Engine Collision Festival Preview

The first time I saw an ad for the festival, a combination of art and independent short films with director David Lynch as the main draw, I had to find out more.

I went to their website, www.enginecollisionfest.com which increased my interest. A video featuring David Lynch greets you (the picture in the ad is taken from this video) with the words behind him saying "Change The Fucking Channel Fuckface" while he holds a sign that reads "engine collision fest" next to them.

After clicking the "skip intro" link, you are taken to the main site. Just as I remember visiting a website for Matthew Barney to find out more about his movie Cremaster 3 (and experience in itself as it is an art film in its purest form) which had a similar layout, you can choose from the different options on the left that give you more information about the different artists invited to the festival to either show their shorts or their art.

I had to check out the festival myself.

A few emails later I was on my way. The festival, located in the heart of Hollywood at Studio 1636 on Wilcox Ave, is half a block away from Hollywood Blvd.

I introduce myself to the man in charge, Burke Roberts. "I haven't slept in two months, that's what it took us to put this festival together" Roberts said. Inside, the small club is decorated with pictures and photos from different artists such as photographer Chad Michael Ward, whose art consists of gothic-looking women and men who are either dead or possessed by demons.
Artist El Yem also has a few of his trademark pig-in-a-suit canvases seen wheat-pasted around L.A.

All spaces available are used to display the participating artists' work, all for sale. As you go upstairs, where the bathroom and projector are located, a trail of giant red ant sculptures decorate the surrounding walls. In the main hall downstairs you're treated to the "engine", a large metal contraption which, according to Roberts, "took us over a year to build".

The engine is where the screen is located; at the time of my arrival the screen had been resting horizontally. After Roberts introduced the next segment of shorts, the engine moved the screen to a vertical viewing position. 'Block 15' was "a combination of shorts, trailers and videos that we didn't know where to put" said Roberts.

One of the trailers was from Jennifer Lynch's movie 'Hisss'. Lynch is a member of The Bizzurke Army Underground Film Militia; "she's an integral part of the Bizzurke Army, she's a general" said Roberts, who's also a member. The Bizzurke Army's website describes them as "an ever-expanding network encompassing hundreds of artists and technicians, who devote their time and talents to bringing films to fruition."

Some of the artists in the festival are Cory Mcabee, Shannyn Sossamon, Slamdance, Kofie One, Sonic Mercury and Zero Fest, with each contributing their art or films. Lynch will be reading from the 'Diary of Laura Palmer', an out of print novel that she wrote "when she was 18 and her father used as a reference to the show, so he asked her not to publish it until after the first season" Roberts said.

Also on Saturday, Uschi Obermaier, a former model and groupie, will introduce 'Eight Miles High', a movie based on her life, followed by a Q & A session. Unfortunately, Sunday is sold out and it's when the never-before-seen David Lynch shorts will be shown.

I will write a review of the shorts and the festival after I have experienced more from what it has to offer, just to be fair.

The Engine Collision Festival
Studio 1636 Wilcox Ave Hollywood, CA 90028
www.enginecollisionfest.com for more info