|Courtesy Clifton Childree|
Born in Birmingham, Alabama, "during low tide in the gene pool" and raised in Broward County, Clifton Childree is one of Miami's most innovative artists. He uses film to create visual installations that range from stop-motion animation to slapstick comedy to gore, but most of all the man has a sense of humor. That can be explained by the fact that as a kid, he spent summers on the Funny Farm--his family's summer home in Mobile Bay, Alabama. During these summers Childree learned how to "smoke driftwood and play the washtub bass," as well as priceless lessons from his grandparents, Grandma Doris and Grandpa Jeff. Doris, a former vaudeville child star, would help the kids organize an "end of the summer" variety show and Grandpa Jeff, a former juvenile delinquent, taught Childree "dirty jokes, amazing stories, and...how to shuck oysters."
Childree grew up "surrounded by antiques and crab traps, horror films, and cast nets." Now he incorporates all those childhood memories into his work, producing art films that hail back to the days of silent films. "My films are an arena for uninhibited eccentricity. They seesaw between the sublime and the profane while shamelessly employing melodrama, blunt humor, and sight gags. They are doused liberally with scatalogical slapstick such as bare asses, flying poop and over-sized dicks, and their quaint toilet humor unleashes repressed urges and drives."
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.