Several years ago, my son Ned, then a graduate student, brought home to Folly Beach a friend, Andrew Austin, who was studying film-making at Wake Forest. A native of Lake Charles, Louisiana, Andrew is an interesting, quirky cat (as we old beatniks say). For example, he always sports red socks (in honor of his grandfather), has mastered the art of rolling coins across his knuckles, and juggles so well you might guess he spent his childhood on the vaudeville circuit.
Here he is in 2011 performing in our living room to the dulcet sounds of fellow Louisianan Dr. John.
I caught up with Andrew last week when he crashed at my place in between film festivals where his first feature (co-created with Adam Ward) A The Power of Glove is making the rounds.
I got a chance to view the film, and if you ever get the chance, jump at it.
It’s a tribute to the documentary that I found it completely engaging even though it concerns the realm of video gaming, a pastime that interests me about as much as the private lives of minor league baseball umpires.
The movie chronicles the rise and fall and semi-resurrection of the Power Glove, a 1980s contraption that was supposed to revolutionize video gaming but ended up being a colossal critical and commercial failure. Nevertheless, the glove has managed to enthrall certain gamers and has over the years provided hackers with hardware that they have readapted to interface with whatever their obsession might be — electronic music or virtual reality, for example.
Take a peek at the trailer.
The scope of the research is beyond impressive. The Austin and Ward assembled a wide range of people associated with the glove — its inventors, marketing executives, engineers, aficionados, musicians, artists, and a “virtual reality evangelist – to name a few. From the coloring to the graphics to the soundtrack, the film has a real 80s feel.
I certainly hope whoever picks up its distribution will do the film justice.
 Is there any such thing as a young beatnik, a twenty-year-old-bongo-playing-beret-wearing-goatee-sporting-Ginsberg-reciting hep-cat?