posted by Kathy Waller
Give David ten minutes and he’ll create a masterpiece of eccentricity complete with–I don’t know how he does it–beginning, middle, and end. Thousand Island dressing, Monica Lewinsky, elephants that jump through burning hoops–his topics range from the ridiculous to the sublime and back again. When he reads his compositions aloud, people at nearby tables suspend forks and coffee cups in midair and stare at the group sitting at the table in the corner, shrieking with laughter.
Eighteen years later, David still amuses audiences, but he’s doing it in new ways.
Now David accompanies words with action. He makes short-short sci-fi videos and flings them out to the universe. And the universe answers.
His “Invisible Men Invade Earth” was screened at both the Boomtown Film & Music Festival (Beaumont, Texas) and Roswell, New Mexico’s CosmicCon in 2012. “Invisible Men” was a big hit thanks to the totally unscripted appearance of cats William and Ernest.
(The bagged-up books were leaning against the wall preparatory to being donated to the public library’s Recycled Reads bookstore. The flash drive William is batting around later turned up under the refrigerator.)
Last year, “Alike and Different” and “Reverse Effects” were screened in the Austin Fantastic Fest’s Shorts With Legs category. According to Fantastic Fest’s website, Shorts with Leg were “the strangest and most compelling eccentric short films we’ve seen all year, from polished excursions into existential surrealism to enthusiastic reveries of outsider art madness.”
The iDigital Times called David’s videos “perhaps the strangest shorts in this very strange collection.”
(“Alike and Different” also aired at the Conway, Arkansas Film Festival. If the pink spaceship resembles a vegetable steamer, there’s a reason for that. I won’t go into it here.)
In December, one of his cartoons made it into the Austin American-Statesman. Humor columnist John Kelso wrote, “If keeping it weird is an Austin prerequisite, then David Davis’ Christmas card has to be the grand champ in this year’s Funny Christmas Card Contest.”
You’ve got two aliens with green faces, chatting up the holiday season. No manger, no reindeer and no stinkin’ elves. Just men from the Planet Zarcon or, perhaps, Manor. Who knows?
“On Earth, he goes by the name Santa Claus,” one alien says. “How much of that night does he spend on each planet?” the other alien asks.
The alien on the left is a Photoshopped version of Davis, a South Austin writer and videographer who created the card and is into all things spacey.
For the record, keeping it weird is Austin’s national pastime. And John Kelso is one of the pastime’s most popular and dedicated cheerleaders.
What’s next for David? In July, “Alike and Different” goes to the Fort Worth Indie Film Showcase. Alien Resort continues to attract visitors. And David Davis keeps on keeping on as “The Eccentric Director Behind The Weirdest Festival Entries In Austin.”
And, as far as we know, everywhere else in the universe.
Kathy Waller blogs at Kathy Waller: Telling the Truth, Mainly and at Austin Mystery Writers. Her short stories appear at Mysterical-E and in Austin Mystery Writers’ crime fiction anthology, Murder on Wheels (Wildside, 2015). AKA Mrs. David Davis, she gets to go to a lot of film festivals.