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Trashfilm Roadshows

Off the Beaten Track with Subversive Movies

The strangest place I ever went on movie business was North Korea … and other true stories of a one-man, zero-budget touring film company. 

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Back in the 1980s, I had two favourite pastimes: hitchhiking around Western Europe and watching weird, far-out movies.
— Johannes Schönherr, from his Introduction

For Johannes Schönherr no place has proven too distant nor too strange that he cannot screen or hunt down obscure underground trash movies.

From the bowels of New York’s Lower East Side to Moscow on a fake visa and Pyongyang, North Korea, Schönherr is a cinaste on a mission. Trashfilm Roadshows tells of his trials and tribulations. They include:

  • A Richard Kern show brought to a (perfect) halt by violent leftists
  • Schönherr’s strange invitation to Russia for the screening of anti-Communist propaganda
  • A trip across America in a dodgy vehicle loaded with reels of film
  • Wild cinematic discoveries at New York’s cheapest film-to-video transfer shop
  • Running a no-budget rathouse of a cinema
  • Nick Zedd being attacked by feminists in Nuremberg, Germany
  • GG Allin’s last gig
  • Disposing of a stash of heroin unearthed while renovating a movie theatre
  • Being branded an ‘imperialist spy’ in North Korea
New York Press
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“Trashfilm Roadshows captures much of Schönherr's permanent Wanderjahr with dark humor and unabashed glee. Veteran New Yorkers may read the passages on the meteoric burnout of GG Allin and the brief tenure of the Lighthouse Cinema (Manhattan's only full-scale desolation row theatre) as elegy but Schönherr himself is hardly falling prey to nostalgia.”
Psychotronic Video
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“Trashfilm Roadshows captures much of Schönherr's permanent Wanderjahr with dark humor and unabashed glee. Veteran New Yorkers may read the passages on the meteoric burnout of GG Allin and the brief tenure of the Lighthouse Cinema (Manhattan's only full-scale desolation row theatre) as elegy but Schönherr himself is hardly falling prey to nostalgia.”
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Johannes Schönherr

JOHANNES SCHÖNHERR, born 1961 in Leipzig, East Germany. Escaped to the West and joined Kino Im Komm film collective 1985. Received Bacc. in Sociology & cinema Studies from Erlangen Univ., 1992, and Masters in Cinema studies from New York University 1994. Temporarily operated & programmed Seattle's Pike Street Cinema, Co-founded NYC's Lighthouse cinema, guest curator at Cinema Village & various US & Euro- festivals through the mid-nineties. Books European tours for Japanese and US underground film-makers and organised touring programs of Japanese underground films (1998) and North Korean feature films (2000) never before seen outside North Korea.

Trashfilm Roadshows

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