Author Topic: "American Movie" and other 'slice of life' documentaries  (Read 1395 times)

Re: "American Movie" and other 'slice of life' documentaries
« Reply #30 on: July 23, 2020, 04:15:44 PM »
What I particularly love about American Movie and King of Kong are their depictions of a much more real America. The one you don't see whilst watching any TV or box office smash.  It's in everything from the subjects of the films to the architecture and places that get lost or frozen in time (70's, 80's and 90's styles that were never updated).

The outer image of America is always glossy sheen, success & big ideas, but these films portray the mundane atmospheres & the broken dreams, which an audience can probably relate to more. The very 'American' backdrops of these films make that dissonance all the more real and kind of weirdly uplifting.


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Re: "American Movie" and other 'slice of life' documentaries
« Reply #31 on: July 23, 2020, 09:18:52 PM »
Try "Overnight", the documentary on Troy Duffy, director of "The Boondock Saints". He was at one point heralded as the new Tarantino, when Miramax bought his script, but his deluded and bratty behaviour quickly alienated everybody around him, including his own brother and the friends from the documentary team who were supposed to show his rags to riches story.
Troy Duffy is so much of an asshole that he even manages to make Harvey Weinstein look like the good guy in their relationship.

buzby

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Re: "American Movie" and other 'slice of life' documentaries
« Reply #32 on: July 23, 2020, 11:39:14 PM »


Questionable indeed.
Ah, the infamous 2003 Peak Army railtour photo that was dug up by the Daily Mail to illustrate the behaviour of haulage bashers in a 2008 article. It was discussed on the uk.railway usenet group at the time, particularly the article's description of 'Nazi Stlye' salute. It was at a charity fundraiser for one of their members with an inoperable brain tumour at the Llangollen preserved railway. One poster in the usenet thread described the 'Flailing' salute thus:
Quote
The basher's salute on the other hand originated with people leaning out of droplights.  The only safe way to do that is to keep a sharp lookout forwards, so the arm is extended sideways and up.  Remember that someone leaning out of a door window is already leaning over at quite an angle, so the arm, as shown in that peak group picture, has to be almost straight up if it's not to end up pointing at the track.

The author of the article, Christian Wolmar, received a lot of irate emails, particularly about the 'Nazi' description of the photo. He published a follow-up article on his website about it, and some of the comments make the same point as you - outside the world of haulage bashers, anyone seeing them flailing/saluting like that will see what they assume to be a Nazi salute.

Re: "American Movie" and other 'slice of life' documentaries
« Reply #33 on: July 24, 2020, 12:32:07 AM »
I watched Giuseppe Makes A Movie after your recommendation and can't thank you enough, it's very funny but also very funny sweet and surprisingly touching in places.

I'm very glad to hear that! I'd recommend checking out a few of his films if you can overlook the non-existent production values. They're very raw and deranged but often impressively inventive and funny. He has a particularly impressive sense for vulgar yet very vibrant and idiosyncratic dialogue. I've seen dozens of his films and only one or two missed the mark for me. Garbanzo Gas, the film he makes in the documentary would be a good start. I screened it alongside the documentary once and it went down a storm. Sadly he seems to have retired from any creative endeavours, publicly at least.

My favourite types of movies these. Here's a few that spring to mind and qualify to some degree

Vernon, Florida
American Job (1996)
Motel https://m.imdb.com/title/tt0158807/
Alone in the Wilderness
The Parking Lot Movie
Word Wars
The Outdoorsmen: Blood, Sweat and Beers
Hands on a Hard Body
Chasing Ghosts

Thanks so much for this, I'd not heard of most of them but if the rest are anywhere near as good as American Job or Vernon, Florida them I'm in for some treats.

Sebastian Cobb

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Re: "American Movie" and other 'slice of life' documentaries
« Reply #34 on: July 24, 2020, 01:10:26 AM »
I think I've been on a train similar to that on the Spathspey railway. The thing was pretty old and knackered really. I'm sure it looked a lot nicer when it was in proper BR service.

buzby

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Re: "American Movie" and other 'slice of life' documentaries
« Reply #35 on: July 24, 2020, 08:26:02 AM »
I think I've been on a train similar to that on the Spathspey railway. The thing was pretty old and knackered really. I'm sure it looked a lot nicer when it was in proper BR service.
It would have most likely been a Class 37 as I think the Speyside line was barred to heavier steam locos and Type 4 & 5 diesels due to track loading limits and the sharpness of some of the curves. By the time most of the 1950s-era diesels were sold off by BR and it's successors they were usually in a pretty poor state, sometimes having been laid up in disposal sidings for years having parts robbed off them. The first goal in preservation was usually to try and get all the bits required to get it running again ,then worry about the cosmetics.

