Terry Zwigoff Is The Anti-Chopra

Happy news that a gen-u-wine maverick is coming on Friday to the Day of the Writer; unto us is delivered Mr. Terry Zwigoff, who will be put to the questions by James Dallesandro. Zwigoff—interviewed here in 2001 and here in 2006 by moi—is pretty much the most distinguished filmmaker in San Fran, with two documentaries and two feature films, most recently Art School Confidential (left). Originally a cartoonist, Zwigoff’s coming down as a benefit for PETA; it’s a cause he’s been involved with ever since Funny Aminals comics in 1972, also the source for the prototype of Maus by Art Spiegelman. His heartily misanthropic cinema cancels out the feel-good blather of Deepak Chopra, whom Cinequest is giving talking room tomorrow night at the California Theatre. I’d be there, but I’m far too naturally high.

68 comments to Terry Zwigoff Is the Anti-Chopra

  • RvB

    Since I just got dogged out on stage at the California Theatre by Terry Zwigoff, let’s clarify.
    I don’t know what his spiritual beliefs are, and it seems immaterial to me. I consider his films–which he’d probably be the first to admit deal with harsh and negative stuff–the opposite of the New Age blather that Deepak Chopra sells; therefore “the anti-Chopra.”
    I seem to have got the count wrong on his films which are, Louie Bluie, Crumb, Ghost World, Bad Santa, and Art School Confidential. Wrote nice things about all of them, not that it matters.
    When he complained that he’s not in the same league of importance as Lucas or Coppola, hey: I don’t consider them San Francisco filmmakers even if they have some kind of pied a terre there in the city. Coppola’s been out in Sonoma since God knows when, Lucas stays in Marin. Zwigoff is, far as I know, a San Franciscan. So it’s him and Phil Kaufman, and now I’m starting to reach…Sam Green, yes…and? I stand by my praise, which Zwigoff seems to read as slander.
    He told me himself during one interview that he’d been involved with the anti-animal cruelty comic book Funny Aminals back in the 1970s. Couldn’t find the details on that, because it’s not on line. Sorry I called him a cartoonist.
    When Zwigoff uses these–I think–really niggling points as an example of low levels of journalism–and then tells a story about how he used to get bored during junket interviews and make up lies to tell the press I probably shouldn’t think twice about this stuff.
    Anyway, that’s my side of this.

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