Sunday, November 06, 2005

in the heart of the heartland

I have joked with many people that my blog word count will probably end up being bigger than my nanowrimo count this month. G responded with the suggestion that I weave my acount of the writing process with the thing itself.

In honor of this suggestion I rented and watched "American Movie." It's not the movie that I thought it was. I thought that it was a documentary about the making of a movie filmed by the people making the movie when in fact it is less self-referential.

Wow. It's great. That man has a lot of hustle and incredible bouancy and resilience. He is a force to be reckoned with.

It is reminiscent of "American Splendor." (I find it kind of cool that these movies along with "American Beauty" are so great and have the word American in the title. It surprises me. Does it surprise you?) It is a documentary about an artist struggling with his art in the midwest in relative obscurity. Mark Borchardt perhaps in greater obscurity than Harvey Pekar at the time of filming.

They are not the same by any stretch but both movies tell the very real stories of very real people who refuse to live lives of quiet desperation.

When you watch "Coven," the movie being filmed in this movie it's got creepiness to it (Who would have thought that chocolate syrup would look so blood-like!) and some of those shots of Wisconsin are breath-taking. This man has a eye. He is not all talk and flash. He knows something about what he is doing and will not be discouraged, no matter the obstacle.

I hope he has recovered from the fame and found the funding and a good distributor for his next project.


Kat E said...

Awesome! I saw "American Movie" at Ebertfest a few years back (in C-U obviously). Mark and his buddy were there, it was VERY entertaining. I wonder what they're up to now...

G said...

Uh, S, I *errr* thought that American Movie was a comedy... I laughed the whole time at his refusal to live a life of quiet desperation. Maybe living long enough in quiet desperation has made me need to believe that there is dignity in it, i dunno.

ergo said...

Kat E: That must have been really cool. I didn't end up going to Ebertfest that often but I'm really glad that it happened. I never would have watched American Movie if not for that fest.

G: It's hilarious. I laughed too. Okay, maybe I over-identify with the main character in my own way. But I guess I really admired him too. That 30 minute movie took him over 3 years make but he did it.

Some of the silent black and white footage for his epic movie "Northwestern" is really amazing.

Plus that scene where he has his mom film the reaction shot of him is so funny and touching. She doesn't know what she is doing and can't even figure out where the frame of the shot it. And he is so frustrated, he just needs the shot but he's trying to hold it in and to be nice and patient, because y'know it's his mom.

As another living in quiet (well maybe more obscure than quiet) desperation I am starting to consider that fact that I (and lots of us, really) might feel less desperate if I was living less quiet.

Jay said...

I think you have missed your calling as a reviewer.

ergo said...

Jay: Heh. Could be.