Friday, 23 April 2010

American Movie - DVD - 21/4/10

I like people who are dedicated to things.


The sort of people that sneering, nasty, people mock for being "saaaad".

People who go to conventions for "TJ Hooker" or "Battlestar Galactica".

There was a brilliant documentary about the people who obsess over "Star Trek" a while back...I loved everyone in it.

I didn't love them in an ironic or patronising way.

I really loved them.

What's not to love?

It's so easy to mock, it's so easy to takes guts to be gentle and kind.

There is something so imressive about people who can lose themselves so completely in something even when everyone else is telling them it's ridiculous and a waste of time.

What's sad about it?

What fills up your life that is in any way better? Football? Drinking? The "arts"? Your faith?


The object of affection in this documentary is Mark Borchardt who is obsessed with making films. He spends all of his time plotting, planning and preparing for his next project. He pores over every reel and lavishes more love and attention on them than he does anyone or anything else.

Director Chris Smith meets with Mark as he is preparing his masterpiece, "Northwestern", which is an autobiographical piece. When that project fails due to a lack of funding (Mark works in a funeral home as a cleaner so isn't actually working with any sort of budget) he returns to an earlier piece, "Coven", and persuades his elderly uncle to invest several thousand pounds to get it finished with the understanding that the profits will go towards finishing "Northwestern".

Borchardt is a real character. He is foul mouthed, loving, angry, passionate and funny all at the same time. He is surrounded by bizarre people; his Swedish mother, his elderly uncle who looks like he has stepped off the "Deliverance" soundstage, his friend Mike who has lost most of his mind to LSD and the various other loners and outcasts who are his actors and associates.

Despite knowing that Mark is never going to make it by the end of the film you care more about him than anyone ever did about James Cameron, McGee or George Lucas! Where those "directors" always have an eye on your dollar Borchardt is only interested in making films, his films, his way. He is an inspiration.

He is the reason why we should cherish those people devoting their time to things we don't understand. The likes of Frankie Boyle and his odious followers would no doubt find something unpleasant, snidey and aggressive to say about these people but not worlds all the brighter for the colour they bring to it.

1 comment:

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