Friday, February 8, 2013

Wunderbar to host live screening of Reefer Madness

Reefer Madness, the movie that proclaimed marijuana to be “Public Enemy No. 1” when it was released more than three-quarters of a century ago, returns to the silver screen with a surreal soundscape. The movie, which will include live accompaniment, runs Sunday, Feb. 24 at 8 p.m. at Wunderbar Hofbrauhaus (8120-101 Street). Admission is $8, no minors allowed. BEAMS member fl3m will provide the score for the movie, while fellow BEAMS members Shawn Pinchbeck and Allison Balcetis will perform live with a series of vintage shorts.

“It's sure to be weird,” said Wunderbar owner Craig Martel, who viewed an advance screening of the doctored film before agreeing to a performance date.

For this occasion, the 1936 outing of Reefer Madness, originally funded by a church group to propagandize the evils of marijuana -- but wound up becoming a cult exploitation classic -- has been converted into a silent film, captioned and edited down to 45 minutes. All audio has been replaced by a totally original soundtrack created from such sources as orchestral tunings and factory machinery. The soundscape is designed to go beyond the contemporary confines of "stoner rock," and even into territory beyond what is deemed music.

Special guests include Shawn Pinchbeck, who is reviving his classic electroacoustic take on the 1929 surrealistic classic Un Chien Andalou by Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dali. San Diego megaflutist Marion Garver Fredrickson returns to Edmonton to present her take on the Georges Méliès 1902 film classic Le Voyage dans la Lune. Also featured will be saxophonist Allison Balcetis, slated to improvise to the Thomas Edison 1910 film version of Frankenstein.

For more information, visit online or The New Wunderbar Hofbrauhaus page on Facebook or email Gene Kosowan at