Mr. Gary on the Feedback Show
Lise Swenson, in person & Richard Schimpf - 2007, 12'30, HD, San Francisco
Flora, an elderly shut in, maintains careful control over the universe of her apartment, a glorious and phantasmagoric manifestation of her inner world. Flora shares this claustrophobic environment with her closest friends, the television and the radios, which seem to feed her most intimate thoughts and fears back to her – sometimes affectionately, sometimes mischievously.
On this night, Flora repeats her bathing ritual and dons her best dress. Little does she know the center of her universe, the radio personality Mr. Gary of Mr. Gary on the Feedback Show, will be hosting a special call in edition which is to be broadcast live on TV. As forces both in and outside of her environment conspire to stop her from joining Mr. Gary, she finds the courage to pick up the telephone and re-establish order by creating her own transcendent feed back loop.
This short experimental work is homage to Swenson’s mother who suffered from isolation, depression and mental illness later in her life.
Lise Swenson, Filmmaker, Media Artist and Educator, has been involved with media arts in the Bay Area since the early 1980s. As a media artist she creates documentaries, experimental documentaries, feature length fiction and short experimental video art works. Swenson also creates multi-monitor and site specific video installation. In 1984 she co-founded ATA, (Artists’ Television Access), a non-profit media arts access and education facility and in 1995 she founded TILT (Teaching Intermedia Literacy Tools), a nonprofit that works within school programs and community organizations to teach the fundamentals of media literacy and moviemaking. Swenson’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and has received numerous awards and grants. She was the recipient of a Creative Work Fund grant which helped to seed the creation of Mission Movie, her first feature length award winning narrative film. She also attended the 2007 Sundance Film Festival where she represented Lynn Hershman Leeson’s new critically acclaimed hybrid documentary Strange Culture as Producer and Assistant Director.
Rich Schimpf has four produced screenwriting credits and has worked on many narrative and documentary film projects as a story editor and consultant. His first produced work, the award-winning Mission Movie, written with director Lise Swenson, tells the story of San Francisco’s vibrant Mission District through five interweaving storylines.
His drag queen dramedy Butterfly, Butterfly is now in pre-production, with Roberto Jabor directing and Willfilm producing. His most recent script is I AM JOAQUIN, about the legendary California folk hero Joaquin Murieta.
He received his Bachelor’s from Columbia University and his Master’s from Stanford. He teaches Screenwriting, Creative Writing and Ethics at Cogswell College in Sunnyvale, California.