Meri St. Mary and Monte Cazazza to perform along with the film ‘Pig Death Machine’ at The Open Book in Grass Valley
KNOW & GO
WHO: Meri St. Mary and Monte Cazazza
WHAT: “Pig Death Machine” and a performance by Meri St. Mary and Monte Cazazza
WHEN: 7 p.m. Saturday.
WHERE: The Open Book, 671 Maltman Dr., Grass Valley.
TICKETS: $10 available at the door or at tinyurl.com/gvmachine
Originally from the Bay Area but a full fledged local, and a punk rockstar, is KVMR’s own Meri St. Mary.
And she’s coming back from her long hiatus of performing and preparing for a show with her partner, Monte Cazazza, to accompany a film premiere at 7 p.m. Saturday at The Open Book in Grass Valley.
The film, “Pig Death Machine,” won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 20th annual Chicago Underground Film Festival in 2013.
“The film, despite the name, is not about death at all,” Meri said. “It’s so pro-life and pro-vegetarian.”
“Pig Death Machine verges on sophisticated,” the Los Angeles Times said. “… anyone who longs for the old, weird films of John Waters or the psychotronic freak-outs of New York’s Cinema of Transgression should be able to get their fix.”
The film was directed by two filmmakers, Jon Moritsugu and his partner Amy Davis, who Cazazza had worked with before the making of “Pig Death Machine.”
Cazazza gave Moritsugu a copy of Meri’s album, and immediately contacted her to see if she would be interested in having her music in the film.
“Monte was really good friends with them and he sent my record, “Girl Fiend,” to Jon and then we became aware of each other,” said Meri. “Jonathan and his wife are adorable and they are highly creative individuals. When they are not making movies they make music and art. Just constant creating.”
According to the filmmakers, “After eating undercooked, parasite-laden, pink piggy, a brainless hottie is transformed into a dangerous genius, while across town, a punky-buxom-botanist-babe eats the same meaty treat and ends up endowed with the supernatural ability to ‘hear’ her specimens.
“This is a fable about envy and the sickness that comes from getting exactly what you wish. “Pig Death Machine” is a sci-fi/psychological horror/screwball ride of chaotic, day-glo fever dreams and glitter-dusted nightmares, shot in the stunning wilds of New Mexico.”
“Both directors gleefully mine the gutters and recognize the importance of their respective roles in the underground,” The Wall Street Journal reported. “Both seemingly LOVE to remind you that all the accepted mainstream rules about making films can and should be smashed into tiny bits, and both Moritsugu and Korine hate wimpy soundtracks, instead using the butchiest and best punk, metal and weirdo rarities they can find.”
Meri and Cazazza have their music featured throughout the film and are gearing up a performance before and after the showing of the film.
“We’re playing first and then the film,” said Meri. “That’s not the only thing we’re doing though. I’m also doing a poem called “I Fight Like A Girl” over music.”
Meri and Cazazza are going to play dueling theremins as part of their performance.
The theremin is an instrument that is not played by physical touch.
“We are using two different kinds of theremins,” said Meri. “Monte has an old school one and I have a theremini, which is a new one.”
Theremins have two antennas. One controls the volume while the other controls the frequency. By moving your hands near and far away from the antennas creates the sound.
“We’re also going to have a Q&A after the film, but we’re going to be the ones asking the questions. And we are also going to teach people how to play the theremin.”
This event is set to be a special one as Meri has not performed locally at all.
“The last time I played something that was mine was 2014,” said Meri.
Not only is it the first time that she has played but this will be the first time she and Cazazza will perform together here as well.
“We have never played together up here,” said Meri. “We were supposed to do a record together and several other projects but life just got in the way.
“The dream of showing this film was Monte’s idea. We couldn’t find anyone last year to show it up here but we got lucky this year and it all just opened up super organically. Angela from The Open Book contacted me to see about a show and we are extremely grateful for her and her husband for letting us do this now.”
Meri feels that this film is a great way to introduce the community to new and exciting art.
“There is a need for transgressive, avant garde, left, left, left of center cinema. There just needs to be.”
She also loves the fact that they are performing and showing the movie at the Open Book.
“I am a bibliophile. There is something about books. The smell, texture, just everything about books I love.”
The film and the show is set for 7 p.m. Saturday at The Open Book in Grass Valley. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door or online at tinyurl.com/gvmachine.
Refreshment and wine will be available for purchase during the event.
Contact Prospector Editor Sean Jordan at 530-477-4219 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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