Head Crumbs: Part Two

Watch: Head Crumbs: Part One
Watch: Head Crumbs: Part Three

Head Crumbs: Part One

Watch: Head Crumbs: Part Two

Sweeping up the Head Crumbs

Recently, during a bout of external (and existential) hard drive spring cleaning, Sean found his HEAD CRUMBS trilogy. In the fall of 2007 he was living in Austin, Texas and working at a delightful movie theater named the Alamo Drafthouse. He enjoyed being a stranger in a strange state but having no friends meant he was left without a collaborator. To avoid artistic atrophy he scoured between hunks of brain meat to find some scraps. With the findings, he put this trilogy together. It takes just-shy of a half-hour to watch them all consecutively.

He likes to claim that they get progressively less embarrassing as the trilogy moves forward – an inverse of most franchise trajectories. He also suggests the audience should try to figure out the origin of his fluctuating-accents (he claims he notices heavy parts borrowed from his housemate-at-the-time and a little bit of Adam Sandler escaping during moments of immaturity). A few thought he had lost his mind in the great state of Texas. He wouldn’t argue, with any degree of passion at least, against such claims.

A friend wrote a wonderful essay extolling the finer qualities of the trilogy. His name is Santiago Vernetti and the title of his piece is: Sean Whiteman is a Man Hating Modernist God Destroyer.

Here are the films:

Watch: Head Crumbs: Part One
Watch: Head Crumbs: Part Two
Watch: Head Crumbs: Part Three

And here is the essay:

Title: Sean Whiteman is a Man Hating God Destroyer
Writer: Santiago Vernetti

I look forward to the day we can all share a hearty nervous laugh in the memory of the long dead and buried postmodern cinema. Most of today’s artists have seemingly resigned from any attempts at cinematic progression, preferring instead to embrace the all too common delusion that postmodernism is simply a passing wave. They’ve convinced themselves that it will soon crest, washing away all the cinematic sequels, remakes and adaptations its waters have carried over the past few decades. While most lay catatonically in this collective stupor, the 2007 summer marks a record high in cinematic unoriginality. Die Hard 4, Harry Potter 5, 28 Weeks Later, Evan Almighty, Fantastic Four 2, Hostel 2, Oceans 13, Pirates of the Caribbean 3, Resident Evil 3, Shrek 3, Rush Hour 3, Spiderman 3, The Simpson’s Movie, Hairspray, Halloween, Transformers the Movie, Nancy Drew, Underdog, Revenge of the Nerds… it seems this wave is more akin to a rising flood. A flood that provides very little evidence to suggest any plans of receding any time soon. Where the majority drown, Sean Whiteman diligently treads for dry land. With camera locked and loaded, and a few dead bears to his name, Whiteman has arguably produced the only thing super about this summer: Head Crumbs.

Stylistically, the “Texas saga” finds its roots in the modernist tradition. Riddled with self reflexivity, social/artistic commentary, and experimentation, Head Crumbs is Whiteman’s most progressive (dare I say radical?) work to date. Head crumbs is not only a refreshing concept amongst a sea of uninteresting cinema, but is executed in an outstandingly complimentary aesthetic. Not only can Sean Whiteman wrestle a grizzle single handed, he seems to know a thing or two about his craft. True, the piece is not without its technical flaws or shortcomings, but it is in the conceptual framework of the piece that these imperfections are actually welcomed, even embraced, regardless of artistic intention.

Wittily divided into three parts, Head Crumbs falsely advertises the typical three act plot structure. As with most of his structural critiques, Whiteman articulates his concerns with the subversion of narrative conventions, challenging audiences’ expectations and ultimately their involvement in the viewing process. Whiteman introduces part one just as “the tide shifts” and completes part three with not only an unresolved conflict, but with complex ambiguous metaphors. Though, his greatest subversion, and the most important element of Head Crumbs, is how Whiteman explores and deals with the idea of narrator.

