Where the Apocalypse and Utopia Meet to Dance a Dirty Tango
A screening of the film, "Plagues & Pleasures on the Salon Sea" + A discussion with the co-directorsAbout the Salon
Fabulously offbeat and refreshingly upbeat, this lovable film gets friendly with the natives of the Salton Sea, an inland ocean of massive fish kills, rotting resorts, and 120 degree nights located just minutes from urban Southern California. This award-winning film from directors Chris Metzler and Jeff Springer details the rise and fall of the Salton Sea, from its heyday as the "California Riviera" where boaters and Beach Boys mingled in paradise to its present state as a decaying, forgotten ecological disaster. From wonderland to wasteland, PLAGUES & PLEASURES ON THE SALTON SEA captures a place far more interesting than the shopping malls and parking lots of suburban America, a wacky world where a beer-swilling Hungarian Revolutionary, a geriatric nudist, and a religious zealot building a monument to God all find solace and community.
Crisply and hilariously narrated by oddball auteur John Waters, and featuring music by desert lounge rockers Friends of Dean Martinez, PLAGUES & PLEASURES ON THE SALTON SEA melds high camp with stark realism, offering both a sobering message about the consequences of tampering with nature and a heart-warming tale of individualism.
More info at: www.saltonseadoc.comAbout PLAGUES & PLEASURES ON THE SALTON SEA
Directed by Chris Metzler and Jeff Springer
Narrated by John Waters
Music by Friends of Dean Martinez
"Weird and wonderful." - The New Times
"A heartbreaking, sidesplitting parade of humanity." - Village Voice
"Historically thorough and thoroughly hysterical." - L.A. Weekly
"Droll, deadpan... A fascinating, nutty story, a kind of Chinatown gone wrong (or gone more wrong.) - Chicago Tribune
"One-of-a-kind documentary... A startlingly funny portrait of Gothic Americana." - Christian Science Monitor
"An interesting, disturbing, and humorous look at environmental disaster." - The Berkeley Daily Planet
"A hilarious and kindly ode to a fallen paradise." - SF Weekly
"Four stars! Offering you a vacation like you've never had before...
in this charming, yet sad documentary." - Film Threat About Chris Metzler and Jeff Springer
4 years, 2 sunburned guys, 1 melted camera, 120° heat, 75% humidity, dust storms, earthquakes, beautiful sunsets, flooded towns, palm trees, air boat rides, double-wides, bombing ranges, amputees, meth addicts, swinging seniors, naked Christians, mooning Hungarians, infatuated eleven year-olds, dead shit, botulism, toxic muck, an unfathomable stench, and a whole lot of cash -- all washed down with a warm 40oz beer.
After graduating from USC with a degree in business and cinema, Chris Metzler's
film career has taken him from the depths of agency work, to coordinating post-production for awful American movies seen late at night in Belgium.
His film directing and producing work has resulted in frequent partnerships with Jeff Springer, where together they've criss-crossed the country with the aid of caffeinated beverages and made their way in the Nashville country and Christian music video industries, before finally forsaking their souls to commercial LA rock 'n' roll. These misadventures eventually culminated in them winning a Billboard Magazine Music Video Award. Chris now finds himself pursuing docs featuring gay truck drivers and Australian opal miners. Jeff Springer
was born in a virtually abandoned town in the California desert, raised in Hawaii, and educated at USC Film School. After living for a winter in Russia, he returned to Los Angeles to begin directing music videos, shorts, and editing for UPN, Fox, Geffen Records, and Lucasfilm. Burned out and hung over, he eventually fled to San Francisco to start work on PLAGUES & PLEASURES, while still driving to Los Angeles to edit WWF and Moesha promos to pay the bills. He now lives somewhere between San Francisco, London, and Berlin.