Half-Cocked
dir. Galinsky, Hawley
Tues Aug 7
Blackbird

Can low-budget film, or lo-fi film, be un-ironically entertaining? Does indie film have the same cred that indie music does? According to Andrew Dickson, that's not a question. "I think there's a real feeling in the indie community, that people can make art, any kind of art, and it doesn't have to be sanctioned with money, or mainstream approval, to be good," says Dickson. "That's one of the things I'm trying to accomplish here."

An indie filmmaker himself (he recently returned from a national tour with his film, Good Grief), Dickson will be showing movies on Tuesdays at Blackbird for the next few weeks--movies that are underground, low-budget, and completely DIY, but that always hold their own. Half-Cocked (1996), the first film he's selected, is the black-and-white, near-documentary story of some down-trodden indie rockers who steal a van and go on tour, calling themselves Truckstop. They embody the spirit of the early '90s Louisville scene and learn the lessons of the touring poor: that it's hard, that you're hungry, that the music has to be worth it. It's an okay film, but it's more notable because filmmakers Suki Stetson Hawley and indie photographer/ Sleepyhead guitarist Michael Galinsky were such pioneers in the indie/DIY scene. "I think that before Half-Cocked, there was this feeling that low-budget films had to be really schleppy and bad," explains Andrew. "But here's a film that's both low-budget and very earnest. That was a first."

And the film definitely draws on the indie cred already earned by its stars--musicians like Tara Jane O'Neil, Jason Noble, Jeff Mueller, Sean Meadows, and Ian Svenonius. In fact, the music is the best part of the film, with songs from pillars of '90s indie rock like Rodan, Crain, and Ruby Falls. (Matador Records later released a soundtrack when the movie went to video.)

After Half-Cocked, Andrew plans to show another film by the same filmmakers--Radiation, a similarly sincere semi-documentary--about a burned-out, drugged-out music promoter who's been on the road for 15 years. And, rumor has it, Galinsky is making a third in the series of hardships-of-the-indie rocker chronicles.