Mark Borchardt turns his camera on the UFO Daze gathering in Dundee, Wisconsin, where he finds an abundance of fascinating characters, a mystic landscape, and the paradox between empirical ... See full summary »
American Job is a narrative film about Randy Scott, a youth caught in the dismal confusion of living and working in the world of minimum wage. American Job follows main character Randy ... See full summary »
A boy in abject poverty works in a hotel and becomes obsessed with a swimming pool in the opulent hills of Panjim, Goa, India. His life gets turned upside-down when he attempts to meet the mysterious family who lives at the house.
On the northwest side of Milwaukee, Mark Borchardt dreams the American dream: for him, it's making movies. Using relatives, local theater talent, slacker friends, his Mastercard, and $3,000 from his Uncle Bill, Mark strives over three years to finish "Covan," a short horror film. His own personal demons (alcohol, gambling, a dysfunctional family) plague him, but he desperately wants to overcome self-doubt and avoid failure. In moments of reflection, Mark sees his story as quintessentially American, and its the nature and nuance of his dream that this film explores. Written by
In the "elevator sequence" that is briefly shown as part of the movie "Coven", the actors that are portraying the doctors are wearing their driver's licenses on their lab coats instead of hospital staff identification badges. See more »
[to cast with covered faces]
You guys gotta look menacing! Can you be more menacing?
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At one time in my life I was trying to make films, and experienced many of the same problems Mark Borchardt did in trying to make HIS film. And I also went through a protracted period of self-absorbed arrested development, where I refused to grow. But then, miraculously, I got married, and had kids. I realized that being a struggling filmmaker was, in all likelihood, not going to feed my family. So I got a decent job and did what I felt I needed to do to make that happen. That is what an mature, responsible adult does.
Mark hasn't faced up to that reality as yet, and so, in that sense, he is a retarded adolescent. For this reason, there is a hopelessness about him. Like Don Quixote, he seems so inept and self-deluded that he doesn't realize how bad off he really is. The viewer feels a sense of superiority and pity for him and his circle. Mark has kids and an ex-wife and bills to pay, but the film depicts him caring basically only about pursuing his "artistic vision".
Despite this, Mark comes across in the film as a likeable individual, surrounded by a very interesting family and group of friends. Unfortunately, Mark lacks many of the things necessary to be successful both in life and in a career: maturity, responsibility, education, knowledge, life experience, prioritization, financial clout, etc.. Yet he trudges on, much like Ed Wood, apparently without any semblance of a clue.
I guess we are supposed to feel encouraged by the spectacle of the "never say die" attitude of this noble individual, struggling against the odds. And man, what odds there are! Kiefer Sutherland, Colin Hanks, Tori Spelling and Angelina Jolie are all offspring of big-time film or TV people; no doubt, they will all want to direct some day, if they aren't already. How much room is there for an independent like Mark? It's like watching a guy hit himself in the head with a board, over and over again. Come to think of it, that is pretty close to what happens to one of Mark's actors, with the kitchen cabinet door, in one of the funniest scenes I have ever seen in any movie.
Despite these misgivings and seeming criticisms, I truly enjoyed this movie, and would heartily recommend it to anyone. Uncle Bill is amazing. I have a friend who met both Mike and Mark and he told me that, in real life, these guys are just exactly the way they appeared in the movie.
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