Live & Onstage
USA, 2007, 60 minutes
Thu, Apr 30 / 10:00 / Kabuki / PROV30K
Is now the right time to present a Leninist agitation on the history of American imperialism and war? The answer may depend on whether you believe that things like carpet-bombing, the tactics of decimation and the role of capitalism have something to teach us moving forward. We think it does. Leading the way is filmmaker Travis Wilkerson (An Injury to One, Who Killed Cock Robin?), whose unapologetic diatribe—some might call it screaming—is set against the surprisingly engaging music of death-folk musicians Los Duggans of Los Angeles. Wilkerson mans the Kaptivator, a tiny box filled with images and video intended for use in dance clubs. Wilkerson stocks his toy with visual evidence of the history of worldwide conflict and destruction, and Los Duggans provides the live soundtrack. The result is an intense mixture of theater, punk show, political rally and film screening. No matter which side you are on, you won’t be able to leave this performance without questions, ideas and conversations about the politicization of art or the aestheticization of politics. Proving Ground, first presented at the Sundance Film Festival in 2007, has undergone many changes and incarnations, and the crew is prepared to get back in the saddle and lay it down. You won’t want to miss this rare chance at thought-provoking, enjoyable and powerful political theater.
With their release CD Cavalry in 2007, Los Duggans appeared to hail from Appalachia, by way of CBGB’s and the Sunset Strip. Featuring “honest music about American working people,” the death folk rockers take American roots music in and send it out as electrified, punk-style metal riffs. Most recently, Los Duggans played at Café du Nord as part of the alternative lineup at the San Francisco Bluegrass and Old-Time Festival. For this performance, Los Duggans performs as a duo with electric guitar, gutbucket and drums and amplification at full volume.
Presented in association with San Francisco Cinematheque.