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Main Street Hosts Prankster

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Tuesday, May 06, 2008, at 12:56PM
Alan Abel Ed Fuentes

Before we start loading up on Downtown Art Walk Previews, I wanted to note Old Bank DVD’s Saturday night screening of the documentary “Abel Raises Cain” being held Saturday night at Farmers and Merchants Bank building. Filmmakers Jenny Abel and Jeff Hockett (along with special guests) will take Q&A and then be followed by a bonus screening of the Alan and Jeanne Abel cult comedy “Is There Sex After Death?” (1971).

Alan Abel himself will be in-store at Old Bank DVD during the Downtown Art Walk.

For those who don’t know, Alan Abel was a NY underground hoaxer who “punked” media before reality TV was a network boardroom concept. Filmed by his daughter, it’s more than a life and times profile of man ahead of his time. It’s watching someone trying to understand what her father really does for a living, and as soon as she tries not to define it, she gets it.

Abel's life of pranks began when he wrote about a satirical cause and created a "The Society for Indecency to Naked Animals," (SINA) that called for all for animals to be clothed “for the sake of decency.” Abel submitted the satire to the Saturday Evening Post, but was rejected with a kick from the editors. So he founded SINA as an actual group in 1959. The first item on the agenda was to get Bermuda shorts on any animal taller than four inches or longer than six. The group's manifesto was "A nude horse is a rude horse!"

Abel not only led the idea of “punking” media, but expanded the concept of performance art that made light of morals. His work hinted at the direction comedy would take twenty years ahead of performers like Andy Kaufman.

For Old Bank DVD, who are sponsoring the event, the night is a chance to introduce a film that would not be on the radar of what to rent. Hopefully the Farmers and Merchants Bank will avoid the lost acoustics of the Regent, site of previous screenings.

Old Bank DVD presents "Abel Raises Cain" / Saturday, May 10th / 8pm / $3.00 / Doors open at 7:30 PM

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