Timmons on YouTube:
And check out Harold Abramowitz's chapbook Three Column Table out now on Insert Press (no website yet, but query Stan or Matt for copies).