|'Groove Tube' at Eastside
Groove Tube," at the Eastside Cinema, needs an
introduction, with a warning. It was started seven years
ago by young Ken Shapiro, a couple of years out of Bard
College, assisted by some college pals, at a lower
eastside video theater dealing in youthful satire. Its
fresh irreverence showed more promise than achievement,
but the talent was there.
Now, sharpened by years of college
audiences, and others, rewritten and expanded, and also greatly
benefited by the permissiveness of 1974, the small video project has been
given full-scale production on film. There are outrageous
items, one genital oriented, another straight from the
toilet humorist, and all of them jabbing that most
eminently vulnerable medium, the TV advertisement.
I won't say this is the
funniest film you'll see, or that it can please every
taste, or many tastes formed more than 30 years ago, but
I do say it quite clearly marks the emergence of a comedy
group that, given time and opportunity, could brighten,
sharpen and broaden American comedy of the next decade or
so. It brings together wit, wicked perceptions of human
frailty, and a fine, traditional sense of slapstick.
It is hard to say that Ken
Shapiro has done it all when he has had so many capable
assistants, but since his name leads all the rest as
producer, director, co-writer and main star, one has to
assume that he's the working genius.
His co-writer is one Lane
Sarasohn, his co-stars Richard Belzer, Buzzy Linhart,
Chevy Chase and Christine Nazareth. The nameless speaker
in a VD lecture, however, deserves special note as a
unique performer, consistantly underplaying but riveting
one's attention without any effort at all.
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