Posts Tagged ‘documentary’

Dark Art Crosses Barriers

Dark Art Crosses BarriersDark art crosses barriers like no other art movement! People from seemingly all walks of life are interested in Dark art. Why is this art genre so all inclusive? The answer may be quite simple. There are few things that all people have in common, but suffering is certainly one of them. Every person has suffered. Thich Nhat Hanh,  Vietnamese Buddhist monk, teacher, poet, peace activist, and author of The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching, had this to say, “Anxiety, the illness of our time, comes primarily from our inability to dwell in the present moment.” Visual artistry, unlike literature, has the ability in its raw state to cross language barriers, cultural boundaries, and political positioning. But most importantly it possess the unique ability to bring our attention to the present moment. Thich Nhat Hanh would say “We have to learn the art of stopping”, and yet visual artistry requires no education in this present-tense engagement.

Dark Art Crosses BarriersHow many times has a painting, sculpture or drawing literally stopped you in your tracks? Perhaps you were scrolling through your Facebook feed and an image immediately grabbed your attention – your future speculations, your past reflections, temporarily suspended. This is not signature to Dark art though. Regardless of the art genre, be it Pop surrealism, Lowbrow, Avant-Garde, or Dadaism, visual artistry poises us to engage without first categorizing the information, “Usually when we hear or read something new, we just compare it to our own ideas. If it is the same, we accept it and say that it is correct. If it is not, we say it is incorrect. In either case, we learn nothing.” (Thich Nhat HanhThe Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching) In the case of visual artistry, we need not become entangled in interpretation before experiencing its depths. 

Dark Art Crosses Barriers Yet we still linger around the precipitating question: why does Dark art cross barriers like no other art movement? I have posited the reason to be suffering, the one aspect of life that everyone has in common. Dark art deals with fear, anxiety, worry, alienation, terror, and other forms of suffering, but does so in a safe manner. A canvas cannot hurt you. You are safe inspecting the details of a dark painting, and most importantly, it can end right there. But it does not have to, “When we direct our attention toward our suffering, we see our potential for happiness. We see the nature of suffering and the way out. That is why the Buddha called suffering a holy truth. When we use the word “suffering” in Buddhism, we mean the kind of suffering that can show us the way out.” (Thich Nhat HanhThe Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching) Chet Zar discusses his brand of this philosophy in the 2015 documentary Chet Zar: I Like to Paint Monsters, “It’s sort of like turning a light on in a dark closet to show a kid that there’s nothing really there, there’s nothing to be afraid of. They’re not something to be afraid of, they’re something to be looked at and learned from.”   


Dark Art Crosses Barriers All visual artistry could be considered “medicine wheels”, as described in greater detail by Cheyenne Native American spiritual leader and poet Hyemeyohsts Storm, “Any idea, person or object can be a Medicine Wheel, a Mirror, for man. For example, one person alone on a mountaintop at night might feel fear. Another might feel calm and peaceful. Still another might feel lonely, and a fourth person might feel nothing at all. In each case the mountaintop would be the same, but it would be perceived differently as it reflected the feelings of the different people who experienced it.” When we look upon a painting, drawing or sculpture we are seeing our own thoughts, feelings, and ideas reflected back at us, and so in the case of Dark art we are faced with our individual suffering. 


Dark Art Crosses Barriers Some might say that like suffering, we all share the pursuit of happiness, and while this may be true, it does not always bring us together. “Everyone wants to be happy, and there is a strong energy in us pushing us toward what we think will make us happy. But we may suffer a lot because of this.” (Thich Nhat HanhThe Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching) My pursuit of happiness may infringe upon another’s, and this may be cause for derision or worse, conflict. Or I may be pursing an illusory happiness. My idea of happiness might also differ from another’s idea of happiness and place us at odds. We can, on the other hand, come together over our suffering, because each of us has suffered. I do not have to agree with a person’s world-view or ideology to relate to their suffering.

