ASU Film Students Ben Kitnick and Saxon Richardson Release Weirdly Beautiful Short About Funny World and Space-Alien Donald
Ben Kitnick/Saxon Richardson via Vimeo Space-Alien Donald
When Ben Kitnick first hung out at lo-fi art space and weirdo hangout Funny World last year, the ASU film student thought the house-show haven was a fascinating place. So much so that he immediately was struck by the notion that "someone needs to tell a story about this place."
Then he met its owner, Space-Alien Donald. And after interacting with the bizarrely gonzo and extremely unique spoken-word artist (self-described as "The World's Oldest Gay Canadian Rapper") it only confirmed the idea even more. Over the next six months, Kitnick got hours upon hours of footage of both the man and his venue, resulting in a recently released documentary short that's just as colorful as its subjects.
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Courtesy of Space-Alien Donald Funny World in Phoenix.
Like many in the downtown Phoenix creative scene, Kitnick first learned about Funny World -- which boasts a DIY gallery vibe with its rainbow-painted walls and space for events ranging from art shows and spoken word sessions to concerts and science experiments -- via a combination of word-of-mouth and Facebook.
"Originally, I heard about it through a friend of a friend, then I got a Facebook invite. And I went and I'd never really seen a house show quite like it. Funny World is really a great place for artists because everything was so genuine and so unique," the 20-year-old says.
Ditto for Space-Alien Donald, who Kitnick found captivating, if not plenty unusual, because of the fact he's led a life unlike many others. As we reported around the time Funny World opened, the 78-year-old has had such wildly disparate life experiences as hitchhiking across North America, playing in rock 'n' roll bands, creating his own quasi-religion, performing "backyard science experiments," and working as technician in the radio astronomy lab at UC Berkeley.