Michaela From Safeway: it sucks. i can't contact my peeps no more.
Gladyce: have you tried the telephone, dear? they say only your true friends will pick up but only if it's a landline.
Michaela From Safeway: no i mean this time of year during the holiday season i get skittish and scared.
Doryce: THIS is the time to see people, NOW, you'd be surprised, you bump into strangers you haven't seen for decades in the strangest places. when i was roaming Mervyn's for Gladyce's Christmas socks i mean Christmas gift the gift of the present.
Gladyce: YOU GOT ME SOCKS?!!! you shouldn't have, lover. by which i mean I NEED SOCKS!!! i love you so much i could kiss you.
Doryce: or better yet hug me in my special spot.
Michaela: back to me, girls.
crones: ah yes well these last two weeks is when EVERYBODY SLOWS, you can catch up with ANYBODY, you can FIND ANYBODY, acquaintance or not, everyone's suddenly around, they got nothing to do, they're just THERE for the first time since she unceremoniously dumped me right there on the college campus and defenestrated me out the sorority's second floor. i talked with HER.
Gladyce: how was she like?
Doryce: her face is all mangled now but she has the sweetest demeanor and the calmest temperament.
Gladyce: what kind of socks did you get me?
Doryce: those Tabi socks with the cloved hooves cos you have ox feet.
Gladyce: you know me so well, goats go so well with witches. i have cloves for feet like an ox.
Doryce: oxen schmoxen. i smoke cloves, and sprinkle the occasional clove into my enchantments when i cast.
Michaela From Safeway: go to Mervyn's yeah? that's what you're saying?
Michaela At Mervyn's: well i'm here. in Mervyn's. by the last glass escalator. there's no one here. not just my long-lost friends who abandoned me, like NOT A SOUL in here. Mervyn's liquidated without telling me, didn't they?
Mark Hapka wearing an Ebenezer Scrooge nightcap: speaking of liquids, 11:11 isn't just when you shout out HAPKA!!!, it should also be your bedtime. your body needs 8 hours sleep and 8 drinks of water.
Central Coast Audiology: yes Kelly Clarkson works here. as a doctor, not a nurse.
Covered California: with masks
Goran Visnjic: i was the goalie in the Croatia/Morocco World Cup soccer match. can you guess which one? did you WATCH the Third Place Match?...
Jim's in Seaside: we sell Chinese food. somehow. it's not Jin's.
Toga: me and Twice, what could have been...
Boc: look at this Crespi track. it's gotta be about more than running, people. it's gotta be about the environment, EVERYTHING must be about the environment or this planet is kaput long before the Bomb drops. again.
Monsignor Navin: maybe combine the sports?
Boc: i was thinking combine the sports. hey you, Monsignor, isn't the Catholic Church supposed to be above anything else the institution of the Environment?
Navin: not even close. the Garden of Eden is a vegetable garden.
Boc: walking and picking up trash, jogging and picking up litter with a harpoon. let's face it, all of us want to be racewalking to show off our bulging hips. just me? as we keep the green green. look at this track, it's too oval, too circular, too closed. erase those 6 white lines and start painting the track INTO THE COUNTRYSIDE. as we run in the fields we pick up oily garbage with our bare hands. trust me, the birds will thank us. birds not women. but women too.
Navin: i want to frolic naked in my purple monk's robe. only saints can do that.
local news: we don't really do news, we're basically one big commercial for local restaurants...
Lou Rawls: don't you DARE call me loo roll or i'll beat yo ass.
Monsignor Navin: i'm working with Oli London now, working with the boy INTENSELY. it's been a struggle, it's been a HARD ROCKY ROAD for Oli but he's making incremental progress, he's making gains in the Catholic Church.
Twilight Zone "Eye of the Beholder": Cher's Mask in reverse.
Millennium Dome: large baked potato in the sea. points can transform into 12 King Arthur swords for The Sword and the Sorcerer...
