Well it’s still mythic, but it’s no longer unseen. Videology Bar and Cinema, in Williamsburg Brooklyn, was host to the one-night only screening of Zack Norman and Neil Cohen’s legendary-among-the-knowing CHIEF ZABU on Thursday, November 2nd. It was a special night as Cohen introduced the film in the intimate, relaxed screening space, informing the audience of how the film had sat in a closet for about 30 years until Donald Trump announced his candidacy, a “plot development” in life that parallels the events in CHIEF ZABU. While star Norman couldn’t be there due to an eye infection, Cohen promised us something “surreal” after the screening, during which, for $12 bucks, you could lay hands on the delicious and fruity “Chief Zabu” drink!
After the screening of the loose, zanily charming ZABU, a comedy about real estate, ambition, sex and politics, Cohen, alongside emcee Adam Schartoff of Filmwax Radio, discussed making the film in 15 days, and took questions from the audience. Cohen came through with his promise of the “surreal,” as he was able to summon Norman on his cell phone and use a “futuristic device” purchased at Bed, Bath and Beyond that would allow Norman to hear us and us to hear him. Norman, for reasons only known to himself, wanted to know how much it cost audience members to get to the screening. Not the cost of the tickets themselves, but the cost in travel, etc. Cohen discussed how Garfield, because of his Actor’s Studio background, brought in some other New York actors from the Studio to appear in the film, and how legendary character actor Ed Lauter took a part without reading the script because he never had the chance to act in comedies.
Lots more stories and gossip and behind-the-scenes stuff ensued, but let Cohen and Norman save some surprises for the next screening, that you, no doubt, will attend! It took 35 years for Chief Zabu to appear, he’s not going away quietly!