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 »

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Biography
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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 »

Director: Ross McElwee
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Bright Leaves (2003)
Documentary | Biography | Comedy
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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 »

Director: Ross McElwee
Stars: Allan Gurganus, Paula Larke, Marilyn Levine
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

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 »

Director: Ross McElwee
Stars: Adrian McElwee, Ross McElwee
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A filmed account of a bitterly violent miner strike.

Director: Barbara Kopple
Stars: Norman Yarborough, Houston Elmore, Phil Sparks
Documentary
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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.

Directors: Marilyn Levine, Ross McElwee
Stars: Marilyn Levine, Ross McElwee
Documentary | War
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Produced at the height of the Vietnam War, Emile de Antonio's Oscar-nominated 1968 documentary chronicles the war's historical roots. With palpable outrage, De Antonio (Point of Order, ... See full summary »

Director: Emile de Antonio
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Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

The chronicle of the political tension in Chile in 1973 and of the violent counter revolution against the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende.

Director: Patricio Guzmán
Stars: Salvador Allende, Abilio Fernández
Buzzard (2014)
Comedy | Drama
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Paranoia forces small-time scam artist Marty to flee his hometown and hide out in a dangerous Detroit. With nothing but a pocket full of bogus checks, his Power Glove, and a bad temper, the horror metal slacker lashes out.

Director: Joel Potrykus
Stars: Joshua Burge, Joel Potrykus, Teri Ann Nelson
Housekeeping (1987)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In the Pacific Northwest during the 1950's, two young sisters whose mother has abandoned them wind up living with their Aunt Sylvie, whose views of the world and its conventions don't quite... See full summary »

Director: Bill Forsyth
Stars: Christine Lahti, Sara Walker, Andrea Burchill
Bellflower (2011)
Action | Drama | Romance
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Two friends spend all their free time building flame-throwers and weapons of mass destruction in hopes that a global apocalypse will occur and clear the runway for their imaginary gang "Mother Medusa".

Director: Evan Glodell
Stars: Evan Glodell, Tyler Dawson, Jessie Wiseman
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Dah and Jocelyn come from Benin, Africa, to coach their rooster, "S'en fout la mort", for an illicit cock-fight in the basement of a restaurant.

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The Exiles (1961)
Drama
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Native Americans in Los Angeles. For 12 hours one Friday night, from late afternoon until dawn, we follow a handful of urban Indians. Yvonne is pregnant, commenting on her life and dreams ... See full summary »

Director: Kent Mackenzie
Stars: Yvonne Williams, Homer Nish, Tom Reynolds
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ross McElwee ...
Himself
Dede McElwee ...
Herself
Ross McElwee Jr. ...
Himself
Patricia Rendleman ...
Herself
Ann McElwee ...
Herself
Mary ...
Herself
Lee ...
Herself - Pat's Friend
Tom McElwee ...
Himself
Claudia ...
Herself
Ashley ...
Herself - Claudia's Daughter
Phillip ...
Himself - Mechanic's Son
Herb ...
Himself - Survivalist
Bill ...
Himself - Survivalist
Wini Wood ...
Herself
Michael ...
Himself - Geologist
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Storyline

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 <brett@rahul.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Details

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Release Date:

4 February 1988 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Sherman's March: A Meditation on the Possibility of Romantic Love in the South During an Era of Nuclear Weapons Proliferation  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Quotes

[Ross and Charleen walk through overgrown ruins]
Ross McElwee: The place is like a tomb.
Charleen: No, it's not. It's like pubic hair. Part, part the bushes. Go into the place. Go with it, Ross. It's not like a tomb. That's the trouble with you. You don't know the difference between sex and death.
Ross McElwee: Sex and death?
Charleen: Yes, and death. This is life, this isn't dead. When it sits on your face, you can't tell which it is.
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Soundtracks

Symphony No. 9
(uncredited)
Composed by Ludwig van Beethoven
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User Reviews

An Ode to Southern Womanhood
9 June 2006 | by (The Dutch Mountains) – See all my reviews

The "alternative" title Ross McElwee initially came up with captures the mood of the film very well as it was called:

"Sherman's March: A Meditation to the Possibility of Romantic Love in the South during an Era of Nuclear Weapons Proliferation".

Originally McElwee set out to make a documentary following the route General Sherman took during the Civil War and investigate the impact he had on the lives of people past and present who live there, but somehow he ended up marking the lives of past girlfriends and practically every other woman he meets on his journey, interwoven with occasional bits of history.

The film is quite funny in it's own way as well. Charleen, a former schoolteacher of him (if I remember correctly) contributes to some of the funniest moments. She continuously introduces Ross to girls from her seemingly inexhaustible stable of eligible women. One of them even is - without Charleen knowing it - a Mormon! And there's a hilarious subplot involving Burt Reynolds, who increasingly becomes McElwee's nemesis.

Wisely, he trimmed the original title a bit, which he perhaps could have done with the movie itself, which is a bit long, 155 minutes, but it doesn't matter much, especially when watching it at home. At times it can get slow but you just have to settle with his own pace, rhythm and his unique cinematographic style and you will be rewarded. The conversations, the nuclear threat, the clothes and hairdos, it also makes a wonderful time capsule of the 80's. Combined with the occasional touch of history and the wonderful voice-over narration of Ross McElwee, this is a truly inspiring journey of almost epic proportions. Highly recommended.

Camera Obscura --- 9/10


4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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