Mark Borchardt: should there be 13 black-cloaked figures circling my car? or 12. 11? are these guys druids, warlocks, or monks?...
Eye Luggage: American Movie (1999) and go.
Mark Borchardt: why am i not more famous? why am i not James Cameron?
me: again i say THIS DOCUMENTARY IS MY EXACT LIFE, everything Mark Borchardt went through is what i go through as a person who's probably an autistic artist. i mean i'm probably autistic, and an artist, not the other way around, probably an artist. i'm a crazy creative. the way Mark is SUPER-INTELLIGENT with his vocabulary, the way he talks fast and staccato and EXPLAINS EVERYTHING dragging out each word to explain heavy concepts and angled symbolism and using ALL THREE CHOICES FOR WORDS to explain the path he's going on to describe to you his inner mind, his internal angst, his inside feelings.
Mark: everyone thinks i'm on drugs but i'm not. did you see the reference i just used to describe the strange sound? i said The Ghost of Christmas Past. only a learned well-read man could make such a reference.
me: he could have said ONE THING, but he says ALL THE THINGS in a very drawn-out explanation, he uses ALL THE CHOICES FOR WORDS to explain himself. each and every word in the synonym dictionary and syllabus and rhyming dictionary.
Laertus: he's very dramatic in his presentation which is natural for a filmmaker. he's constantly explaining the scene, framing the next scene, the scene of life.
Mark Borchardt: i wanted to make Northwest. i didn't want to make Coven but i had to. Northwest would have been my North by Northwest. it wasn't indie horror schlock it was a serious independent film with not a line of comedy about the struggles and the loss of the American Dream in the car graveyards where i grew up. where skinny boys of college age didn't go to college, they couldn't afford it, they went to the factory after growing their hair long and putting on one plaid shirt and one bluejean. their purpose in life was to drink beer to find friends. by the way, i STILL can't afford to make Northwest in 2023!!! despite all my FAME!!! i do love my family, i was about the rest of my life raising my kids, i wouldn't trade that time for the world. the world of cinema where i'm the American Lars von Trier.
Laertus: this film REALLY clicks with me, i feel DEEP EMPATHY with Mark Borchardt, i know what he's going through, more than any other movie about movies this one really shows what it's like to not give up on your dream, even if you have no money. i know what it's like to have to recruit your FRIENDS AND LOCALS to be in your student film cos you have no money to pay real actors. you have to literally pick people off the street, strangers at the bars, and tell them to say lines for no money.
Mark: it does make it realistic.........and grimy.
Mark: i danced with the Sundance. people around the world know me from THIS, not from my actual movies Coven or Northwest. so it's a bit strange that i never received ONE SUNDANCE CENT to further my career as a studio mogul. i should have used this to springboard me into Hollywood life, but see that was the problem, i hated Hollywood and all it stood for and wanted to remain indie. indie means poor for life. so nothing really became of me and my career went nowhere.
Kevin Smith: mainly my fault. i kinda stole all your indie thunder there as the 2000s were starting and kept it for myself, sorry there, Mark.
Dirg: plus, let's face it, Coven sucks. i know it's cool in an indie horror kind of way but the actors are all primping and preening and the girl isn't THAT hot so what's the point it's not worth it.
Laertus: it's just that.........Coven isn't that DEEP, you know? if you're gonna put your blood sweat tears and soul into a project, nearly die from the making of it, let the film you sacrificed it all for be Casablanca. you know? a real thinker, a real talker, a real discussion, not bad bloody chainsaw stuff in your backyard that has trees with no leaves.
Eye: see this is the bombshell, when we're introduced to Mark we don't know about his kids. i think of you as some lost soul like all of us in our 20s trying to find themself and you maybe live with your parents have a crappy job and are trying to make a movie to make a movie, it's your dream, you won't be stopped, the THREE KIDS tho throws a wrench in.
Mark: yeah i really need to take these dime jobs for my kids or they don't eat and they don't go to school.
Takahashi: hey delivering papers is COOL. especially at night and the early morning in a red Datsun around farms. it's like that arcade game Paperboy!!!
