Pacific Coast Calamari

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I’ve been peripherally involved in now-buzzed about Calamari Union that Richard Lefebvre has been constructing over the last year (or more?). I went over to his house yesterday afternoon to talk about finishing the intro titles and instead found myself screaming “Asshole!” into a mic countless times, each take with a different inflection. Channeling some inner-punk rocker, it’s amazing how many different emotions you can convey with this one word. And I’m not even an actor, though I guess I’ve had some practice with obscenities.

But luckily, thespian prowess isn’t the point of Richard’s scene-for-scene remake of Aki Kaurismaki’s 1985 film Calamari Union, though there are some pretty amazing actors in it. This time around 17 men named Frank walk from Georgetown to Ballard, looking for that intangible thing that will make everything alright. No, not drugs. I said intangible. The Franks are brought together by Richard (also playing a Frank) from the music, film and the theater worlds to create a kind of roving, violent and deadpan Who’s Who of the local punk scene. At the NW Film Forum holiday party last week, some drunk person said to me, “This movie is going to be a local cult classic in 10 years.” I heartily concur.

What’s smart about this film is that it captures the humor of its Finnish sire, set in a cultural and emotional landscape could only be here in Seattle, now. This updated Calamari not only offers a thoughtful homage to the original, hilarious performances by some infamous dudes, but as a bonus the soundtrack is killer: Blind Shake, Heroine Sheiks, King Kahn and the BBQ Show, Chrome Cranks, The Melvins, 400 Blows, The Oblivians, Now Time Delegation, Erin Jorgensen, Old Time Relijun, Black Cat Orchestra, The Crack Pipes, Kwab Copeland, and The Spits.

Balls out. Start walking.

Don’t miss the work-in-progress screening of Calamari Union this Weds at 8pm. More info here

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