A nameless young character goes into travels to the country, meeting some acquaintances and strangers as well, having banal conversations, dedicating his existence into daily mundane ... See full summary »
Follows tour guide, historian and flâneur Timothy 'Speed' Levitch as he visits the monumentally ignored monuments of America's cities, from the shoe gardens of San Francisco to the luckiest subway grate in New York City.
Timothy 'Speed' Levitch,
John C. McDonnell,
Presents a day in the life in Austin, Texas among its social outcasts and misfits, predominantly the twenty-something set, using a series of linear vignettes. These characters, who in some manner just don't fit into the establishment norms, move seamlessly from one scene to the next, randomly coming and going into one another's lives. Highlights include a UFO buff who adamantly insists that the U.S. has been on the moon since the 1950s, a woman who produces a glass slide purportedly of Madonna's pap smear, and an old anarchist who sympathetically shares his philosophy of life with a robber. Written by
Rick Gregory <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The Happy-Go-Lucky Guy that gets ripped off by the newspaper machine is lead vocalist, musician and founding member of Poi Dog Pondering. The tune that he whistles after he passes the Sidewalk Psychic is "Postcard From a Dream (Toast and Jelly)" from their first studio album, recorded in Austin. The woman that claims to have change but doesn't give it to him is Abra Moore, though she had left Poi Dog by then. See more »
The cab door is clear, but later sports a large sticker. See more »
Extreme boredom leads to fascination. Like sands in the hourglass so is this day in the lives of several bohemians living in Austin, TX in 1990. You'll either be bored to tears or fascinated to no end.
If you've ever been to Austin, or spent a sleepy summer in a college town like Lawrence, KS or Madison, WI, then you'll appreciate the parade of pseudo-intellectuals and good-natured conspiracy theorists that provide much of the grist for the script. These offbeat characters and wonderful dialogue make this film memorable.
Remember the traumatized yacht owner in the greasy-spoon diner or the older dude with the toupee from the coffee shop? 'We've been on Mars since the 50's', he says. I loved the loser with the TV strapped to his back and the older guy who found an armed robber in his house, only to take him for a stroll and a friendly chat (about Charles Whitman). I also enjoyed the menstrual-cycle stone garden and the fortune-telling hippie chick with the black eye who was having 'a breakthrough day'. Nearly every conspiracy theory in modern pop-culture is paid lip service during the film. That's a lot of sophistry and navel gazing to be sure!
Not every character is a gem. The Madonna pap-smear girl gets more annoying with every viewing. But I recommend this film for its originality and understated comedic themes.
Much has been made of the tangent approach to the story telling. I think the technique runs out of steam about three-quarters of the way into it. In other words, it's about 20 minutes too long. Still, it's a fun movie!
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