Prolefeed Studios presents:

Electric Eye Cinema

The best in independent documentary.

Third Season: September, 2001 through May, 2002

Electric Earth Cafe, 546 West Washington Avenue, Madison

Visit for updates!

September 19: I Get Around: Two Tales of Alternative Transportation

Return of the Scorcher (Ted White, 1992)

In the 1890's, when the speed of a bike was considered amazing, "Scorcher" was a euphemism for a bicyclist. Return of the Scorcher is a spirited celebration of the bicycle, which asks why this cheap, clean, quiet and healthy method of transportation isn't more widely used in America. Filmed in Europe, China and the United States, this film raises fundamental questions about the nature of "progress," and was the inspiration for the term "critical mass." By the maker of We Are Traffic.

Bus Rider's Union (Haskell Wexler, 2000) Wisconsin premiere!

A multi-racial, grassroots movement brings the powerful Los Angeles Metro Transit Commission to its knees, forcing the city to provide transportation for all. Bus Rider's Union is a compelling story of insider politics versus outsider activism. An inspiring lesson in political organizing, the film challenges popular assumptions by connecting the dots between mass transit, class equity and participatory democracy. By Academy Award-winning director and cinematographer Haskell Wexler. Proceeds benefit the Labor/Community Strategy Center.

October 18: Whose Streets? Our Streets! Three Tales of Creative Protest

Sub-mission (Michael Spelman & Laura Miller, 2001) World premiere!

Madison protestors take aim at the federal courthouse with a bicycle-powered submarine. If you've ever wondered how to build a giant puppet, paint a banner or construct a pedal-operated Trident armed with a 22-megaton warhead, this is the film for you.

Quebec 2001: The Battle Against the FTAA (John Hamilton & Todd Price, 2001)

34 heads of state. 2 1/2 miles of chain link. 6,000 cops. 60,000 protesters. One secret document. A journey through the historic April 20th & 21st protests in Quebec City against the Free Trade Area of the Americas. Viva la Resistance!

Pie Fight `69 (Christian Bruno & Sam Green, 2000)

San Francisco activists use an old vaudeville favorite as an act of political and artistic revolt against elitism and high society.Vintage 1969 footage rescued from the trash bin. Overture Center, beware!

November 15: You Can't Go Home Again: Two Tales of Homeward Journeys

Magic City (David Wilson, 2000) Wisconsin premiere!

Moberly, Missouri, known as the Magic City, is a boomtown gone bust. In this filmzine, David Wilson goes there looking for his lost friends, but stumbles into the weirdness of small town subculture. Covering youth culture from skateboarding to heavy metal to crystal meth, Magic City cuts and pastes beautiful scenes from a dying downtown with hilariously real interviews of local kids. Virgins, cowboys and punks all tell the world what's wrong and right with rural America.

Once Removed (Julie Mallozzi, 2000)Wisconsin premiere!

A young woman travels to China to meet her mother's relatives for the first time, and gets caught in a web of politics and history , including bitter memories of the Cultural Revolution. Weaving together dreams, archival footage and scenes from her relatives' lives, she meditates on the complications of the past.

No films scheduled for December. Happy Holidays!


January 17: Soundtrack for the Revolution: Two Tales of Music with a Message

Battle Sounds (John Carluccio, 2000) Wisconsin premiere!

The definitive hip-hop DJ documentary by Brooklyn based filmmaker John Carluccio."[Battle Sounds] ups the ante on the idea that the DJ's use of the turntable is just as relevant and important in the world of music as the trumpet player or the guitarist, and it furthers the notion that DJing is the new jazz. An obvious must see for aspiring DJs and introspective hip-hop heads, and a need to see document of an amazing and under appreciated art form for the uninitiated and non-appreciative." - Sam MacAbee (Lumpen)

El Rey de Rock `n' Roll (Marjorie Chodorov, 2000) Wisconsin premiere!

The story of Robert Lopez, A.K.A. El Vez, A.K.A. the Mexican Elvis. With his pencil thin mustache, glossy black pompadour and come hither eyes, El Vez may not have the exact Elvis look, but he definitely has the feel. With songs like "You Ain't Nothin but a Chihuahua," "En El Barrio," and "Lordy Miss Lupe," he changes the original Elvis lyrics to tackle issues regarding Latino social and political consciousness, taking on safe sex, homosexuality, anti-racism, gang violence, immigration policy and more. "If there's any hope for Revolution, it lies in Elvis Presley becoming Che Guevara." - Phil Ochs

February 21: We Want the Airwaves: Three Tales of D.I.Y. Media

Ed's Juke Joint (Kevin Wisor, 2000) Wisconsin premiere!

