Documentary double feature at FilmScene

Documentary double feature: Louie Bluie & Crumb

FilmScene — Thu., Mar. 17 at 7 p.m. and Sun., Mar. 20 at 2 p.m.
(More showtimes to be announced.)

Cartoonist Robert R. Crumb is the subject of Terry Zwigoff's fascinating doc, 'Crumb.'
Cartoonist Robert Crumb is the subject of Terry Zwigoff’s fascinating doc, ‘Crumb.’

Terry Zwigoff will visit Iowa City on Apr. 7 as part of the Mission Creek Festival. FilmScene starts a retrospective of Zwigoff’s films tonight at 7 p.m.

Leading up to his visit, FilmScene will show his 1985 documentary, Louie Bluie, about an obscure blues artist, and Crumb, from 1994, about underground comix artist Robert Crumb.

Little Village had a chance to ask the Ghost World director about his favorite movies, directors and actors, living and dead.

Zwigoff also talked a bit about making documentaries. Here’s an excerpt from the full interview which will be released in the 196 issue of LV, set for release on April 6:

Do you ever think about returning to documentaries?

Yes, documentaries are some of the few sources of truth and good journalism left in this country. I just saw some harrowing footage some brave soul took secretly at a factory farm. These factory farms want to keep their disgustingly cruel practices secret. They’re pushing for these ag-gag laws that actually make it illegal to take such footage. They don’t want the truth exposed about how pigs are kept confined to cages so small they’re driven insane. It doesn’t help the sale of bacon. I stopped eating pigs long ago after I saw how they’re treated. It’s disgraceful, just shameful what these companies do for the sake of making a few more pennies here and there.

We already have ag-gag laws here in Iowa, where factory farms are everywhere. Would you make a muckraking documentary about, for example, industrialized agriculture?

I’d be interested in something like that, sure. But as you yourself just pointed out, it’s now a FELONY to even plainly show what goes on inside these factory farms! I thought we were living in America. That’s about the most un-American law I’ve ever heard of. It’s more reminiscent of Hitler’s Germany and keeping the concentration camps just out of sight of the townspeople. How can you deny people the right to know the truth? To know of horrible abuse to both animals and the environment? It’s scary times. I mean Upton Sinclair wrote The Jungle over 100 years ago and this is the progress we’ve made since? Disgusting. Iowa should be ashamed, that’s really setting a dangerous precedent.

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