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J. Neil Schulman
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
The movie theater featured in the end of the film is the Times Cinema in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's west side. It specializes in obscure and independent films and is Milwaukee's sole surviving independent movie theater. See more »
There's no excuses, Paul. No one has ever, ever paid admission to see an excuse. No one has ever faced a black screen that says: "Well, if we had these set of circumstances, we would've shot this scene... so please forgive us and use your imagination." I've been to the movies hundreds of times. That's never occurred.
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I just watched this again the other night. It's probably the ninth or tenth time I've seen it, and I think it gets better every time. Contrary to what some people are saying, I don't think the makers of this film are laughing at and ridiculing Mark. Sure, some of the humor in the film is of the car-crash can't look away variety, but I feel underneath that they really admire the guy and his dogged tenacity. Another thing is I think Mark does show some skill as a director. Remember he has zero money shooting this stuff, and Coven was conceived as a money-making venture so he could make Northwestern. I think some of the samples they were showing from Northwestern actually looked very good. Now I don't think Mark writes the best dialogue in the world, but looking just at his photographic eye I'd say if the guy had any kind of schooling he might be shooting movies for someone right now. And finally, I think some of the people making negative comments about this movie need to look in the mirror and think about themselves a bit. OK, you don't like the movie, that's fine. But I've seen enough smug, superior, comments on here to make me want to puke. I love how as long as you're a poor, lower middle-class white in America people love to throw around terms like "white trash", "redneck", and other such pleasantries. I believe some scribe from Orange County at the beginning of the reviews even called them "inferior". I'm sure most of the people making the comments consider themselves liberals too; as if they have any concept of what that word means.
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