Sebastian Cobb

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Re: "American Movie" and other 'slice of life' documentaries
« Reply #36 on: July 24, 2020, 07:43:36 PM »
It would have most likely been a Class 37 as I think the Speyside line was barred to heavier steam locos and Type 4 & 5 diesels due to track loading limits and the sharpness of some of the curves. By the time most of the 1950s-era diesels were sold off by BR and it's successors they were usually in a pretty poor state, sometimes having been laid up in disposal sidings for years having parts robbed off them. The first goal in preservation was usually to try and get all the bits required to get it running again ,then worry about the cosmetics.

It's entirely possible I didn't really pay much attention to the actual engine, but I think it had less of a nose than that. But the fact I paid more notice to the worn interior (and the fact the rather thick lumpy seats had springs digging into me arse) suggests how little I know about trains. I can't say it did much for me, but I did like the enthusiasm of the people involved in making it happen they seemed really in it for the love which was nice.

(it was a leg on a journey during a rather mild stag do between Aberdeen/Inverness)

Re: "American Movie" and other 'slice of life' documentaries
« Reply #37 on: July 25, 2020, 12:29:52 AM »
Perhaps too obvious but I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the Maysles brothers, Grey Gardens especially is every bit the classic it's made out to be. Allan King as well made some magnificent documentaries, A Married Couple in particular being a favourite. I think it was Sin Agog that put me onto that one so thanks to them.

Kirby Dick too, Supermasochist at one stage I considered to be my favourite documentary and I still rate it extremely highly.

The Mollusk

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Re: "American Movie" and other 'slice of life' documentaries
« Reply #38 on: July 25, 2020, 11:08:26 AM »
Thanks for clearing that salute stuff up buzby. I’m certainly not doubting that it is in fact wholly innocent and an easy way to pin something sinister on a group of uncouth but generally daft and unknowing white blokes, but nevertheless I did chuckle at the quoted explanation of the gesture, which sounds like the paedophile defence in BrassEye:

“Even though at the time he had his hand down the young boy’s trousers?”

“He was trying to save the boy from a fly.”

phes

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Re: "American Movie" and other 'slice of life' documentaries
« Reply #39 on: July 25, 2020, 11:10:43 AM »
Anyone know where I can find Fred Wiseman docs? Usual sources have failed, trying to get my Karagarga account re-enabled so maybe will have some luck with that.

Famous Mortimer

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Re: "American Movie" and other 'slice of life' documentaries
« Reply #40 on: July 25, 2020, 04:30:00 PM »
Anyone know where I can find Fred Wiseman docs? Usual sources have failed, trying to get my Karagarga account re-enabled so maybe will have some luck with that.
I just checked and I have a bunch of them - if I get the time today, I'll pop a few on my Google Drive and send you the link.

phes

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Re: "American Movie" and other 'slice of life' documentaries
« Reply #41 on: July 25, 2020, 04:52:11 PM »
I just checked and I have a bunch of them - if I get the time today, I'll pop a few on my Google Drive and send you the link.

Thanks, but I just this minute managed to get my KG account enabled again so have welfare, Belfast Maine, high school and Public housing on the way.

Can't find The Garden though

Re: "American Movie" and other 'slice of life' documentaries
« Reply #42 on: July 25, 2020, 09:48:04 PM »
Thanks, but I just this minute managed to get my KG account enabled again so have welfare, Belfast Maine, high school and Public housing on the way.

Can't find The Garden though

It's on KG. Try searching via IMDb number rather than title if you can't find something on there, especially when it has such a generic title.

phes

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Re: "American Movie" and other 'slice of life' documentaries
« Reply #43 on: July 25, 2020, 10:11:32 PM »
Great, thanks for the tip!

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