I Love Adolph Hilter co-producer Matt Wienglass says his 4/20 showing of seven experimental films in I.V. Theater has a drug theme corresponding with the worldwide smoke-out, but it’s in no way limited to dopes.
Instead, Wienglass, co-producer Ryan Foland, and their underground team of thespian malcontents, known as the Sherwood Players, will delve into the psychotic mind of a genocidal student, explore the question of “how much heroin is too much?” and embrace other altered states of consciousness like sleeping with your professor.
The Sherwood Players have spent the last three years making trouble as the guerilla counterpoint to UCSB’s Dramatic Art Dept. Their spectacle-driven content and brash publicity moves have garnered them a reputation for good or ill, depending on who you ask, but they are unequivocally edgy, and the latest title has prompted everything from slurs to sneers – and not just because they spelt Adolf wrong.
“Our signs and promotions, which have been approved by the OSL, have been stolen or trashed, or both, I don’t know. I’ve heard people say they’ve taken them and put them up in their kitchens.” said Weinglass, a UCSB dramatic art graduate who lives in L.A. with a day job while directing Sherwood Players’ projects. “It’s a scary thing when you think about the kind of extreme reaction people are going to have to this material, and it’s already started. It’s a risk, but we’re into taking risks.”
I Love Adolph Hitler is an allusion to the festival’s feature film – a 30-minute experiment shot in I.V. in one night with a very loose format. The content deals with the shattered consciousness of a psychotic student and the voices he is incapable of turning off. He worships Adolf Hitler – at least, Hitler’s firm commitment to eradicating what he felt was vile and evil in the world.
“I hate Hitler, I don’t like him at all,” said Foland – a junior business economics and dramatic art double major, “but it’s interesting to see where he comes from. It’s about respecting individual realities and what you can take from them for your own inner struggle. There’s so many different realities out there, and it’s so hard to present one to a great amount of people.”
Sherwood Player Peter M. Smith’s 30-minute sex and drugs downward spiral “Charlie Hustle” will also be playing, as well as Smith’s “Here It Comes,” an MTV Aids Short 1st-place award winner. Mike Plescia’s “Fuck Towers” documents freshman antics and pathos set against the backdrop of the legendary ex-hotel-turned-STD-swap meet revered by the same title. Plescia’s “All Before Six,” also set in I.V., will re-run with a new trailer for Plescia’s sequel “All After Six.” “Suicide Queen” and “Ecosystem” frame up different corners of local life, the former dealing with a teacher-student liaison and the latter documenting the life of one of I.V.’s freelance recyclers.
“Our two test audiences saw it and responded phenomenally,” said Foland. “Not all enjoyed it, but they saw it, accepted it and got a lot out of the it. Some of the answers we got back on the subjects of theme and message were just phenomenal, just hitting it on the nail right on the head.”
I Love Adolph Hitler will show once, at 8 p.m. in I.V. Theater on 4/20, which is Hitler’s birthday, the Columbine massacre anniversary and the annual dope party in the park. Tickets are $5, and do not include apologies for political incorrectness.