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''I'm Bullshitting as Fast as I Can'' 

The Art and Artifice of Beeaje Quick

Wednesday, Apr 14 1999

Page 10 of 10

There's more. Next fall, the AFI Film Festival will for the first time be held entirely in Hollywood -- at the Egyptian, the Chinese, El Capitan and the Vogue. And the AFI has asked Quick to serve on the committee that will pick the films by new American independent filmmakers. He's also going to help produce the accompanying auction -- he's donated pieces the past two years. "The AFI doesn't know much about art," Quick says, then quickly adds, "I don't know much about art either, but I can keep them from repeating some of the same mistakes they've made in the past."

 

An inspired piece needs to include an action-figure doll you can market.

RANA JOY GLICKMAN SITS CROSS-legged on a cushion on the floor of her living room and sips a cup of milky tea. The walls of the house, inside and out, are done in the same bright yellows, purples, â blues and greens as her clothing. There is no furniture in the room, though there is an elaborately painted upright piano and a bass guitar. She acknowledges that Donut Men "is very weak from a narrative perspective. The storyline isn't that deep. It's more of an editorial or commentary." But she doesn't see that as a detriment. "It's almost like you have to watch it several times to appreciate it," she says. "It's like an album that way."

With that in mind, she says, she's in the process of revamping the film's soundtrack to give the music more prominence. "In a lot of ways the film is almost a series of music videos," she says. "We're approaching different bands to come onboard."

The film, she says, has been shown to three potential distributors: Fine Line, Samuel Goldwyn and Miramax, which has handled much of her other work. None has flatly said no, and she still hopes to screen it for Sony Classics and October Films. But, she says with a sigh, "the market is saturated, and he's not economically viable enough for anyone to invest the money to launch him properly." Even Fine Line's Mark Ordesky, who describes himself as a "personal friend," questions whether it's worth the risk.

Glickman moves to the balcony for a cigarette. "It's been a really long haul," she says, taking a deep drag. "We've had to reinvent ourselves over and over again just to hang in there."

The key to selling Donut Men, she's decided, is to pitch it as part of a complete Beeaje Quick package. "In the past 10 years," she says, "we've had opportunities to sell off the art, to reproduce it, and we made an economic decision to try to hold on to everything, the rights to all of the works and all of the metaphors -- to really, when this moment resurfaced, to be in the position to make a deal." In a perfect world, the movie would premiere along with simultaneous art shows in New York and L.A. and the publication of the books. "All at once," she says. "A veritable media blitz."

"The kinetic sculptures are the Disneyland," she says, warming up. "Those would be participatory, with sound and light. The metaphors would be the gift shop. We'd have them printed on T-shirts. And we'd sell the books." The centerpiece, of course, would be Donut Men, augmented by Rambo to Rembrandt. This would give them the chance to, as Glickman puts it, "cross-collateralize all these different modes of expression."

She sits silently for a moment. "There are so many artists who go undiscovered until after their death," she observes. "I don't think that will happen with Beeaje. We're ready this time."

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