6/8/23: Virtual Talks with Video Activists: Jeff Krulik and Brendan Conway

Screening/discussion of "Mr. Blassie Goes to Washington" with filmmakers Jeff Krulik and Brendan Conway, moderated by Justin LaLiberty

Watch a full replay of the June 8 event.

Jeff Krulik and Brendan Conway’s Mr. Blassie Goes to Washington follows the legendary former professional wrestler “Classy” Freddie Blassie on a trip to the nation’s capitol. Blassie, one of wrestling’s all-time great “heels,” had largely wrestled from the 1950s through the 1970s and had experienced a revival of popularity in the 1980s as a ringside manager and as Andy Kaufman’s co-star in the short film My Breakfast with Blassie. A decade later, Krulik and Conway rented a limo and hired a few female models to accompany Blassie on a trip to Washington, D.C., where they filmed the wrestler wandering through the city, chatting with tourists, and shouting out challenges to Bill Clinton. A delightful portrait of a wonderfully corny, old-fashioned entertainer, Mr. Blassie Goes to Washington is one of Krulik’s most beloved films and a treasured cult classic of the VHS era.

The doc was summarized thusly in the Washington Post, “Blassie entertains an entourage of big-haired exotic dancers, spouts off about ‘ding-a-lings’ and startles such dignitaries as the Tunisian ambassador.”

Filmmakers Jeff Krulik and Brendan Conway will be on hand to discuss the film with Justin LaLiberty, of cult movie distributor Vinegar Syndrome, which recently released a limited edition Blu-ray of Krulik’s most famous film, Heavy Metal Parking Lot.

Jeff Krulik

Washington DC-based director/producer Jeff Krulik has screened at the Museum of Modern Art, Lincoln Center, the American Film Institute and on PBS. His resume includes work for Errol Morris, Discovery Networks, and National Geographic Channel. Krulik is also co-producer of cult documentary Heavy Metal Parking Lot which was turned into a reality TV series for pop culture network TRIO called Parking Lot, and was released as a limited edition blu-ray by Vinegar Syndrome. Other documentaries include Hitler’s Hat, Ernest Borgnine on the Bus, and the award winning I Created Lancelot Link. In 2008, he produced the Emmy Award-winning documentary Eatin’ Crabs for Maryland Public Television’s Chesapeake Bay Week.

Brendan Conway

Brendan Conway studied film and television production and management at Syracuse University. From 2000, he worked for Warner Brothers Animation as a producer and writer. He worked for CBS/The Early Show as a producer between 2000 and 2008, and in 2007 as a Director for Discovery Networks. Since 2009 he is the producer of CBS Saturday Morning in New York. In 1994, while working alongside fellow Discovery Channel program evaluator Jeff Krulik, they hatched proto reality television shows Ernest Borgnine on the Bus and Mr. Blassie Goes to Washington. Other projects Brendan has produced include The Legend of Forest Tucker, The Brady Brunch, and Puppet Planet for Travel Channel.

Justin LaLiberty

Justin LaLiberty holds degrees in Critical Film Studies and Film Preservation and Archiving and has spent more than half of his life working in either theatrical exhibition or home video in the roles of projectionist, film programmer and archivist. He currently works as the Director of Operations for OCN Distribution, sister company of Vinegar Syndrome, and spends most of his free time logging films on Letterboxd and taking photos of his cat.



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