Saturday, August 8, 2009

Henry Miller, Library Censorship, and a Honky-Tonk Pickup

This was one of the most unlikely movies to find a passing reference to censorship, libraries, and Henry Miller, let alone to find it used as part of a pick-up in a scene at a Texas Honky-Tonk bar:

This is from "A Hell of a Note", the first short film by Glenn "Eagle" Pennell, and is included on the Bonus Materials disc for the recent DVD release of Pinnel's best-known film, The Whole Shootin' Match.

Eagle Pennell was a 1970s independent filmmaker who worked mostly in Texas and was based in what was apparently a huge burgeoning arts scene in Austin in the 60s and 70s. "The Whole Shootin' Match" was made entirely without financial support or creative input from the film industries in Hollywood or New York, and so was an early "regional" film that eventually got national press.

Both "Shootin' Match" and "Hell of a Note" are rough on the edges and are definitely low-budget indie movies, but wow - the characters, stories, and settings ring more true than most current "art-house" type movies with budgets many times more than what Pennell had to work with.

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