True Films

American Movie


Some people find this documentary depressing because it is about a man trapped by dreams larger than his resources. A 30-year-old slacker in a dead prairie town in Wisconsin dreams of making a horror flic. He has no money, no skills, no equipment, and no clue. Using beer money earned from delivery newspapers, he bullies his astoundingly drug-addled friends into acting while he ineptly directs, often getting his elderly mom to help out as incompetent gripper. These scenes are very funny. For years his film is only talk, while he lounges in front of a TV and fights with his girl friend in a trailer park or tries to wheedle money from his senile uncle. All riveting in their reality. You are utterly convinced his film will never be made. Yet scene by crazy scene, filmed in his kitchen or car over the seasons, he finally completes his non-masterpiece. When finished, his friends shrug like zombies. Was it worth the incredible determination it took given his situation? He is the only one who thinks so. I found his hurdles to be real, and his delusion of success inspiring.

— KK

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American Movie
Directed by Chris Smith
1999, 104 min.
$15, DVD

Official website

Read more about the film at Wikipedia

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Available from Amazon

Posted December 27, 2003 at 2:41 pm | comments


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