The Electric Urn | Chicago Reader

The Electric Urn

“I have always known who Rimbaud was,” Jim (Al Shannon) insists when his disillusioned girlfriend claims she introduced him to the 19th-century poet and contemporary icon of pretentiousness. Jim's a poet who hangs out at the Electric Urn nightclub and uses his poems like drugs or cash—depending on whether he's trying to exploit someone or just pay for a drink. He's an irksome, pathetic poseur who gets the girl at the end, confirming the self-indulgence of this flat, insidery hang-out movie (1996) written and directed by Dean Bivins. The other characters, played by various other New York City personalities, aren't very interesting either, with one significant exception—“Lulu” (Michael Cavadias, aka Lily of the Valley) is an aspiring actress who's as formidable as a Fassbinder creation—her megalomaniacal behavior, self-effacement, and sheer physical presence are a continual source of fascination.


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