Wednesday, November 30, 2005

I was a Teenage Gremmie

Many moons ago, there was an option in my high school English class for the kids to make a Super8 movie, in leu of writing a book report. I'm not sure how this assignment translated into learning about literature, but I'd say that at least half the class came back with something loosely resembling a "film". A popular genre to be trotted out then was the surfing flick. Likewise, the first film I made during this creative boom was a beach extravaganza called "Kook's Inner Moods". My chums and I knew that this was a supremely easy/lame excuse to pass our class so we grabbed it by both horns.

which way pacific ocean?

The plot went like this: Surfers surfing in the surf. Surfers encounter styrofoam shark fin circling menacingly nearby. Frightened, they paddle away in hyper-kinetic 'Keystone Cops' motion. More surfing follows. The End. It was all very succinct and ethereal. You couldn't stop falling asleep.

rare pic of a kook at the legendary Palos Verdes Cove

riding the wild boat wake

Sadly "Kook's Inner Moods" the motion picture was somehow lost in the chaos of those drugged-out, dancing the Charleston till 11:30 pm years. One day it was just missing, nowhere to be found. As it happened, "Kook's" tragic loss only magnified the growing word-of-mouth surrounding its innovative use of banality in cinema history (which has been rigorously copied ever since). Centuries later, I found some publicity stills of the movie in a box... and so here ya' have 'em.

still life study:
surfboard, potted plant & severed head. a time-honored composition.


Joey Polanski said...

DAM! That musta been fun! Only chance I evr got t make a film fer class was inna histery class where ya got all em facts t werry bout. We mannidgd t get a few innit, Im proud t say! Th Mericans DID fite th British once, dint they? Blue coats, red coats? Yeah. Washinton crosst th Dellaware too. Ya dont no fer SURE he dint do it inna rubbr raft tho, do ya? Kay.

Anonymous said...

beheaded surfer? You're hard core, dude.

Geritopia said...

Joey, you just reminded me that there was another school film project pre-dating "Kooks Innards"... I made a film about Abraham Lincoln in the 8th grade. I was so nervous that I had my friend run the projector as I went for an extended walk around the school grounds while it ran. I was a major spaz (until I learned to embrace my inner spaz --& kook). The Lincoln film was lost too. But I have a slew of movies not lost, ready for rediscovery on the discovery channel.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Gerit,

Thank-you so very much for your inspiration. I know I should have said this before (I've been busy).

Anyway, I'm looking forward to getting your early releases to add to my collection. I'm also eagerly awaiting your newest film coming out early next year.

I want to encourage you to enter the Anchorage International Film Festival ( which starts tomorrow with one of your "Old School" films.

Remember, by being're sure to get noticed. As to that effort being "Art," well that's another animal. Just make sure your "Freak Show" is done is such a way as to not have "them" toss you into a small room where hallucinations are to become your only form of entertainment.

David Lynch

ss said...

I saw KOOK’S INNER MOODS. I wasn’t impressed. Yes, the acting was good and the surfing was quite respectable also. Still the overarching and tired "Behind the Surfwax"star-hits-bottom-with-drugs-and-booze template suffocates whatever is worthwhile from start to finish. Without that template, I suppose one could argue that there wouldn't have been a story. I just can't believe that Kook's life was so dull that you'd have to pump up the dramatic cliches so exhaustively to make it interesting. Or perhaps his real story wasn't jagged enough for the romanticized surf-hero version that we demand.

Cocovan said...

Yay! Severed head! Yay!
Yay! Potted plant! Yay!
Yay! surfboard! Yay!
Way to go Kook! Yay!

Geritopia said...

You shoulda' seen E! Entertainment's "Behind Kook's Inner Moods". They were merciless, claiming to expose all the corruption and money wasted on drugs and executive parties, not to mention the temper tantrums of the stunt man who operated the styrofoam shark fin. He locked himself in a honeywagon (love that term) for 5 days, refusing to surrender the fin to the prop man because of some sort of domestic dispute over mayonnaise vs. margarine. "Behind Kook's" also asserted that the 2-foot waves at Torrance beach were really shot in front of a blue screen. LIES! LIES! LIES!

I was frantic, trying to call everyone I knew on the project warning them not to talk with E! or they'd never work for nothing again!

Joey Polanski said...

Whens E gonna cut up th Abe Linkon film?