I believe Plato said it best, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.” During these unsettled times it is vitally important to remember this. Rather than attaching to the ways in which we differ from our fellow humans, we should focus on how we are the same. Progress is only made by coming together, regardless of how uncomfortable it may feel. In many ways this is no different than looking upon a piece of Dark art that is very unsettling. Dark art and Dark artists are often misconstrued, as explained by Chet Zar: I Like to Paint Monsters Co-Producer Erwin Tschofen, “Actually those dark artists are really light artists, because they shed light on the things we don’t want to see.” 

“I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better.” 

Abraham Lincoln



Continue Reading No Comments

Custom Framed Oil Study Contest

Custom Framed Oil Study ContestThe custom framed oil study contest is now live! Review and/or Rate ‘Chet Zar: I Like to Paint Monsters’ on iTunes and enter to win. Five prizes will be drawn randomly for five lucky Zarmy members. First prize is a custom framed 5×7″ oil study, with four runner-up winners receiving signed 8×10″ Chet Zar prints. Winning prizes is great, but the purpose of this contest is to promote the success of the film. We believe there are many people in the world who have not seen ‘Chet Zar: I Like to Paint Monsters‘. One of the most effective ways of ensuring that people outside the current Zarmy ranks see the film is through ratings and reviews. In this vein we are seeking 5 star ratings on iTunes, which enhances our placement on the page. This is no different than what the music industry refers to as “the charts”. The closer we get to the “top twenty”, the farther the documentary reach expands, exponentially. Each time a user reviews the documentary and/or rates it, our exposure grows. So we are looking to you for assistance! Without the Zarmy we would have had no funding, and therefore no documentary. Now we need the Zarmy to assist once again. It only requires a few minutes, but will make all the difference! 

  1. Review and/or Rate ‘Chet Zar: I Like to Paint Monsters’ on iTunes 
  2. Choose your favorite Chet Zar image and post on Instagram
  3. Tag the following: @chetzar @NRGcreations #iliketopaintmonsters #Zarmy
  4. Only one entry per Zarmy member 
  5. Contest ends 07/19/16 @ 5:55pm PST – Winners randomly drawn within 24hrs
Custom Framed Oil Study Contest

Enter to WIN First Place Prize – A NEW Custom Framed 5×7″ Chet Zar Oil Study

There are many ways to help the documentary. You can buy a Signed DVD + Bonus Features. You can share your experience on social media, set up a screening night with friends, and comment on articles at There are a variety of platforms in addition to iTunes where you can review and/or rate the documentary. While these do not count as entries for the current contest, they help immensely: iMDB, Amazon, and Rotten Tomatoes. We are so pleased with the positive outpouring of support for the documentary thus far! Now we are seeking to push it even farther, with your help!  


Continue Reading No Comments

Rotten Tomatoes Contest

Screen Shot 2016-06-23 at 9.19.48 PMThe Rotten Tomatoes contest has begun – your opportunity to get the Chet Zar: I Like to Paint Monsters DVD signed by filmmaker Mike Correll, and a signed paintbrush used by Chet Zar. Not only will you be entering to win amazing prizes, but your review will assist the documentary in reaching a greater audience! The rules are simple: 1) Watch Chet Zar: I Like to Paint Monsters; 2) Review the film on Rotten Tomatoes; 3) Post an ILTPM documentary image on Instagram & tag: @chetzar @nrgcreations #iliketopaintmonsters #firstrunfeatures. The contest will end on June 27th, at 5:55pm (MST). After a twenty four hour grace period for reviews to post, the winner will be drawn randomly! We have had several winners over the past three months, and their reviews have been very helpful in promoting the documentary on iMDB, Amazon and iTunes – now we are seeking your help with Rotten Tomatoes.

James 333 had this to say on iMDB, “This is an intimate, in depth look at one of todays greatest surrealist visionary dark artists, Chet Zar…In this well made documentary you will follow Chet, and his friends and family, along that path to the successful artist that he is today. You will also see much of the art that Chet has created over the years and some insight into his process. This Documentary is highly recommended for art fans everywhere.” Similarly we received a 5 star review with an Amazon customer who said, “This was not what I expected. Watching this movie is like finding pieces of a puzzle you didn’t know you were searching for. Chet’s history is intriguing and his art imaginative, captivating and personal beyond belief. His life’s experiences touch the canvas and his other works are spellbinding in their own right. Well done NRG Creations! We are Chet fans, no doubt!”


