American Movie (1999)
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It's alright, it's okay, there's something to live for... Jesus told me so!
American Movie (subtitled The Making of Northwestern) is a documentary that could well pass itself off as a mockumentary. It follows aspiring filmmaker Mark Borchardt's attempts to make a serious film by first completing a low-budget horror short he's been hammering at for years, and presents a cast of comically sad "characters" who help Mark in his doomed endeavors. It's Ed Wood in the 1990s' northwestern United States. Not to say what Mark makes is bad, but the whole enterprise is fraught with problems, most of them due to inexperience and lack of resources. But the one resource he has plenty of is people who, often grumbling all the way, are ready to support his dream. They're just a little clueless, that's all. According to IMDB, appearing in this documentary helped Mark's career, but it didn't help it TOO much. Some interesting personalities to discover here.
A brilliant piece of film!
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In 5 official lists
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This movie ranks #25 in The New York Times's Book of Movies
This movie ranks #30 in A.V. Club's The New Cult Canon
This movie ranks #35 in The Guardian's 1000 Films to See Before You Die
This movie ranks #163 in Sight & Sound's The Greatest Documentaries of All Time
This movie ranks #394 in TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest Films: 1001-2000