Sunday, September 12, 2004


Coming off of other festivals with the marketing hook of "This film was made for $218", the screening for this film at the cumberland theatre was so tight that one of the agents of the film tried giving me passes and free press-screenings (at a later date) for my tickets. I had to refuse because i was curious (and I had already waited 40 minutes in line.
The movie is a quite astonishing blend of photographs, home film, home video, audio clips, text crawls across the screen, film clips, etc. The narrative involves a family which could come close to rivaling the Friedmans. Shock therapy, abuse, dysfunction run rampant. But there is always that human brave-face on things, particularly because you are watching the 'happy moments' that people are want to do when they roll the camera, snap the photo, or leave the phone message. You know there is miles of the unexplored gunk beneath the surface.
It is fascinating how the director John Caouette puts it all out there, as an expose, as therapy, as oddly middle-american art. At no point does the film feel exploitive or crass. However I don't see how this could ever play outside a festival environment as it is a fusion of narrative, documentary and avant garde film. Unmanipulatative. Fascinating. Haunting.
(But as far from the mainstream documentary as can be.)


Post a Comment

<< Home