Continue Reading No Comments

Documentary DVD In Stock

IMG_3580The documentary DVD in stock once again – back by popular demand! This time I am offering them signed, with a “Zarmy” edition patch insert. The purchase price also includes shipping, so this is a deal worth noting. Over the course of the film festival circuit, we managed to get some amazing quotes, including Clive Barker, who said, “Chet Zar’s extraordinary paintings open an elevator shaft that delivers us down into a world of the purest mystery and dread. ‘I Like to Paint Monsters’ is an inspiring and important film about the artist, as well as art itself.” We were also honored to premiere the documentary at the Paradise Artist Retreat (2015), where Guy Aitchison first saw the completed piece, and later wrote for Tattoo Magazine, “A great film that I expect will become a cult classic…beautiful, moving and thought-provoking.” 

Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 4.04.30 PMSimilarly, since the documentary dvd release two months ago we have received some wonderful reviews from fans, such as Malinda T. who wrote on Amazon, “One of the BEST art documentaries I have ever seen! A truly MUST see for artists and art fans alike, even if you’re not really into dark art. The cerebral components of the film make it a true diamond in the rough, a unique glimpse into a growing culture of art today.” On iTunes NinaBees wrote, “I don’t think I can adequately express what watching this documentary means to me, but I can try. I knew that I would be blown away by this documentary, but I was also surprised by the degree it moved my spirit.” We always hoped for these kinds of reviews, and 5 star ratings, and are both humbled by the outpouring of appreciation and support! It has rivaled our expectations, certainly. 

dy5topia.squareNow we are seeking even greater exposure, both through our efforts in publicity and advertising, to your purchases and shares. Every person that you bring into the Zarmy fold, is one more opportunity for the vision of Chet Zar to have greater reach. One person shows two people, and two people show four, etcetera. I have always believed that I was working on something much larger than the documentary, and I know Chet similarly feels his body of work is a facet of something bigger. The culmination of this effort is taking shape in DY5TOPIA: A Field Guide to the Dark Universe of Chet Zar, but can be further perpetuated by spreading knowledge of the documentary! 

Get your copy of the DVD here: Chet Zar: I Like to Paint Monsters (DVD)

ChetZarDVDbox no background



Continue Reading No Comments

Documentary Website Relaunch

"The Primaries" as featured in Chet Zar: I Like to Paint Monsters (2015)

The documentary website relaunch is complete after several months of work! New style, information, images, and merchandise, plus all of your favorite I Like to Paint Monsters blogs and media. Chet Zar: I Like to Paint Monsters (2015) has been on the streets for two months, and we continue to receive a humbling number of reviews, reflections, and overall appreciation daily! The goal in creating the documentary was to produce a thought provoking biopic, that encourages personal growth and artistic exploration in the audience, through the process of inspiration. It is now clear that we achieved our goal! Needless to say, we intended to appeal to Chet Zar’s existing fan base first and foremost, but also sought to extend the fold to include new fans, friends and collectors – we are encouraged to see that we also succeeded here. The reason for this success is YOU! The Zarmy is the reason that we were able to fund the documentary, and continues to be the reason that people learn about it. Our reach is only so far, and we rely on the “100th Monkey Effect”, so to speak. We need the Zarmy to spread the word so that those who do not know about Chet Zar, can find out! Please take a moment to tell a friend about the documentary, share the website on social media, rent the documentary on iTunes, or buy it on DVD and have some people over for a screening. Another thing that greatly assists in our online stats are reviews. If you have a few spare moments and feel compelled, you can score and review the documentary on iTunes, Amazon, iMDB, and Rotten Tomatoes. These scores and reviews will enhance the likelihood of the documentary trickling down to Netflix!   


