Following Sean (2004)
Average Rating: 7/10
Reviews Counted: 22
Fresh: 19 | Rotten: 3
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Average Rating: 7.2/10
Critic Reviews: 10
Fresh: 9 | Rotten: 1
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 947
A child's perspective on the Haight-Ashbury counterculture of the 1960s informs filmmaker Ralph Arlyck's film concerning the perceptive and precocious four-year-old and his unique perspective on the chaos that was sweeping a nation. A student at San Francisco State University at the time when police in riot gear flooded the campus and revolutionary-minded idealists waxed poetic in the streets, Ralph Arlyck was befriended by a young boy named Sean who would occasionally come down from his
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Part of the film's charm lies in its evocation of a generational mural that includes old Marxists, flower children and the progeny of red-diaper babies.
What emerges from Arlyck's musings is a penetrating cinematic essay on how generations in the last century struggled to take hold of history and reconfigure the shape of daily life.
Arlyck spends more time following himself and his own lefty family than checking up on Sean.
Ralph Arlyck's ruminative essay film picks up the trail of Sean Farrell, the former child of San Francisco hippies and the subject of his 1969 short film Sean.
Arlyck's compulsion is to our great fortune. Patient and elegant, his film is a quietly devastating meditation on family, work, and the unrelenting passage of time.
Arlyck's new film is an honest and thoughtful examination of the people and events that most influenced his adult life and what the '60s really meant to the bigger picture, viewed with the benefit of hindsight.
While the film is ostensibly a "49 Up" style look at how Sean the child grew into the man, what it really is is a penetrating look at how Arlyck the young man grew into an old one.
In what has become rather epidemic among U.S. documentary filmmakers, Ralph Arlyck's Following Sean is ultimately more about Ralph Arlyck than its ostensible title subject.
An uncommonly perceptive look at the counter-culture and the difficulties of preserving a sense of freedom and integrity in American society.
The people in this film are so genuine, so real and familiar, that the story maintains power even if the form occasionally vexes.
Arlyck is as pleasant and self-effacing a guide as one could ask for through this meandering but still focused work.
Aryck lightly but complicatedly distills our existence into a series of dichotomies (rich/poor, idle/mobile), using his available subjects to tap into the source of what stunts us emotionally and separates us as philosophical beings.
... we may see something of our own journey reflected in [the documentary].
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