Ross McElwee sets out to make a documentary about the lingering effects of General Sherman's march of destruction through the South during the Civil War, but is continually sidetracked by ...
See full summary »
Forty year old documentary filmmaker Ross McElwee has a penchant for filming everything around him. Following the announcement of his impending marriage to his film-making partner Marilyn ... See full summary »
North Carolina produces more tobacco than any other state in America. Bright Leaves describes a journey taken across the social, economic, and psychological tobacco terrain of North ... See full summary »
Filmmaker Ross McElwee (Sherman's March, Bright Leaves) finds himself in frequent conflict with his son, a young adult who seems addicted to and distracted by the virtual worlds of the ... See full summary »
In 1986, Ross McElwee and Marilyn Levine were making a film about the 25th anniversary of the Berlin Wall, when the imposing structure was still very much intact as the world's most visible symbol of hardline Communism.
"He wrote me...." A woman narrates the thoughts of a world traveler, meditations on time and memory expressed in words and images from places as far-flung as Japan, Guinea-Bissau, Iceland, ... See full summary »
Marlon Riggs, with assistance from other gay Black men, especially poet Essex Hemphill, celebrates Black men loving Black men as a revolutionary act. The film intercuts footage of Hemphill ... See full summary »
From 1940 to 1944, France's Vichy government collaborated with Nazi Germany. Marcel Ophüls mixes archival footage with 1969 interviews of a German officer and of collaborators and ... See full summary »
Real-life individuals discuss topics on society, happiness in the working class among others and with those testimonies the filmmakers create fictional moments based on their interviews. ... See full summary »
Ross McElwee sets out to make a documentary about the lingering effects of General Sherman's march of destruction through the South during the Civil War, but is continually sidetracked by women who come and go in his life, his recurring dreams of nuclear holocaust, and Burt Reynolds. Written by
Brett Coon <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Ross McElwee, a native Southerner, started off wanting to make a straightforward documentary film about General Sherman's march, but then his girlfriend broke up with him. The result is an idiosyncratic and personal documentary, as McElwee tries to film his Sherman movie but can only obsess about the various women he meets along the way, and his own personal failings.
"Sherman's March" is funny because of its many characters and lines of dialogue that are so crazy, you'd never believe them if they were in a fiction film. Best of all is Charleen, McElwee's former teacher, who is convinced that Ross just needs to sweep a girl off her feet--even if he's never met her before. And nearly all of the young women McElwee meets come across as kooky--two of them believe that the Apocalypse is imminent and another considers herself a "female prophet." Many of them are attached to men who also seem weird or distant. A feminist lawyer, whom McElwee considers the lost love of his life, wishes she could love him, but is instead obsessed with a guy who collects giant plastic animals. Like I said: you can't make this stuff up.
The Sherman theme crops up now and then, but McElwee could have done more with it. At one point he discusses the strength and courage displayed by the women of Atlanta when Sherman destroyed their city, then cuts to some footage of two self-absorbed actresses--you can't help thinking that Southern women have diminished in quality over the last 100 years. But he never picks up this thread again.
"Sherman's March" is a rambling movie, and at over 2.5 hours, way too long. And though McElwee's deadpan observations, delivered in voice-over, are frequently amusing, he is also a masochist, which diminishes our sympathy for him. He spends time on a near-deserted island, where he is tortured by mosquitoes, ticks, and the knowledge that the only two other people on the island are an attractive female linguist and her boyfriend. Later, he breaks things off with a hot musician (one of the few women who doesn't seem like a kook) in order to agonize over the aforementioned lawyer. Moments like these just make you frustrated with the filmmaker and his quest, not approving of it.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?