We are currently running a sale in the ILTPM Store for Documentary Collectibles. You can pick up 25% off Signed HDV Cassette Boxes from I Like to Paint Monsters production, and the only Signed Zarmy Edition Silkscreen. We have a special DARKLY TICKET contest co-occurring with the sale: 5 of the 50 Signed HDV Cassette Boxes will contain Darkly Tickets. These numbered tickets are redeemable for amazing prizes including documentary patches, a signed 8×10″ Chet Zar print, a signed Chet Zar Paintbrush, and a silver-sharpie-sketched “Chet Zar: The Art of Black Magick” book! If you receive a Darkly Ticket, ranging from FIRST PLACE (5) to LAST PLACE (1), follow the social media descriptions within for redemption (shipping is included). There are currently on 35 left, and no winners yet, so your chances are high!!!

EgoDeath_48x36_webThe ILTPM Store is currently out of Chet Zar: I like to Paint Monsters DVD’s, but you can pick them up from Chet Zar’s Store of Doom, signed by the man himself: Signed ILTPM DVD. You can also get a copy from our distributor First Run Features (DVD)! Last but not least, you can rent it in HD from iTunes VOD here: Rent/Buy ILTPM iTunes.  

Continue Reading 1 Comment

Documentary Collectibles

IMG_6217New Documentary Collectibles are available in the ILTPM Store, but there are a limited amount, so get yours before it’s too late! While archiving the Chet Zar: I Like to Paint Monsters (2015) documentary production material, I found several items which the Zarmy will be excited about. First, I located fifty Master HDV Cassette boxes, with production notations. At first glance an empty plastic box could seem a bit lackluster, but these one-of-a-kind collectibles are part of the very fabric that makes up the documentary. Each box bears the actual dates, subjects, and notes pertinent to the raw footage that once existed within, and are signed by filmmaker Mike Correll (me). In addition, 5 of the 50 boxes will contain Darkly Tickets. These numbered tickets are redeemable for amazing prizes including documentary patches, a signed 8×10″ open edition Chet Zar print, a signed Chet Zar Paintbrush, and a silver-sharpie-sketched “Chet Zar: The Art of Black Magick” book! If you receive a Darkly Ticket, ranging from FIRST PLACE (5) to LAST PLACE (1), follow the social media descriptions within for redemption. Shipping is included. Purchase here: HDV Cassette Box

IMG_6218The last wooden framed, “Zarmy” edition silkscreen is also available! This silkscreen was used to produce all of the 2012 Kickstarter “Zarmy” edition hoodies and t-shirts, and is 3/3 from the screens used for that campaign. The screen has been “trapped” with clear lacquer to ensure no additional printing occurs, but the original image is salient! This wooden framed silkscreen is ready to hang on your wall, and bears the edition information and my signature.  Purchase here: Zarmy Silkscreen

The ILTPM Store is currently out of Chet Zar: I Like to Paint Monsters DVD’s, but you can get them from First Run Features, here: Purchase DVD, or in HD for V.O.D. on iTunes, here: Documentary in HD; soon to be available from Chet Zar’s Store of Doom!


Continue Reading No Comments

Reviews and Documentary Access

225_chetzarReviews and documentary access are the topics of importance today! As some of you may have noticed, the website has been down for over a month. We are back and ready for action, with some great “Chet ZarI Like to Paint Monsters” review links, and a variety of ways to get your hands on the documentary. The documentary is already off to a great start with numerous reviews, both professional and personal, pouring in by the day. We couldn’t be happier with both the quality and content of the reviews! Most recently C.L. Illsley  of the Montreal Rampage had this to say, “I Like to Paint Monsters not only provides a showcase for Zar’s work but also delves into the motivations and inspirations behind them …. entertaining and well-made.” Illsley also paid homage to the Zarmy, stating, “Interestingly, I Like to Paint Monsters was financed by several Kickstarter campaigns which seems to be a reflection not only of Zar’s outsider status but also of his fiercely loyal fan base.” (Entire article: Montreal Rampage Review) We were also happy to discover that famous film critic Kam Williams included us on his Top Ten DVD Releases for 3-8-16. The list was later syndicated and featured in 106 U.S. cities! We landed in the L.A. Beat, with Paul Gaita saying this, “Zar is an engaging subject and his monster art is both alarming and quite beautiful, in its own way.” (Entire Aricle: Movies Till Dawn) In addition we found ourselves the topic of discussion in Scared Stiff gave us a 5 star rating, opening their article about “Chet Zar: I Like to Paint Monsters” with these words, “We said it once, and it’s worthy to say it again. First Run Features releases first-rate films, and the top DVD release for March proves our point, again.” (Entire Article: Examiner Review)

