The Windmill Movie

2009

The Windmill Movie

Critics Consensus

A haunting hybrid of documentary and fiction, The Windmill Movie presents a thoroughly unique and utterly compelling glimpse of a filmmaker's final days.

86%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 21

67%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,594

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Movie Info

As conceived and edited together by Alexander Olch, this documentary pays homage to the life of the late filmmaker and professor Richard P. "Dick" Rogers (Pictures from a Revolution). Director of the Harvard University Film Study Center, Rogers died in July 2001. He left behind boxes upon boxes of footage intended for an unrealized autobiographical film; working together with Rogers's wife and creative partner, Susan Meiselas (who assumed the role of producer here), Olch began assembling the footage in its intended form. The resultant work sits poised halfway between fiction and documentary; it employs a linear chronology that spans Rogers's life, from his youth to his premature passing from melanoma at the age of 57. Olch uses the loosely-knit footage to meditate, pensively, on the nature of film, art, and the cycle of life, as well as Rogers's need to create for the sake of progeny.

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Critic Reviews for The Windmill Movie

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (18) | Rotten (3)

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    November 17, 2011 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Late in this meandering film, Rogers' romantic infidelities and the onset of illness add some much-needed dynamics, but even when it's just shooting the breeze, The Windmill Movie is captivating.

    September 30, 2009 | Rating: 3/4
  • Although the format will be familiar to fans of Tarnation and Capturing the Friedmans, the result comes closer to Fellini's autobiographical 8 1/2.

    July 23, 2009 | Rating: 3/4
  • A remarkable documentary attempt to reconcile Rogers's sense of personal, professional, and artistic malaise, which culminated in his decades-long attempt to make a film about his life.

    July 16, 2009 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Olch doesn't make it easy to identify with Rogers and his stylish existence, but that choice begins to pay off gradually as the fragments start to add up to something more.

    July 1, 2009 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
  • From the wall-to-wall piano score to Rogers' tedious navel-gazing, The Windmill Movie renders prosaic and pretentious the churning conflict behind the process of artistic creation.

    June 18, 2009 | Rating: D | Full Review…

    Noel Murray

    AV Club
    Top Critic

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