Tag Archives: documentary

Following Sean


“Following Sean” is an engaging documentary, focusing on the youth of a hippy-parented boy and then finding him, Sean, again later in life. It isn’t fictional, which can make you cringe a few times that we are following a normal, family occupied man with a camera because his dad was a hippy. But the film bars your expectations, and one is equally enigmatic as the filmmaker to see how Sean turned out.

Sean was smoking cannabis at age four, running through the crowded street corners beneath long-legged and bearded smokers, wearing ti-dye shirts and colorful scarfs. He was a child of the peace-movement. The documentary, “Following Sean” poses from the beginning, “What will Sean be like as an adult?” And as the student-film footage of the Director’s hippy years are shown, we grow an inexperienced nostalgia for this area. Following Sean is a bit directionless, but it is also a poignant and effective sentimental documentary.

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Stanley Kubrick, A Life in Pictures

Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures is not the benchmark documentary on Stanley Kubrick, but it does evoke his own personal wonder and the relationships in his life, from interviews with his wife, to actors he worked with and people he just simply touched. The man was a genius of the cinema, a man who gives off the sense that he’d be sucessful in any field: With such classics as 2001, A Clockwork Orange, and Dr. Strangelove, his name will be found beneath Top 100 titles for many years to come.

Kubrick first was recognized with one of his photograph’s being published in Look magazine. It was at a fairly young age and makes one think that it really sealed the future for Stanley, because when a kid is recognized as good he will work to become better; the touch of praise is very affecting. Stanley could win a game at chess any day, says Tom Cruise, actor in his film Eyes Wide Shut , but I could beat him at ping-pong every time.

Kubrick was a man of reason, indefinitely. His movies have a linear style to them, even in the more dramatic and character-driven films like Lolita. He was filled with curiosity, and Arthur C. Clarke claims he was even a latent mathematician. The artistry of his shots and compositions are noted by film-scholars worldwide.

The film brushes across his filmography, showing some footage of Kubrick around his family, and even some tape where Kubrick yells at his child who is playing around where he is about to shoot; a determined, sometimes cruel, but ingenious director, Stanley Kubrick once said: I don’t know what I want, but I know what I don’t want. And so do his viewers and fans.

Film Review: Winnebago Man (2009)

8/10

Winnebago doesn’t ask the internet-era philosophical questions straight-on, but rather takes an approach that is not discomforting, but still funny. It is about the Winnebago man, Jack Rebney, a trailer salesmen who has a series of rage-fits while filming a commercial for the trailer company; his camera-men find it comical after-the-fact, and it becomes an internet sensation, the Winnebago man being watched and re-watched with hilarity. The documentary hopes to find him, who is now similar to¬† J.D. Salinger with his enclosed wilderness life, and ask him how he feels about his life and what the out-takes of the trailer commercial has done to it: The filmmaker is never pushy, nor do we sense him restraining laughter behind the camera, and because of this it is a great study in the Winnebago Man’s true character, who is now very much blind.

He writes about the wrongness and spends time with his dog; he gets in a scary episode when he loses his track while walking in the forest, and he is often blunt and insensitive to the filmmaker, his shouting partly being done one senses out of his still-remnant desire to fill his character. The director says at one point “I feel like I’ve stepped inside the Winnebago outtakes”, and I instantly felt a sense of wrongness: Why give the internet-hounds what they want? Why can’t he be like Roger Corman, who seems like he’d be a pony-tail wearing madman, but instead is a quiet, intellectual-like figure; why can’t we exploit! But wait, how is that any different then what has been done? Nothing. We cannot change to please, nor change to displease, without it being untrue and disembodied: This is difficult in a world that adores, brands, and cherishes personalities. What is Youtube doing to culture? We’ll, not to worry I believe, because within a small amount of years people will be so practiced in the art of adoration that all the popular Youtube videos will be manufactured: Shaky camera, laughing in the background, all the necessities of a home-video will be remade in a studio: Why? For views. Commercials have already begun: Flo from progressive, the state farm danger man, and more are their for familiarity and laughs.

The movies ends on a strong note when the Winnebago man decides to talk at a fan-expo, and he realizes that them loving him is not so much out of ridicule, but genuine like of his character; how this could be possible, considering he was raging all over the place, we don’t know, but don’t question it. It will last as a strong, albeit multi-faceted, study of the man, but we must decide which character he plays is truly real: Will he hate that he spoke in front of people the next day? Who knows.