Screen-Shot-2016-01-22-at-11.27.31-AMFor those Zarmy members who would rather watch “Chet Zar: I Like to Paint Monsters”, than read what others think about it, check out these options. Our distributor, First Run Features (FRF), is offering the DVD at a 25% discount, so if you are in the U.S. or Canada this is a great option: FRF Purchase DVD Link. The documentary is also streaming VOD (video on demand) in HD via iTunes, and is available in the U.S. / Canada / U.K. – Watch on iTunes. In addition Amazon is carrying both new and used versions of the DVD, and offer International shipping: Amazon Purchase DVD Link. Last but certainly not least, Chet Zar will be at the Monsterpalooza convention in Pasadena this weekend (booth #88), so stop by and grab a copy of the DVD in person!

Sourpuss.WebcutoutSome of you are already taking advantage of the Instagram contest, which I highly recommend to anyone who wants a chance at winning a FREE “Sourpuss” monster bust! The fringe benefit, is that each and every review that we receive helps to drive greater traffic to “Chet Zar: I Like to Paint Monsters”. So if you want to directly help spread the word of Zar, carefully follow these easy directions: 1. Watch “Chet Zar: I Like to Paint Monsters”; 2. Review it on Amazon; 3. Post a Chet Zar: I Like to Paint Monsters image on Instagram; 4. Tag the following: @ChetZar @NRGcreations #ILikeToPaintMonsters and #FirstRunFeatures. One entry per person. Don’t wait, the contest ends April 20th, 2016 at 5:55pm (MST)

Continue Reading No Comments

Documentary Street Date

225_chetzarThe “Chet Zar: I Like to Paint Monsters” Documentary Street Date has been released, and we are excited to say that this is only part of the good news we have today! The official street date is March 8, 2016 for DVD, which means the long wait is finally over! For those who have been following the creation of I Like to Paint Monsters from inception to, now, distribution, the wait has been lengthy to say the least. Chet Zar and I agreed in March 2012 to begin pursing a Kickstarter, funds from which I would produce the documentary. Therefore, in total, it has been four years to the month! That is a long time to ask an audience to remain interested, yet what we have discovered is that the Zarmy is not shrinking, rather growing! 

I promised more good news, and I will adhere to my word. While you can certainly pre-order a copy of Chet Zar: I Like to Paint Monsters through Amazon, or rent it on iTunes (release date to be forthcoming), you will also have the opportunity to receive a copy through a soon to be announced Kickstarter, which Chet is hosting! The copies that Backers will receive are from the very first replication order, and will be signed/numbered. More importantly though is not what you will get, but what this soon to be announced Kickstarter is about.


Last summer Chet and I began working on a Field Guide, if you will, to Chet’s Dark Universe. This will be your opportunity to enter the bizarre landscapes that Chet has channeled with his sketches, sculptures and paintings. You will be guided through the peculiar geography, culture, and creatures that inhabit a place not far removed from our own. You will see close-up sketches of accoutrements, landscapes and dwellings, and read about how this world works. Chet will be producing a great wealth of new material for the book, which will be available to Backers. The book will be filled with extensive explanations and footnotes authored by yours truly, detailing the more complex workings of this world, and its inhabitants! So stayed tuned for more news as we draw closer to a formal announcement!

Screen Shot 2016-01-22 at 11.27.31 AM

What documentary street date blog would be without information concerning the DVD bonus features? In addition to the eighty minute feature documentary, we have worked hand in hand with First Run Features to include much more, such as: Extended Interrogations, Chopping Block: Deleted Scenes, Rogue’s Gallery: The Art of Chet Zar, Behind the Scenes Featurette, Time-Lapses: The Creation of Six Chet Zar Paintings, and Official Trailer! The documentary is in english, but is open to all regions, so it can be enjoyed anywhere! We are very excited for the Zarmy to finally see the film, but also for the world to be exposed to the genius of Chet Zar! 

