Get These Boys Some Grant Money By Mike White. Showing infinitely more humor than the halfwits of present day “underground cinema” who work their darndest to shock and/or gross out their limited audience, the works of Eric Prykowski and Bradley Wind surpass the crass and tread into the arena of Dadaist farce...

Showing infinitely more humor than the halfwits of present day “underground cinema” who work their darndest to shock and/or gross out their limited audience, the works of Eric Prykowski and Bradley Wind surpass the crass and tread into the arena of Dadaist farce.

Two years ago, MicroCineFest audiences witnessed a program of selected works from Bradley Wind and Eric Prykowski’s Gubbi Gubbi. The vignettes featured showed Prykowski’s and Wind’s terrific ability to create fully realized characters who dwelled in a world somewhere between the fantastic and the familiar. Fans of Gubbi Gubbi became familiar with protagonists like Big Head, a jogger sporting a hyperbolized forehead and Banana Boy, a young lad with a love of fruit and dirty underpants. While Gubbi Gubbi contains ten chapters with several that stand on their own, Prykowski’s and Wind’s latest work, Jungle Monkey is closer to being an experimental narrative with consistent characters throughout.

The filmmakers’ conscious use of nudity immediately places Jungle Monkey well outside the familiar. Recalling the early work of Werner Herzog and Otmar Bauer, Jungle Monkey primarily follows the exploits of Bobo, a disgusting lout who journeys into various wondrous realms through the use of a mystical onion.

Cashiers du Cinemart:How did you get into video work?
Eric Prykowski: I always had an interest in making movies. Sine high school I would write out script ideas and storyboards from short stories I’d read or come up with on my own.

I remember shooting a movie in 8th Grade with a friend where he and I got in a fight and we had all this fake blood. He tries to get away in his car when a stop-motion C-3PO comes down from the heavens and gives him words of advice to save himself from evil. My mom saw the tape and wouldn’t let my friend come over the house anymore. I asked her why she was so upset by it and she said that she didn’t want her son to grow up to be an axe murderer.

I went to film school at Temple University in Philadelphia. I kept shooting movies in college with other friends and with Brad. We worked together almost every weekend or whenever we were together either coming up with idea or going out and shooting for the past five or six years. That whole time period is when we did our past three movies: Toenail Tarv Navel, Yes! and Gubbi Gubbi.
Bradley Wind: I got my degree in painting. But, I’d say we got into video as a form of self-entertainment, never thinking we’d be shown in festivals or the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

CdC:What are your day jobs?
BW: I work for Pearl S. Buck International, a non-profit that has child sponsorship and adoptive services. I am the director of MIS operations. You know, computer crap. It pays the bills, allows me to forget about work, and focus on my writing and painting when I get home and lets me feel as if I’m helping out with bettering something in the world. I guess I’ve got to balance the scales that our movies tilt in someway. Non-profits for children is a start.
EP: I work as an audio engineer and cameraperson for a public TV how in Philly and do freelance work in film and video. I also work at a Media Arts Center as a teaching assistant in film/video and audio production.

CdC:How did Jungle Monkey come about?
BW:Jungle Monkey was the longest movie in gestation we’ve had. Before that, we’d sometimes work on our movies as if we were running a marathon; going as fast as we could to see what it would be like in the end. We didn’t have a set story for Jungle Monkey. Most of the time we gather our goods, head to a location with a basic storyline of the scene in place and ask the actors to just let go and work the improv. I think Jungle Monkey took so long to make because of having to work day jobs, finding time that the actors could all get together, finding locations where nudity wouldn’t provoke prying eyes and just plain finding people that would get nude. Our inspiration came from all of that rolled into one. There definitely wasn’t one incident that brought it about nor was there a day where we said, “Comedy porn needs a wider audience.” Not that we consider Jungle Monkey porn...
EP: It’s not every day that you get to see a movie with an all-nude cast. In some ways, this movie was almost a trip down Memory Lane with Bobo and Jomers and a tip of the hat to when we used to hang out together.

CdC:How was it working with a cast, compared to taking on the main roles as you did in Gubbi Gubbi?
BW: In the past, we often played every character because we would have an idea and didn’t want to have to wait for someone else to help us achieve it. With Jungle Monkey we knew we wanted our friend Rob as a main character. He’s continually entertained us with his humor and once we’d annoyed/begged him enough, he agreed. Working with several people was much more difficult scheduling wise. But, it added excitement, having less of an idea about what others might come up with.
EP: The main problem with working in other actors in Jungle Monkey was probably stopping Bobo from getting an erection during the shooting of the nude scenes.

CdC:Why the fetishistic use of food in your work?
BW: Our work is built on the everyday activities of others. I mean, doesn’t everybody sing nude opera in old rusted-out coal breakers? Food is just our connecting with the Everyman. Plus, you are what you eat and I just made a really great meat loaf with A1 steak sauce and V8 juice for lunch yesterday. You do the math.
EP: With Banana Boy I think it was about us finding absurd humor in seeing a man give cunnilingus to a squished banana: gratuitous fruit fetishism. With Jungle Monkey, I think the movie has got a whole “psychedelic surreal mind trip” theme going on with fruit and vegetables instead of a sexual theme like Banana Boy did.

CdC:All right. How about fishing? In Jungle Monkey and the “Big Head, Big Hand” portion of Gubbi Gubbi, fishing is featured.
BW: When Eric was a boy he left public school to join the New Jersey school of Hydrology and Environmental maintenance. Mostly, he studied fish defecation. Meanwhile, I spent five years after college in Willowjoint Home for the Aging making decorated body suits out of colored fish scales for their holiday parties. As you can imagine, fishing for us is about “fishing for religion.”
EP: Plus, fish can be gross slimy animals making for good fodder for a disgusting movie.

CdC:Tell me true, is The Other Sister high art or lowbrow crudity?
BW: Crispin Glover made a movie called What Is It?, with all mentally handicapped actors playing secret agents. I respect that movie and the idea far more than hiring Hollywood actors to try to look handicapped. Although, there might be an argument for Juliette Lewis having a natural affinity for acting that way.

CdC:If you could be one kind of vegetable, what would it be?
EP: Probably a numatego because they are ripe all year long and they are used by women in some countries as an aphrodisiac.
BW: Onions make me fart, as do beans, or so I have read. I’d like to be a Bunion.

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