At What Cost?: An Anatomy of Professional Wresting, which is the latest documentary from Long Beach's Mark Chervinsky, makes its West Coast premiere in his town of residence tonight.
And it will roll in not just any old theater but the very cool old Art Theatre at 2025 E. Fourth St., which I'm next to positive has previously received special "Best Of" love from your favorite alt. weekly.
Speaking of love, audiences at the 2007 Newport Beach Film Festival felt that way about Chervinsky's previous documentary, The Sophisticated Misfit, about an artist who is much beloved around these parts, Shag. (And by "these parts," I mean "my closet," which is where my blue shirt with Shag tiki heads on it hangs.)
Chervinsky had to hang with professional wrestlers such as Jake "The Snake" Roberts, Greg "The Hammer" Valentine and "Diamond" Dallas Page to get their first-person accounts of breaking into and maintaining careers in the biz. These are woven in over the 95 minutes with scenes of fan worship, personal triumph and, as the title hints, the dark side of the sport. This includes injury, addiction and the disturbing phenomena of–yikes!–wrestlers dying before their 40th birthdays.
Here's the trailer:
Sounds like must-see viewing for fans of WWE and other pro wrestling outfits. The bell rings at 7 tonight.
By the way, when he isn't making intriguing documentaries, Chervinsky is an editor on reality TV shows like The Apprentice, The Biggest Loser and Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. Come to think of it, those titles could also describe the various stages of some pro wrestlers' careers. Talk about your sophisticated misfits!
Oh, wait, before you tap out, At What Cost? is not the only cinematic treat in Long Beach today …
Long Beach Indie Fest–a film, media and music festival at the Pacific Theaters in Lakewood, Long Beach Convention Center and Renaissance Long Beach Hotel–kicked off Wednesday night with Playing Lecuona, a documentary about Latin jazz pianists that sounds awesome based on the clip in heavy rotation on the event home page.
The festival, which runs through Sunday, continues at 11 this morning with Passionate Pursuits of Angela Bowen, which follows the classical dancer and teacher, black lesbian feminist activist and professor, and Kandiyohi, a modern-day, drugged-up western set in the sleepy backdrop of rural Minnesota.
Other titles of interest include: In Search of Aztlan, a comedy from Culture Clash (3:15 p.m. today); Mas Man, which follows Peter Minshall's leap from designer in the tiny island Trinidad Carnival to artistic director of the Opening Ceremonies for three Olympic Games (5:15 p.m. Friday); A Remarkable Life, a drama about a man picking up the pieces in a pawn shop after his wife leaves him for the female doctor treating his autistic son (7 p.m. Friday); Get a Job, which is billed as "Hawaii's first major motion picture comedy" (1 p.m. Saturday); and 41st and Central: The Untold Story of the LA Black Panther Story, a doc whose title tells it all (8 p.m. Sunday).
There are a whole bunch more features that sound very worthy–and don't get me started about the shorts programs. Click here for the full schedule.