click to enlarge
Want an insider's look at the film industry? Want it without any interference, including help telling what exactly you're looking at? This candid series of outtakes, by director Peter Judson, pieces together a series of e-mails and outtakes during the filming of an independent movie. The result, even if the documentarian gave up on the editing, doesn't get much more insidery. It also doesn't get much more difficult to follow.
What little storyline exists comes from the running series of blown-up e-mails, which seem to convey the rise and fall of feeling between the various bodies overseeing the film, from the happy beginning of their relationship to the contentious end. There's no telling how much of this is real or fictionalized. But the meat of this movie is the series of so-called interviews, mostly a string of rants, musings and remembrances told by members of the cast and crew, including some well-known actors, some sort-of well-known actors, and some totally anonymous people. The film catches them all, often unguarded from the actors complaining about fairness and the food, to the bit players, technicians and gophers, who complain a lot about the actors.
Like a bootleg of some turntablist show, "NWYF" opens with little warning and flows without explanation. Scenes are just little riffs of images and conversations. This is sort of what it would be like if you could float from one set to another, with much candid viewing and just as little explanation of what exactly is going on. A sequence can begin as innocuously as a complaint about the lunch buffet and end with a poignant summation of the industry.
A friend of mine works for a prominent director of commercials and horror films, and I imagine a lot of the stuff in "NWYF" is like his working life, standing around with bored actors and technicians, listening to their endless silly jokes and shallow complaints, gradually losing any sense of reality that may have structured his brain before he moved out to Hollywood. After even a portion of "Nobody Wants Your Film," you may feel a little of the same. (NR) ** Wayne MeltonClick here for more Arts & Culture