Award winning director uses vintage and new home movies to support a monologue about relationships with his 21-yr-old son and his own life at that age
This is the ninth documentary film from director Ross McElwee - the best-known one is "Sherman's March" - and was produced in 2011 with a theatrical release in 2012. Like the others I've seen , McElwee narrates the film with his low-key, easy going voice.
This film is both a self-examination of his life as well as his trying to explain, and understand (to both the viewer and himself) the relationship between he and his (now 21-year-old) son, Adrian. McElwee's daughter appears early on - and his wife is never seen - but it is Adrian that McElwee is trying to understand. Using early home movies showing how father and son would work on making films with a camcorder, and bringing us up to date with Adrian's total immersion in things digital and the social networks - not to mention his use of "recreational drugs", McElwee tries to close the "generation gap". At the same time he presents a different story - one that I found more interesting. In the 1970s, when he was Adrian's age he moved to a small town in France, hoping to be either a photographer or a street musician. The former won out when he met a French portrait photographer, who later fired him - though he doesn't know why. He decides to revisit the town and find his mentor - as well as a woman who he had a relationship with. At this point the film drags you in as you join him in his search. I won't reveal much more as that would spoil it for you.
Don't expect fast and exciting. This is not that type of film. It's a very personal one; basically a monologue with multimedia images to illustrate the narration.
The film runs 87 minutes and the only bonus feature - other than a text bio of the Director - is a small photo gallery.
I liked it and am glad I discovered it. I hope you found this review both informative and helpful.