Sherman's March (1986)
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Critic Reviews for Sherman's March
An utterly charming docu, McElwee's personal essay-travelogue parallels and inverses General Sherman's march during the Civil war, centering on lost loves and new ones, shrewdly using the camera as a weapon and romantic device.
Unlike Sherman and his reviled scorched earth mode of warfare, McElwee's chasse romantique is ultimately less effectual and usually ends in a nervous, frustrated goodbye.
earns him a place as one of America's most unique, and treasured, documentary filmmakers.
Love and alienation in the nuclear age
Sherman's March is an extraordinary documentary by Ross McElwee that mixes American history, a romantic quest, and the search for meaning in the early 1980s.
Audience Reviews for Sherman's March
The filmmaker of this documentary gets dumped right before he starts shooting, and it morphs his documentary about following the route of a Civil War admiral who destroyed the South into a weird journey of personal discovery about himself and his relationships with women. It is humorous and interesting introspective look at the filmmaker, who never really gets around to making his documentary about his subject, despite a few attempts...and really just focuses on his own struggles with romance.
Another one where I respect it more than I actually enjoyed sitting through all NEARLY THREE HOURS of it, "Sherman's March" is during its peaks a meditation-as-essay-as-documentary pretty much on par with the hugely imaginative and cheekily lustful writings of David Foster Wallace, David Sedaris and Dave Eggers. In other words, this movie calls up as many D's as that alien chick from "Total Recall" (NOT THE COLIN FARRELL ONE.)
Not only is Sherman's March a beautiful portrait of one man's personal journey through the strange tapestry of love and history, it's a wonderful snapshot of the American south in the early 80's. Heartwarming, hilarious, insightful, seemingly everyone in Ross's life is full of a kind of esoteric wisdom about life and existence. What makes any documentary great is how much personality a filmmaker can squeeze from the subject in a brief window of time. Ross McElwee's talent lies in his almost priestly ability to get people talking, about everything. This shy, unassuming man is like a great cosmic sponge who gets closer to unraveling the great mystery of woman more than anything else I've seen.
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