Movie City Indie Archive for July, 2016
I’ve seen Almost There, Aaron Wickenden and Dan Rybicky’s splendid, elusive minor miracle of northwest Indiana nonfiction a few times in the past year or so, and I’m still not sure why it carries so much power. That it’s specific yet elusive, its dense range of fear and hope? There’s much to consider about outsider art, loneliness, mental illness and brightly colored graphomania in its innerworldly portrait of now-eighty-three-year-old Peter Anton, an elderly artist living in squalor in the wet, fetid basement of his parents’ house, moldering atop his art-stuffed living-dying quarters. There’s a delicate and beautiful dance in this seven-years-in-the-making engagement with an elderly Northwest Indiana outsider artist. The movie transforms before our eyes, as it did for the filmmakers over its protraction production. One of the most luminous, evocative choices made was to incorporate images not only of Anton amid his art inside his moldering dump, but of the surrounding landscape, often industrial, at all hours of day and night (captured by photographer David Schalliol). But primarily, it’s a dance between a willful subject and filmmakers who intend not to stray too close but ultimately can’t help themselves. Anton lives not only in poverty, but also in squalor, in a falling-down house left to him by his parents, and the ethical question of how involved the filmmakers ought to be, in light of his circumstances, grows uneasy. ‘I’m not your subject,’ Anton bursts out at one point, ‘I thought you were my friend.’” [More here, including on Schalliol’s techniques.]
Almost There plays through July on PBS stations nationwide.
The full moon
reflected in water,
contained in the bowl,
and the thirsty man
deep in sleep.
What a pity
I was not a good host
for the snowflake
that settled on my eyelid.
Click until largest size. [Via Sean Howe.]
Three offers, each $9.99 (with free shipping), while they last (U.S. only):
Three DVDs: – Ned Rifle; Meanwhile; and The Unbelievable Truth: 20th Anniversary Edition
Five Soundtrack CDs: Ned Rifle; Meanwhile; Fay Grim; The Book Of Life; Henry Fool
Ned Rifle Pack: Ned Rifle DVD, scenario, soundtrack and t-shirt.
[The Deer Hunter, Shooting Draft, 1978; Heaven’s Gate, undated.]
With Brooks’ back catalog landing on Netflix today (for those too mean to own them), a short film in its own right for his 1979 first feature.