The tradition of narrator within a greater fiction is literary, and for centuries it has carried with it the characteristics of a third person omniscient. This conventionally “effaced narrator” (to borrow the term from Henry James) provides an author with a direct voice, and one that holds unquestionably supernatural characteristics once the audience immerses themselves in the illusion of the fictional. The narrator takes on the godlike qualities of omniscience and omnipresence over the domain of the characters. The cinema however, presents an troubling obstacle in this respect to the effaced narrator. Though the cinema has its predisposition to the illusion of metaphysical dualism, it does so with respect to the camera and its transcendental relationship to the viewer. Were the voice of the narrator to be heard in a particular film’s soundtrack, the narrator would be revealed to us as character with a distinct voice. From this aural information we could suppose a number of things like age, gender, education, bringing the narrator further from godlike ambiguity and closer to definition representational of out natural reality. In this case, only the camera would remain a supernatural entity, superior to the narrator who now resides within the domain of the other characters. The possibility of a truly effaced narrator in the cinema is limited to the use of text (such as in the famous “One Year Later” device), but what Whiteman is concerned with is not the possibility of the effaced narrator in cinema, but of the greater issues of the authoritative nature of the conventionally effaced narrator. Not only does Whiteman give us a narrator with a voice and an image, he gives us the his own voice, his own image. Thus we are introduced to Sean Whiteman the narrator. This presents us with an interesting self referential paradox. The representation of Sean Whiteman claims to be Sean Whiteman, but isn’t the persona of this narrator Sean Whiteman merely a fictional construction of Sean Whiteman by Sean Whiteman? Yes. Of course. But by blurring the lines between authorship and narration, he is calling into question his own authority. Which, aside from being an interesting exercise in logic, is the most punk rock thing you can do.

Structurally and conceptually, Head Crumbs is a true work of avant-garde cinema! A progressive and political action in contemporary art criticism! When applying a psychoanalytic methodology, its narrative can even be viewed as a feminist battle cry in its depiction of male character Super Summer as the exhibitionist, and the female character Flip Flop (“more of a behind the curtains sort of gal”) as taking on the traditionally patriarchal role of the voyeur. Needless to say, this and many other events that unfold in the narrative are worth exploring and can be discussed on a multitude of levels. Yet, in remaining faithful to Whiteman’s commentary on the narrator, we can all agree he’s saying a lot about human relationships… but in the end, the most important thing he’s saying is, “Who gives a rats ass about the opinion of a man hating, modernist, god destroyer?” So let’s all take what we will from Head Crumbs and give our applause to Sean Whiteman, a filmmaker who, unlike so many of his contemporaries, has arguably the most important artistic quality there is – authenticity.

Brother Reunion

News from the NW: In the past year Portland has found itself in the custody of all three Whiteman Brothers. This is a feat no city has accomplished in well over a decade. In celebration of fraternal solidarity the brothers plan to collaborate on a new feature film. It’s entitled CHILDHOOD MACHINE and will commence production in the coming months. More details will come detailing our progress/regress.


A short while back Christof was competing in a contest over at Indiepix. His film EGG REPLACER was busting skulls against worthy foes in attempting to land a spot on the DVD release of a documentary that focused on the careers of the Kuchar Brothers. Long, boring-as-fuck, story short, Christof’s film was announced as the winner by Cory McAbee (director of the masterful AMERICAN ASTRONAUT) at the IT CAME FROM KUCHAR premiere in NYC. Christof is currently wading in a swimming pool filled with blowjobs and success.

He was recently quoted as saying: “Money can’t buy happiness, but blowjobs and success can.”


In other news, Sean has finally put SACK LUNCH online. This short was meant to be put up after it played at the Portland International Film Festival back in February, but it got lost in the grand shuffle (along with all those DVD’s that were supposed to have been sent to all those people – NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR INTERNS!).

So, here it is, Sean’s rambling ode to the infrequent validity of batshit insanity: SACK LUNCH



May Ling: NEW YEAR

NEW YEAR: May Ling from the WHITEMAN BROTHERS on Vimeo.

God and Smashmouth

Shot in Ithaca, NY. This short film discusses the merits of belief and the ramifications therein. Hope and fate can be both good and bad. The Whiteman Brothers discuss these subjects as they pertain to GOD and SMASHMOUTH. They’ve distilled the argument down to a parable entitled GOD HAS A PLAN. Hope you find joy and enlightenment.


Life is hard. Smash that mouth.