Ed's basement seems an unlikely hotbed for underground music, but the eclectic mix of performers and spectators discover why Ed's Juke Joint is the place to be. On a stage no bigger than a bathroom, performances ranging from gospel, folk, rockabilly and zydeco get this joint jumpin'.

Subverting Media: A Low-Tech Guide to Information Activism (Paper Tiger Television, 1999)

From stencils to zines, graffiti to poster art, Subverting Media: A Low-Tech Guide toInformation Activism takes us on a trip through the alternative media scene, meeting East Harlem muralist, James De La Vega; anti-patriarchal poster collective, Sister Serpents; Bronx based graffiti group, The Tats Cru; ABC No Rio Zine Librarian Rob; and Sabrina Margarita Sandata, a feminist zinester challenging social and cultural steroetypes. The program explores the potential everyone has to create their own media, to examine the process for creating the message, and to encourage, through demonstration, further use of these communication methods.

Access (Matt Ehling, 2000)

In its three decades of existence, cable access television has become a low-rent, uniquely American institution. Access is a documentary journey into the colliding American realities that make up the cable access world, and a chronicle of the lives and works of three of its inhabitants: itinerant preacher Homer Giles, who with his wife Maggie "have saved over 340 souls" across Minnesota and televised the results for the faithful back home; "Militiaman" Mark Hansen, who gives annual Conspiracy Tours across the nation with a camcorder lashed to his wrist, and perennial political candidate Richard "A-Bomb" Klatte, who claims his experience in outer space and other dimensions will aid him in his race for governor. Access is a tribute to the tradition of the great American rant, and to the medium that brings it into our homes, unexpurgated, twenty-four hours a day.

March 21: New Guard, Old Guard: Two Tales of Political Mavericks 

Naysayer (Amy Happ, 2000)

This is the story of Tommy Strange, musician, anarchist and office worker. It's about his beautiful vision of society and what we have instead.

I'm Sorry I was Right (Mike Hazard, 2001)

The press called him "Clean Gene" when he ran against the war in Vietnam. His colleagues on Capitol Hill called him "the Needle," in honor of his wicked wit. The poet Robert Lowell declared him, "a one-man Greek chorus." A friend says, "he is Renaissance Man super-squared." He is the politician and poet, Senator Eugene McCarthy, and he's the subject of I'm Sorry I Was Right, an intimate portrait of a thoughtful and remarkable man. Through a mix of archival footage and interviews with Clean Gene himself, we learn of McCarthy's experience as a novice monk, the lessons of the Vietnam war, and the dangers of corporate control of the public mind. 

April 18: Everything Old is New Again: Two Films by Russ Forster

So Wrong They're Right (Russ Forster,1999)

This 10,000 mile, coast-to-coast journey around the U.S. follows the growing underground network of 8-track tape collectors, or "trackers." The result is a fascinating mix of reminiscences, rants, political diatribes, paranoid fantasies, fix-it tips, sales pitches, and everything else the skeptical yet inquisitive mind of the 8-track enthusiasts, who range from hipsters to hicks to hardcore Rockers. Not a film about nostalgia, So Wrong They¹re Right serves as a statement of outrage from a population of consumers who are tired of being told what to consume.

Tributary (Russ Forster, 2000)

Forster's ode to rock `n' roll tribute bands asks the question: are these guys just slackers soaking up the real celebrity's fame, or are they artists in their own right? Meet bands doing their best to look and sound like Kiss, the Rolling Stones, Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass, Captain Beefheart, Guided by Voices and Devo. Is it real, or an incredible simulation? 

May 23: God Help Me: Two Tales of Religious Fanaticism

Rainbow Man/John 3:16 (Sam Green, 1997)

The complex tale of Rollen Stewart, who became nationally famous for his appearances at sporting events in the 1970's and 1980's wearing a rainbow fright wig and holding a sign saying "John 3:16." Green charts Stewart's rise, religious fervor, media obsession and eventual fall into the California prison system on federal kidnapping charges. A metaphorical tale of alienation, madness and yearning in fin-de-siecle America.

The Gods of Times Square (Richard Sandler, 2000)

A philosophical portrait on religious diversity and fanaticism in Times Square, giving voice to a wide assortment of street preachers, missionaries, and mysitics as they congregate and proselytize under the jumbotrons of America's busiest crossroad. Just before New York mayor Rudy Guliani's notorious "Quality of Life" campaign initiated the sterilization of Times Square, filmmaker Richard Sandler brought his camera down every day and began talking with a wide range of people, from the homeless to the intensely radical Black Jews. As the film progresses, these wildly diverse and often volatile discussions coalesce into a lyrical, humanistic examination of belief and religion, as filtered through the thoughtful musings of rarely heard voices.