Mark's mom: i'm Swedish, can't you tell from my accent?
Mark's dad: i'm Mark's dad. i never got along with the family much. i was eventually kicked out for being a man. but strangely i moved just one house over and i sit on my TV chair all day looking out the window to the house i used to live at, i used to call home. the mother and i get along now this way, we exchange sugar and pleasantries and enjoy each other's company and go back home.
Mark: i did a lot to stem the redneck stuff, you know? man the '90s were a different time, a MORE PLEASANT TIME to be alive as a human on Earth and especially in America. i mean in the '90s nobody gave a fuck who you voted for, politics was Top 10 not Top 1, politics were on the backburner, you could be me, you could be poor white trash but you were just a guy like Magic Johnson was just a guy. i wasn't white and rural and voted for Trump, i was a guy who loved metal music and football and drank at 7-Eleven and was following his dream of art. my parents and immediate circle of friends didn't help. see how they talked behind my back?!!!:
Mark's mom: do i think he'll be a successful filmmaker?.........no. i mean, no. this is going nowhere.
Mark: DAMN MOM!!! YOU'RE MY MOM!!! it's your JOB TO LIE TO YOUR SON!!! you're the ONE PERSON in life who should be telling me to follow my dream no matter how ludicrous!!! if i can't get encouragement from you, where do i get it? a priest?
Mark's brother: yeah Mark was smart but didn't apply himself in school. he wants the American Dream, the big house, the big car, the big girl, but right now his salary is $0 so how's that gonna work?
Mark: thanks, bro. nobody believes a word you say cos you're wearing a Hooters shirt!!!
Mark's other brother: yeah the family we all thought that Mark would become a serial killer.
Mark: i mean...
Eye: it's really cool how they show you struggling to pay your bills. that's the behind-the-scenes stuff of filmmaking, the stuff that's not glamorous, that no one sees, but you need to pay for that camera and that roll AND your rent and your tuition and your utilities excluding Facebook each month or your lease will be let go.
Mark: i still got debts from student loans and i didn't go to art school.
Laertus: your story is fascinating to me cos this is a viable way to go: the non-art school route, you didn't have money for school, or film supplies, you didn't get that SCHOLARSHIP HINT HINT. so instead of making a PBS short in your NYU dorm you do it all by yourself with no education, just reading the CliffsNotes on how to make a movie.
Mark: that CliffsNotes was written by James Gunn and Martin Scorsese.
Mike Schank: that Scorsese chick from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation?
Mike Schank: hi. i'm Mike Schank. i guess i became something of a cult hero, a film figure that people JUST LOVE AND ADORE cos of the way i talk, cos of my.........delayed reaction to things. i laugh WAY AFTER i tell the joke. i have what's called REDUCED AFFECT.........which is basically DELAYED affect. when you tell me sad news you think i should react SADDER, you know? my face should be MORE SAD than it is. i DO FEEL SAD THO. i just don't show it. i'm more empathetic than a serial killer that's for sure. i did all the music in this doc.
Mark: i love how you shred on that metal guitar blindfolded, man, but your sound is a little too Black Sabbath for copyright comfort, keep it more Fifty Shades of Grey.
Zalman King: ...
Mike Schank: think of Mark and me as Beavis and Butt-Head in real life. LOOK AT ME, I'M A HUGGABLE TEDDY BEAR!!!
Michael Weiss: it's lonely for me this time of year. i finally get the American Movie references i saw on Greg the Bunny and Family Guy that i didn't get before.
Eye: those 3 kids are so cute tho.
Mark: thanks. i let my kids swear, i got good auditory senses. as American as apple pie and cocaine.
mom: Mark, where are you going?
Mark: to pick up my friend, the one with the blond mullet. from jail.
mom: that guy was a bad influence on Mark.
Mark: i know but he was the only one who would do the movie with me so what was i supposed to do?
Mark: can i borrow $3000 to make this movie? i'm not trying to stiff an old man but you're my only rich relative.
