'Bob' Is Back: Church Of The SubGenius Documentary Is Announced, Along With The Birth Of Black And Boone Productions
On behalf of J.R. "Bob" Dobbs, Black and Boone Productions announces the first ever documentary on the Church of the SubGenius, Slacking Towards Bethlehem: J.R. "Bob" Dobbs and the Church of the SubGenius. But what is the Church? And who is J.R. "Bob" Dobbs? And why has this strangely compelling parody religion, this long-running postmodern joke, often called "the most aggressively preposterous theology the world has ever known," caught the attention of such pop culture icons as Rachel Maddow, Nick Offerman, Jon Stewart, David Letterman, Pee Wee Herman (Paul Reubens), David Byrne, Robert Crumb, Ken Kesey, Jonathan Demme, and Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh? To find out more...read on! Or go straight to the Kickstarter at bitly.com/SlackOn
Born into the suburban world of the 1950s, founders of the Church of the SubGenius Reverend Ivan Stang and Dr. Philo Drummond came of age during the 1960s and 70s, a time of tectonic social and political tumult that forever changed American life. They witnessed the rise of a deafening consumer culture, the tarnishing of the "American Dream," the violence of THE VIETNAM WAR abroad and the KENNEDY assassinations, and subsequent conspiracies at home. The emergence of the mass marketed church through televangelism, the Jonestown Massacre and the establishment of other cults in the 1970s left them scratching their heads.
Although both grew up in Texas, it was not until the mid-70s that Stang and Drummond met and quickly forged a friendship over a shared love of comic books, Captain Beefheart and UFO paperbacks. One not so particular eve in 1977, while bemoaning their lack of "success," Stang remarked, "Well, we're not exactly geniuses." To which Drummond replied, "yeah, we're SubGeniuses." And in that moment the Church of the SubGenius was born. It is not long after that J.R. "Bob" Dobbs revealed himself as the Church's iconic prophet and foremost patron of ineffable Slack.
Longtime filmmaker Sandy K. Boone has partnered with Peabody-awarding winning writer, editor and filmmaker, Louis Black to produce this film that many thought could never be made. As the widow of one of Texas' earliest SubGenius, Boone had access to elusive subjects that many thought had "disappeared." "The SubGenius have come to me and they're ready to talk," said Boone.
Why this Film? Why not this film? The Church of the SubGenius is the UNDERGROUND movement that has galvanized the imaginative, the artistic, the nerdy, even the deranged - to examine the simmering dystopia in their culture, and do absolutely nothing about it... except, maybe, poke fun at it all. Now, more than ever, the story of the Church of the SubGenius needs to be told. This core of ideas - of fighting oppression with humor, community and creativity, of using absurdity as a nonviolent weapon and zaniness with friends - "Bob" believes these ideas are necessary in today's world and that making sure that Slacking Towards Bethlehem: J.R. "Bob" Dobbs and the Church of the SubGenius gets made is the perfect way to invoke them.
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BLACK AND BOONE Productions is the joint production team of Louis Black and Sandy K Boone. Together they were deeply involved in crafting, structuring and shaping the documentary Richard Linklater -Dream Is Destiny, which premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and aired on PBS's AMERICAN MASTERS 2017 fall season. They worked as Executive Producers on Keith Maitland's critically acclaimed Tower and Karen Skloss' The Honor Farm, which premiered at SXSW 2017. They are executive producers on The Newspaperman and Road Angel, both still in production. Blaze, written and directed by Ethan Hawke, on which they worked, is scheduled for a 2018 release. Their next project to be released is Eggshells, a reissue of Tobe Hooper's first film from 1969.
LOUIS BLACK, Executive Producer, co-founded The Austin Chronicle, where he was editor for more than three decades, and SXSW, where he is a director. Executive producer of Be Here to Love Me, A Film About Townes Van Zandt, he was also a producer on the Peabody Award-winning The Order of Myths. Working with Mark Rance, Black produced a reissue of Eagle Pennell's The Whole Shootin' Match.
SANDY K BOONE, Director / Producer, began making films in Austin in the 1980s with her late husband, filmmaker David Boone, whose Texas cult classic Invasion of the Aluminum People was presented by director Jonathan Demme at the Collective for Living Cinema in 1981 in New York. Three decades later, Boone and Black produced a restoration of the film as part of Jonathan Demme: Made in Texas - Six Films >From Austin, which premiered at SXSW in 2015. At that screening, Richard Linklater revealed how seeing Invasion, and another of the MIT films at an art gallery screening in Houston inspired him to move to Austin.