Sometimes it's difficult to know when Memphis filmmaker Geoffrey Brent Shrewsbury is being himself and when he is channeling one of his oddball characters.
"This is a celebration seven years in the making," he says, referring to the DVD-release party for My Very First Retrospective. "I've been working 11 hours a day getting ready for this."
My Very First Retrospective features music videos for Memphis bands the Lost Sounds, Vegas Thunder, and the Oblivians, as well as the short narrative films and slideshows Shrewsbury made from 1999 to 2005. "It's a big deal," he insists of the release party. "It's an extravaganza. There will be guests. There will be talking."
Shrewsbury says he will only do some of the talking, leaving the rest to comedian and frequent Flyer contributor Andrew Earles, who is hosting the event.
"Andy's really going to be prepared," Shrewsbury promises. "Or at least he's going to be prepared to be prepared. We're rehearsing."
Although Shrewsbury won't name all the special guests who'll be on hand to meet people and answer questions, he does promise a visit from Dale and Skeener, the two beer-drinking, pill-popping, Lionel Richie-loving stars of his mockumentary Karaoke Contest.
"This is really going to be a show," he says, adding that things will be even better if more than 50 people show up.
Shrewsbury only plays the fool for the camera. The NYU alum has an eye for eye-popping color, an ear for ridiculous dialogue, and deep affection for the fake mustache. For the past 10 years, he's used his skills as a visual storyteller and quirky satirist to chronicle Memphis in its righteousness and its ruin.
"Right now, I'm more interested in people who live outside the loop," Shrewsbury says, acknowledging that the pieces collected on My Very First Retrospective may show a bit of Midtown bias.
Midtown Groove, one of the videos to be shown, is a B-balling, blue-eyed riff on Memphis. It gives Ace Frehley's "New York Groove" the Three 6 Mafia treatment, while capturing a moment in Memphis music history when you couldn't attend a concert without seeing an armada of hot rock chicks doing extraordinary things with Hula Hoops.
In addition to selections from My Very First Retrospective, Shrewsbury will screen the trailer for Driving for Freedom, a short film about the special kind of love that can only exist between a Western superpower and fossil fuel.
The reception for Geoffrey Brent Shrewsbury's very first retrospective starts at 6 p.m. on Saturday, October 13. The screenings begin at 7 p.m.
"We're not going to let people come and go once the screenings start," Shrewsbury says. "Well, I guess we have to let them go."
My Very First Retrospective screening and DVD-Release Party
Memphis College of Art
Saturday, October 13th, 6 p.m.