Uncle Bill: it's okay, i hoard all my money under the mattress, i don't trust banks. i'm a millionaire i have $450,000 that nobody knows where it is. located in a safe buried in the backyard.
Mark: okay but then why do we both live in a double-wide trailer? don't worry you'll recoup, you'll get all your money back. we're using Bank of America not Chase. all i have to sell is 3,185,092 VHS tapes, VHS tapes are the greatest things now.
the extended family at a Wisconsin Denny's.
Mark's dad: it's so sad, my older brother Mark's uncle Bill used to be a university intellectual at the University of Wisconsin, in philosophy not beer science. he knew EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD, every complicated concept and topic, he taught me the world. now he just wants to die, he's RACING TO HIS GRAVE. he doesn't want to talk about philosophy anymore he wants to talk about NOTHING. except his regrets, his grievances mostly, the fact that he's so old he's got a turkey waddle for a neck the skin is stretched SO THIN and his head is hunched down to his knees that he can barely breathe, he wheezes and gasps mostly and doesn't want to talk about it.
Mike: don't listen to the screaming auditions with your earbuds on.
Mark: don't you love my casual Satanism? i believe in Jesus Christ sure but i believe in The Devil in equal measure. the sacred and the profane. heaven and hedonism combined. helping your neighbor vs. asking your neighbor to make a movie.
Mark: it's pronounced COH-ven. it doesn't matter how it sounds!!! what's important is the WORK!!
fancypants local Shakespearean actor with top hat and cape: Mark has gone through many struggles getting Coven completed, it's taken 3 years to complete 5 minutes of film. but what i admire about Mark is he has remained equanimous throughout this grueling process.
Mark: you think i don't know big words? i use a large-word vocabulary in my speech pattern!!! i bring it to fruition like my film!!! i know i'm not dumb i'm a genius!!! i'm not a hapless hick. i'm not redneck reefer, i'm dispelling that myth of people from Wisconsin with this doc. i coulda gotten straight As in college, i look like van Gogh if he were a punker with glasses.
fancypants: it's fine, just put an umlaut above the o in Coven.
Mark: YOU THINK I DON'T KNOW WHAT AN UMLAUT IS?!!!
Mark kneeling down in the snow: come on people we're burning daylight out here!!! ESPECIALLY TODAY THE WINTER SOLSTICE, there is the LEAST amount of sunlight available!!! look at this cool 16mm camera i'm holding!!! with the two reels of film mounted, this is old-skool baby, this is a '90s camera!!!
marketer: how would you describe Coven?
Mark: it's Boggy Depot by Jerry Cantrell.
Mike Schank: i do whatever Mark tells me to do cos he is my friend, i know he's my friend cos we drank vodka together. i have a hardcore addiction to scratch-off tickets but that's not real gambling that's just the lottery.
Laertus: okay that was cool. did you see that? Mark is arguing with his baby mama on the driveway next to the Golf car and for a second you don't know if this is a SCENE or REAL. turns out it was real, that was real arguing!!! not a scene. this was about custody not a fictional crime.
Mark's girlfriend snapping beans in a bowl: Mark wants to make something of his life, he wants to do better, he wants to IMPROVE HIMSELF. but we all want to improve ourself that's why i love him, i see his willingness to grow and i want to change with him.
Eye: omg can i just say that i LOVE YOU TWO AS A COUPLE!!!
Laertus: WE BOTH DO!!!
Eye, smiling from ear to ear: Laertus and i were hugging as we watched your cute courtship at the circus!!! omg Mark, this woman is perfect for you, please tell us you didn't do something stupid and she left you forever.
Mark: she dumped me. rightfully so. but then i flowers'd her with cemetery flowers and she took me back thank god and the devil.
