The Saranay Motel is a feature length film by Elliott Earls
Detroit, America’s greatest crumbling city has always given us muscle and music. It’s a hardscrabble town fueled by big dreams and big money. On these streets and in the shadow of the American dream we find two of Detroit’s least talented rappers, cousins Dougy and Big Buddy-Bud Prince, hustling towards their big break. After a series of sometimes violent, and ethically dubious, missteps the two are left destitute and homeless. Besieged by rivals on all sides, Dougy is eventually forced to leave his cousin and go it alone. While living in an abandoned alley and struggling to stay one step ahead of a blood thirsty fundamentalist-skinhead-speed-metal band, Dougy is moved to set out on a journey of self discovery by his reading of “The Autobiography of Malcolm X.” On this journey he’s given sanctuary by a blind Amish (un)holy man and his brother, who allow him to see the moral bankruptcy of his life, and reignite his childhood passion for hillbilly music. Under the tutelage of the (un)holy Seer, Dougy is born anew and is once again forced to strike out on his own. With this heightened sense of self and a new lease on life, Dougy returns to the streets and struggles to make music of authenticity and power. Dougy’s hybrid form of hip-hop and hillbilly music becomes a hit forcing him to confront a new and more insidious set of challenges, the perils of success.
Other Relevant Performance Posts
🍀🍀🍀 In this episode Elliott Earls describes the design, prototyping and fabrication of two robotic, pneumatic drum kits. The kits were hung off the stage at Music Hall Detroit during Elliott Earls Bull and Wounded Horse Show. The drum kits were synchronized to live drummer Michael Paradise. Benjamin Teague on Mandolin and Dave Staub on […]
Is there a necessary correlation between “sweat equity” (labor) and the way a work of art/design is perceived? What’s the relationship between time and the quality of a work? In what ways are direct forms of visual art and design problematic? Must work show evidence of “difficulty” of manufacture in its’ final form? In this episode […]
In this episode Elliott Earls looks to the historical models articulated by Chaim Potok and James Joyce to gain insight into culture making in 2016. Books referenced in this Episode: “My Name Is Asher Lev” by Chaim Potok and “Portrait of The Artist As Young Man” by James Joyce.
Elliott Earls live at University of Georgia with Benjamin Teague on Mandolin and Jordan Dalton on Bass. The embedded video clip is from Elliott’s arrangement of Cluck Old Hen.
In 1999 I was awarded an Emerging Artist grant by the Wooster Group in Manhattan. I spent a week working with director Richard Kimmel and the Wooster Group’s production team before a weekend of shows. The video posted here is a super short time-lapse I recently found on an old hard drive of mine.
This video depicts the first version of a pneumatic drum kit that I designed and fabricated for use within my “Bull and Wounded Horse” performance piece. As with most of my work, I also see these drums as sculptural objects. So while the drums find a use on stage, they are also intended to create music […]
“Catfish” a film by Elliott Earls. Was released on DVD by Emigre inc. in 2001. This film is equal parts B- Movie and performance documentary. The piece chronicles the performance work of Elliott Earls as it moves from the lab to the stage.
In early 1994, with a sense of desperation and after being fired from the art department at Elektra Records at 75 Rockefeller Plaza, I decided to pursue my work in a more direct way. The first step in this process was to strike out on my own economically. I formed the Apollo Program Studio. This […]
In 2001 Emigre released Catfish a film by Elliott Earls. Catfish is a 55 minute film on DVD that documents Elliott Earls performance work. Over the course of the next fifteen days, one song from the Catfish soundtrack will be posted each day. For a limited time, the songs will be available for free download. The songs are […]
Cranbrook Designer-in-Residence Elliott Earls discusses some of his more high profile failures in his 2014 Artist-in-Residence Lecture. Entitled Good Luck, Bad Luck, Chance and Failure Earls attempts to reconcile the role “failure” has played in his development. Earls discusses being hired and subsequently fired by Rudolf de Harak at the age of twenty-three, the perils of being […]
The Saranay Motel Excerpt from Elliott Earls on Vimeo. The Saranay Motel is a feature length film by Elliott Earls Detroit, America’s greatest crumbling city has always given us muscle and music. It’s a hardscrabble town fueled by big dreams and big money. On these streets and in the shadow of the American dream we […]