The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. For more information on films playing in the Cinémathèque, please call 773-281-4114. To order advance tickets online, visit the TicketWeb website by clicking here.
"A fascinating, nutty story, a kind of Chinatown gone wrong (or gone more wrong)." -Chicago Tribune
"Witty...Saddest and funniest of all, however, are the real-estate speculators sitting on huge tracts of hell and ritually persuading themselves that renewed good times are just around the corner" -Time Out Chicago
Recommended! "Occasionally lighthearted but always affecting" -Chicago Reader
As narrated by legendary counter-culture filmmaker, John Waters, there was time when the Salton Sea, tucked into the southeast corner of California, was known as the Riviera of the West-a haven for jetsetters and vacationers. Originally created by accident, it's now one of the country's worst ecological disasters: a fetid, stagnant, salty lake, coughing up dead fish and birds by the thousands. Still, a hardy few have hung on there, hoping for help to come along and restore the lake to its former glory. Several unlikely heroes tried to come to the rescue, including the late singer and congressman Sonny Bono, who dreamed of making the briny pond a rival to Lake Tahoe. Meanwhile, an unusual group of eccentrics carved out their own slice of paradise on the shores of this ecological disaster: the naked guy who waves to passing RVs; the man who built his own holy mountain; beer-loving Hungarian Hunky Daddy; the guys who plan to get rich someday when this virtual sewer becomes a Riviera again. Through their perceptions and misperceptions, the strange history and unexpected beauty of the Salton Sea is revealed. Hair-raising and hilarious, part history lesson, part cautionary tale and part portrait of one of the strangest communities you've ever seen, this is the American Dream, who have carved out their own slice of paradise on the shores of this ecological disaster.
Directed by Chris Metzler and Jeff Springer, U.S.A., 2005, BetaSP, 71 mins.
Filmmaker Chris Metzler will be here in person for a Q&A after all screenings on Friday, Jun. 1 and Saturday, June 2.