American Movie Reviews
What word means the opposite of "inspiring?" I suppose it's "discouraging," but that doesn't quite capture how this film makes me feel. Oftentimes, I get a paroxysm of courage that tells me to "just make the damn movie; use your iPhone if that's all you have." But this film casts a shadow of doubt over such moments because I fear that I could look as foolish and incompetent as Mark Borchardt, whose limited cinematic vision, failure to understand basic story-telling concepts, and utter lack of self-reflection are only eclipsed by his self-assuredness and courage. He's no doubt an idiot, but he's an idiot who fashions himself an artist, and there are lower ambitions that a man might set himself to.
American Movie is Borchardt's story, and your patience with his brash, over-taxing ambition will determine your patience with the film. For my part, I found him pitiable and my viewing of the film uncomfortable.
Overall, this documentary serves as an unwelcome mirror for those who fashion themselves artists; I only wish it were required viewing for all Hollywood execs as well.
(1999) American Movie
This is my second or third viewing of optimistic horror filmmaker Mark Borchardt with documentary filmmaker, Chris Smith documents some of Mark's tribulations regarding directing low budget horror films who was inspired by the likes of Tobe Hooper of "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" fame and George A Romero of "Night Of The Living Dead" and Dawn Of the Dead. Putting a lot of time and money into a movie called "Coven" as well as using family and friends. The most engaging character is Mark's uncle, Bill Borchardt.
3 out of 4 stars