Today is the day we celebrate our relaunch! After a happy hour and a burlesque performance by Nikki Le Faye, we’ll be screening Steve Yeahger’s 1990 film, On the Block.

We kick off the day with an interview with On the Block director, Steve Yeager.

Yeager is a film and theatre director and teaches at Towson University. He won the Best Documentary Award at Sundance Film Festival in 1998 for his film Divine Trash about his longtime friend John Waters.

Gutter: Where did the concept of the film come from?

Steve Yeager: I spent a lot of time on the Block in my youth.

G: How long was the filming?

SY: 28 days.

G: How was the film financed back in the day? I mean you got some talent there with Howard Rollins (In the Heat of the Night series).

SY: I was the late Howard’s first theatre director and lifelong friend. Howard did me a favor. Financing came from various investors.

G: Would you ever considering revisiting the Block?

SY: You mean as in On The Block II? Not really.

G: How did you get access to shoot inside the clubs?

SY: Two years of twice a week visits to get to know the people. Blaze Starr is a friend.

G: Which characters did you meet while you were shooting the film? Any of them still around?

SY: All the Block’s people are characters. Many have died since shooting.

G: What was your favorite part of shooting in a red light district?

SY: Being able to control the street and have total access to the clubs and dirty book stores.

G: What should the city do with the Block?

SY: Keep it open.

G: Was there any trouble while you shooting down there?

SY: Not after Tommy Magleanna told everyone not to fuck with me. He was the unofficial enforcer of the Block!

Catch a screening of Yeager’s film tonight at the Windup Space! The evening kicks off with a happy hour, a Burlesque performance by Nikki Le Faye and On the Block at 9. There will be a Q&A afterward with Steve! See you tnght!

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