Our own Tequila Mockingbird is the genius behind the museum, and who better, since she booked the first Punk TV show. New Wave Theater, from 1980 till 1984, showcasing the best West coast underground entertainment. X, Blasters, Black Flag, and many other bands made their first TV appearances on New Wave Theater.
We spoke with Tequila about the upcoming film festival.
How did you decide to start the Punk Film Festival?
I started the festival last year after I met Sandie West, who has a production company that produces film festivals. I thought, “If only I could do a festival with the kind of movies I like.” Sandy came to one of my art shows at the Punk Museum installation downtown and we hit it off.
Not Sandy West of The Runaways?
No, from Beach Dancer Films. She has a production company for film she is currently working on a skinhead comedy called the Gonads. I just introduced her to Buster from Bad Manners, and he is in the film now.
How do you pick the films?
The selection is curated by myself and Sandie West of Beach Dancer Films, who has worked with numerous film festivals and is currently working with BAFTA. Basically, if I like a movie, it goes in. Anything about, by and for punks.
How did you choose the venue?
The Festival kicked off with the support of the Venice Chamber of Commerce as we began the celebration of the 40th year of Punk in LA—and what better place than Beyond Baroque where John Doe and Exene Cervenka met for the first time at a poetry class in the very room where we are showing our films!
Yeah, Beyond Baroque has some serious punk rock cred. The Minutemen played there, Bob Flanagan read there, all kinds of history.
And Beyond Baroque has hosted Punk Museum events all year leading up to this event.
How did the first festival go last year?
Last year we showed L7s Pretend You’re Dead which was a favorite new release, some Jack Grisham Movies by Susan Dryner, and art by Jordan Schwartz and a huge install by Brian Tucker.
Will there be art this year?
Yes. Howard Teman’s New Punk Jam, Tom Neas, an 80s and 90s artist, David Herman, a mid-80s artist, Anthony Ausgang, David Worth, Fabulous Fab France and More.
So what else do we have to look forward to this year?
Films include the award-winning film Scumbag, which has cameos of LA Punk stars Keith Morris from OFF! and from the Circle Jerks, Angelo from Fishbone, Andy Warhol starlet Penny Arcade, Sid Vicious’ pal Howie Pyro, Princess Frank and more. Also, The BlueBlack Huzzar, which is the Adam ANT Film by Marry Rose, Bucket Flush, Spokanarchy and Bomb City, the story of the Brian Deneky murder.
There will be a lot going on…The Kushmonsters cartoon by Craig Clark, who designed the Nymphs logo, Venice Surfathon is a movie short about a fundraiser held every year, a Suzie Quatro trailer, and in the Library I have Iris Berry reading her new book, LA River Lullyby, Nora Novak reading Las Feliz Confidential, and Geri Lewis reading his adventures with Darby Crash. We’ll be showing movies outside and cartoons upstairs. There will also be a chill room and a reunion room.
I am dedicating this year to Janet Cunningham. Her wake is the next day at the Red Lion.
Do you want to share a little bit about Janet’s contribution to punk rock films?
Janet had a gallery called the CASH. The Contemporary Art Space Hollywood. She booked extras. She booked all us punks in the movies most of the 80s. We are all grateful that punk stayed in the pictures.