What Planet Is He From?
“I feel alive!” shouts Jeff Krulik over the phone, though not without a trace of irony. And then he yawns. It’s after 11 at night. With last-minute editing, this is the only time he has available to discuss “Planet Krulik 2000,” his upcoming show at—and Webcast from—the American Film Institute (AFI). “In honor of the new millennium, I’ve decided to get all this accumulated stuff off my shelf,” says the quirky documentarian.
The “stuff” includes Obsessed With Jews, a fondly comic portrait of Neil Keller, a collector who more than lives up to the title. There are also a first look at Harry Potter Parking Lot, the latest in Krulik’s patented Parking Lot series (Heavy Metal Parking Lot, Neil Diamond Parking Lot); Celebrity Underwear, a profile of a memorabilia dealer; and a few works by other filmmakers Krulik has culled from “the alternative film universe I’ve been traveling in.”
Beyond the screening, “Planet Krulik 2000” also marks the relaunching of Krulik’s Web site, planetkrulik.com. He is digitizing and making available, in streaming video and QuickTime format, all of his singularly offbeat projects.
“It’ll be over 25 works. Going back many years,” he sighs. Krulik estimates five or six hours’ worth of material, the earliest being a 1985 portrait of notorious proto-rocker Butch Willis. “Maybe it’s watchable in this format,” Krulik mulls. “There’s so much there, I don’t expect everybody to watch all of it—or any of it. I don’t want them to watch it. It’s just there.”
“I love the technology,” Krulik enthuses about his newly wired world. “I’m so impressed with what you can do.” He envisions people watching The King of Porn from work, or I Created Lancelot Link from school, and—not insignificantly—”at studios in Hollywood.” Krulik has just “inked a deal” with an L.A. representative. “The only one getting paid is my attorney,” he notes dryly. “Now [the rep will] get the doors shut in his face. I’m being cynical but trying to be realistic,” he adds.
“One thing I’m excited about is the simulcast of the show. To actually have what I’m showing at the AFI also screen on my Web site—have an Internet premiere at the same time! So anyone who doesn’t care to come on down can check it out.”
Krulik notes with some sadness that “this will probably be my last screening at the Kennedy Center” before the AFI moves to Silver Spring. “I’m gonna miss those car parts on the walls.” —Dave Nuttycombe
“Planet Krulik 2000” screens Saturday, May 13, at 7 & 9 p.m. at the Kennedy Center’s American Film Institute Theater, and also at http://www.planetkrulik.com.