Eye: that's good to know!!! i hope you two are married forever!!! she's so good for you, Mark, she's that older seasoned woman who's been around the block, she's been through it, been through the fire, she's been through the ringers and rigors of life, she can teach you so much about life, that is SO HOT!!! lovey-dovey with a Golden Girl.
me: omg that scene when Favre finally wins the Super Bowl for the Green Bay Packers and Mark storms off after a heated confrontation about his rudderless life with his mom in the tiny kitchen, that is SO ME. i do the same thing at big worldwide sporting events, i become existential and think about my life as i see others living out their dream on the sports field. i feel so intensely how i've wasted my life when i see Eli Manning beat Tom Brady. i decry my lack of a social life when i see Pele score that World Cup goal.
me: okay that cemetery is reminding me of dad and i'm sad now. COOL DOUBLE-BLADED VACUUM!!! yeah there's just something spooky about vacuuming the red carpet of a cemetery.
Mark: you see me powering through here? others would not have, they would given up on their dream, but i SOLDIER ON UNDETERRED. i hate people who don't try to better themselves each and every day. i have to literally PICK UP SHIT off the bathroom walls of a cemetery for my job but i don't think about that the next day, i drive to the edit bay and get to the cement splicing!!!
Mark: is the University of Milwaukee open on snow days? how ironic is this, the only time i ever properly set foot on a college campus is when i need to edit my movie and they have rooms, but it's not me here as a student, i'm getting a taste of the good life. this is blue-collar editing, this is old-skool splicing!!! we do it manually by hand!!! no computers here, no 3DCGI here, sir!!! we need that special glue.........that you will NOT HUFF, right Mike?
Mark: we can't have a scene missing!!! what is this, an Ingmar Bergman movie?!!! Mike, what is the point of all this hard work?
Mike: sex, power, money, fame.
Mark: yeah okay i'm in.
Mark: whoa cool look at that long line of people that snakes around to the back of the theater!!! just for my little movie?!!!
Ron Howard: Splash vibes.
Mark: and someone wants MY AUTOGRAPH on their VHS box!!!
Laertus: i was SO PROUD to see your finished film on that screen up there. i cried tears of joy. that is AN ACCOMPLISHMENT, IT'S FUCKING HARD TO MAKE A FILM!!! this is quite the achievement, do you feel a sense of satisfaction for a job well done?
Laertus: i love your process of writing your scripts, you use your own personal screaming matches with people in your real life and COPY THOSE ARGUMENTS WORD FOR WORD into the script, those are the lines the actors say, THAT'S EXACTLY HOW I WRITE!!!
Mark: thank you everybody in the audience turning into a crowd for my movie. thank you for the applause. it's just splatter but thank you. we had to do some PhotoShop there but thank you. is Darren Aronofsky in the audience by any chance? i want to be Darren Aronofsky so bad.
Laertus: i'd just to shake your hand and thank you once again for coming to the podcast, Mark Borchardt, it was a pleasure and an absolute honor. you are an INSPIRATION for me and billions of others. to never give up, to follow your dream when your dream is impossible.
Mark: thanks. delinquent makes good, eh? i'm not behind on my child-support payments, i just want your audience to know that, g'night folks.
Uncle Bill: Mark, focus on spiritual matters but don't become a priest. help your friends, your friends cannot eat money but Bigfoot can. you can't be happy but you can make others happy.
Roger Ebert: this movie was hilarious.........but also very very sad.........kinda like me when i tried to make a movie.
Uncle Bill: who asked you?
Michaela From Safeway: hello? i'm using the landline.
Michaela: omg you actually answered!!! do you EVER answer your phone?
Michaela: i know it!!! i hear the horror stories about you from Avo and the narrator.
Lucio: what's up?
Michaela: life isn't about accumulating wealth or artistic fame. it's not about completing college. not about renown but about the rebound. life is about FAMILY. that's it, it's about people.
Lucio: and am i your family?
Michaela: yes of course, cos i have no friends. that is i have no family so my friends ARE family. and i never want to see my family hurt in any way.
Lucio: so i'm a friend of yours?
Michaela From Safeway: silly. you have a chance to become my ACTUAL family, wink wink.