Artists' Television Access

“Wizard People, Dear Readers”

Saturday, August 7, 2004, 8:00 pm, $5 donation to benefit ATA and Stay Free! magazine

Wizard People, Dear Readers

Tonight we’re indulging in a genre of bizarre storytelling and mischief which loosely fits in the category of illegal art, a category which Carrie McLaren, founder and editor of Stay Free! magazine, put in the spotlight last year in the exhibition “Illegal Art” at the SF MoMA .

Tonight’s show features Wizard People, Dear Readers, Brad Neely’s unauthorized re-envisioning of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.  The movie is played with the sound off while Neely’s narration on CD is turned up, replacing the original soundtrack. 

Appropriately, it all got started in a bar. “Some friends and I were out drinking,” as Neely tells it, “and we saw this intense guy over in the corner shooting pool, hat masking his face, wearing dark glasses and a Walkman. All by himself. And he looked so focused that we were like, ‘What’s he listening to?’ And we start pitching ideas to each other, trying to be funny, and somebody said it was probably a book on tape of Harry Potter. So then all at once, I’m doing this voice of Steven Jesse Bernstein, the poet, saying, ‘then Harry gets on his broom and rips the air a new one.’ Just rattling off a bunch of raunchy stuff, and everybody there started telling me that I really should actually make the book on tape, and so I ended up making this.” – from an article in the Austin Chronicle.

We’ll also be showing parts of the Wizard of Oz with Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon , a little of Woody Allen’s What’s Up, Tiger Lily? (1966), and clips from Mystery Science Theater 3000 .

Wizard People, Dear Readers has no affiliation with Warner Brothers or the creators of Harry Potter.

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