Continue Reading No Comments

Two Thousand Fifteen

2015gasmaskTwo thousand fifteen was an incredible year for I Like to Paint Monsters! We received our first print review in Hi-Fructose Magazine, and were encouraged by the responses we received from our friends, family and colleagues. We saw the documentary through its final three months of post production polishing, after which it premiered for a generous audience at the Paradise Artist Retreat in New Mexico. Shortly thereafter we began actively pursing a distribution deal, during which we received a wonderful print review in Tattoo Magazine, curtesy of artist Guy Aitchison. We also enjoyed some digital press with Bloody Disgusting and CHUD, followed by another print review in Rue Morgue

Screen Shot 2015-09-07 at 6.24.13 PM


Our second Southwest screening occurred at the “Albuquerque Film and Music Experience“, where a retrospective of Chet’s work was also on display. We successfully walked away with the “Guerrilla Marketing Award” and yet another audience that was profoundly impacted by the screening! 

Through major networking efforts we began a discourse with several production companies, and ultimately licensed with First Run Features, bringing us that much closer to our ultimate goal: getting the film out to you! Around this time Chet facilitated an intimate local screening of ILTPM at Der Wolfskopf in Pasadena, and while I wasn’t able to attend, it was apparent that Chet Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 4.34.12 PMhighly valued his experience, and similarly the packed house appeared entranced; as Chet told me, “For that eighty minutes it was so quiet, you could hear a pin drop”. I was, on the other hand, able to attend our other west coast screening, which occurred in tandem with Chet’s “Son of Conjoined” exhibit at the “Son of Monsterpalooza” convention. I can’t be sure, but it appeared to be the largest audience to date! 


The documentary touched down one final time in the Southwest at The Grid in Arizona for a “Doc & Rock”. Neither Chet nor I were able to attend this screening (the first of its kind), but our Brothers “With Our Arms to the Sun” (featured on the score) were there to enjoy the film, and then rock out for those in attendance. 

While preparing for our first east coast screening at the “Ithaca International Fantastic Film Festival” we were provided with an “Honorable Mention” award from the “SaMo Indie Fest” in Santa Monica – yet another surprise! The Ithaca Film Festival took very good care of us, and prepared a retrospective display of Chet’s work. Fortuitously, many Zarmy members rallied to meet us in this remote town for good times and Dark Art! 



Immediately upon returning from Ithaca, and really throughout the final three months of the year, the focus was on preparing for the eventual release of ILTPM. This meant decisions concerning a significant host of items, and a lot of work to prepare the bonus features for the DVD. Simultaneously, many of the rewards that Chet had been crafting for Kickstarter Backers were finally in the stages of completion. This translated to work doubling in an effort to get rewards out to Backers before Christmas, and meet our bonus features deadline! While we did meet our deadline, we did not get the rewards finalized and shipped before Christmas. 


For me, and I know for many people, Christmas time can be somewhat depressing (for a whole host of reasons), and this one has been no exception. I was flattened to hear that James Zar passed away somewhat rapidly as I was finalizing the bonus features. As I have come to love Chet and his entire family, I couldn’t help but be profoundly affected! But production cannot cease (just ask Chet) so I have soldiered on in my perennially optimistic way, and we are now on the cusp of a new year. We look forward to an early 2016 iTunes and DVD release (more info will be made available as we are able), and hopefully a warm reception by the many people who take the time to watch it! 

Screen Shot 2015-12-13 at 8.39.56 AM

In numerological terms the number 2016 would simply be added together to create a whole number between 1 and 9. So, 2+0+1+6 = 9, which translates to “spiritual rebirth” or completion of a cycle! May you complete your cycle and be spiritually reborn in the coming year; long live the Zarmy! 

