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 »
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 and Charleen walk through overgrown ruins]
The place is like a tomb.
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.
Sex and death?
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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An all-time top indie-film, one of the first ever for me.
McElwee has done many other similar works, some more deeply moving -- the one about his father the doctor, for instance. But this gives a great introduction to his "style" -- the guy who takes the camera everywhere and films his life, and not just in trivial ways -- ala web cams today. A tribute to women -- and women rate it much higher than men, as the imDb voting demographics show. This pre-dated the well-known and wildly successful "Sex, Lies, and Videotape" -- some would call it an outright steal or rip-off of "Sherman's March." As far as I know, McElwee had nothing to do with and is not credited in "Sex, Lies, and Videotape. "Sherman's March" clearly influenced "SL & V," to put things more mildly. SL&V has marketing written all over it, from the title to the stars (admittedly not as famous during the time of the shoot as now), and in its focus on sex and masturbation, particularly. "Sherman's March" has indie-film written all over it; it's not about stars, only indirectly about sex, and everyone plays themselves: it's a documentary. I liked all of that and it was a fresh approach when it first came out. Most such films are not done skillfully, thoughtfully, or edited well enough to make for excellent viewing. You may or may not like McElwee personally; he's a bit of an odd-ball, but a kindly one. His women friends are the focus here, however, and he wisely gets out of the way most of the time. Well worth your time.
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