Best Bad Behavior | Chicago Reader

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The only really “bad” behavior in these short videos comes from the two young men in Huck Botko's Julie (1999), who plan to infect a woman with venereal disease because she fabricated stories about herself while talking to one of them at a party. They may be evil, but the video is bland and goofy; in one amusing scene the woman explains that she lied because she found herself sitting next to an “asshole,” which seems like a pretty good assessment. The male dreamer in Frank Zirbel's She-Wolf (1999) conjures up dozens of nude women from old stripper films, finally overwhelming himself—and us. In Urban Scrawls, Jamie Shenck documents the graffiti in men's and women's bathrooms, but some examples flash by too quickly to be read, and there are too many experts theorizing about them. Jim Jacob's Basic Rules of Restaurant Etiquette is the strongest video on the program, and the most minimal: a deadpan Jacob explains the rules to the camera, his intonation so awkward that he sounds as if he doesn't understand what he's reciting. It seems pointless at first, but his absurdly flat speech soon becomes a witty twisting of the authoritative voice used in so many instructional films. Also showing: Dylan Griffin's Meat (about a taxidermist), Joe Winston's Love Gun (about a gigolo), and Jennet Thomas's pleasantly whimsical 4 Ways He Tried to Tell You (about a ghost). 76 min.

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