Continue Reading No Comments

IIFFF Documentary Screening


The IIFFF Documentary Screening of Chet Zar: I Like to Paint Monsters went incredibly well, yet I am still reeling from the experience! Some journeys go smoothly, while others have a few road bumps. And then there are those that baffle even a seasoned traveler, simply because everything that can go wrong, does. This trip fell into that third category! Travel stories are rarely interesting enough to write about, but a few high points will help you to appreciate the conditions surrounding my first trip to New York. While making the two hour drive to the airport I discovered that my trusty phone had given up the ghost. For someone like me, certainly most people in the United States, not having access to your phone can be frustrating under normal conditions, like in the line at the grocery store, but not having it while traveling afar is much worse. Not only would I be deprived of music, camera (all pictures in this blog are stolen), text messages, social media, and Google’s incredible abilities at locating things, but also navigation and that most seldom used function: making phone calls. I further discovered that every connecting flight would be rerouted and I would be arriving quite late, and at a different airport than my ticket indicated. Scurrying about enormous airport terminals, nicotine deprived, and incapable of contacting my New York hosts or any friends and family members. Needless to say I made it, but my luggage did not. Now I suppose I could have been at odds with this experience, perhaps relying on a sense of entitlement to carry me angrily through the motions of my journey. Instead I harkened back to the great Gonzo of Journalism, Hunter S. Thompson, and told myself, “Buy the ticket, take the ride!” and in doing so allowed myself to be fully immersed in the present moment. I was not distracted by taking pictures, social media, or emails. I was not floating off in musical reverie, or searching my device for good places to eat. As a result of this seemingly negative turn of events I had been afforded an opportunity to be here now.


Senses heightened (perhaps from the smell of my now two day old clothes – remember no luggage) I joined Chet Zar and Ithaca International Fantastic Film Festival director, Hugues Barbier, at Cinemapolis in downtown Ithaca. Like most college towns, Ithaca has a lively downtown culture and great people watching, which I indulged while we rounded up Zarmy members Aaron Verity, Miles Parker, David Sherman, Kristy Cash, and Jonathan Silva, for the two o’clock screening. After briefly introducing the film we settled in for yet another ride on the I Like to Paint Monsters coaster. It is always interesting to see which parts of the film resonate emotionally with different crowds, and it is great when you can feel the audience responding to your film as you intended them to. This screening was no exception, and I was happy to be met by many new friends and colleagues outside Cinemapolis, who all expressed heartfelt appreciation for the subject and cadence of the film! Long time Zarmy member David Sherman even commented, “I didn’t think about a cigarette a single time, and that is a BIG deal man! That hasn’t happened since Fight Club!” (which if you know David IS really saying something). Next we adjourned to the exhibit of Chet’s artwork, which was nicely displayed with the works of other amazing artists such as Paul Gerrard.


Chet and I enjoyed a variety of films, including the bizarre three hour odyssey that is Possession (1981) from IIFFF‘s retrospective category, and The Invitation from the feature film category, which I wouldn’t be surprised to see on Netflix sometime soon. The closing ceremony included a screening of Moonwalkers with Ron Pearlman, which was a brilliant and hilarious psychedelic journey crashing into a classic “clock is running out” drama – yet another I expect to see distributed! After the ceremony, and now on the last day, my luggage arrived and I was finally able to get cleaned up and comfortable. 


Coming away from IIFFF I can say that it was not only a great opportunity to showcase the documentary and make inroads with publications like Fangoria, but also an opportunity to forge new friendships. The sense of comfort, ease and camaraderie with which people of all kinds and classes interacted at the event was inspiring and encouraging! It was such a great group of Dark Art enthusiasts, and I truly felt at home with them!

Now you might think, with my crazy travel experience on the way to Ithaca, that my trip home would be smooth…but such was not my fate. I will save that entire story for another time, but I am not exaggerating when I say that it took thirty six hours to get home, during which I drove through five blizzards on a ten hour rental car trip (yet another cancelled flight) from Colorado to New Mexico, and my luggage still did not arrive until two days later. Back home, reeling from the experience, but also recapitulating the wonders of my sideways journey to New York, I remind myself that as I drove to the airport on the first day of my trip I said to myself, as I always do, “If it’s in the greatest good of all things everywhere, allow me to have a Magickal experience”…and it definitely was!   



Continue Reading No Comments