Mike Madness: Three Films by Michael M. Bilandic

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Does the phrase “New York microbudget indie” give you hives? Are you worn out from watching the same three sadsacks navigate “existential crises” and blather on about Artaud as they amble down Brownstone-lined sidestreets? Rest easy, weary cinephile, because Spectacle has a hotshot of free-wheeling macabre aimed directly at your jugular!

Cultural anthropology and low-budget unpredictability mix and mingle on the mean streets where writer-director Michael M. Bilandic has trained his jaundiced camera eye. Burned-out techno DJs, gangs of marauding teen rap-rockers, and a rollerblading drug dealer are just a handful of strange characters you’ll meet in this alt-teur’s cinematic Rolodex. Bilandic’s films are something of best-kept secret around these parts – produced the fringes of New York’s humble movie colony, these sui generis works beg to be celebrated.

These three feature films – HAPPY LIFE, HELLAWARE, and the spanking-new JOBE’Z WORLD – are untouchable works of rare art that mark this cool cat as one to watch. Think you can handle the multi-sensory stimulation of American independent cinema’s boldest visionary? Shed those presumptions and take a dip – the water’s fine! —Spectacle