Filmmaker William Greaves is shooting a series of screen tests in New York City's Central Park for the two leads of a feature length movie, with the working title of "Over the Cliff". Simultaneously, he has a documentary filmmaking crew filming the behind the scenes making of the movie. In addition to seeing these two sets of footage (the film and the film of the film), the viewer also sees footage of a third film crew filming the these two in relation to what is happening overall as they film in the park while real life goes on around them, which in Bill's mind is part of the realism of the movie. "Over the Cliff" itself has no plot and no full script but only a working concept of sexuality being the movie's theme and snippets of scripted dialogue. This unstructured approach is to give the movie a sense of realism. The actors imply as much, but many of the crew, discussing in Grieves-less bullpen sessions, believe Greaves is unfocused and inept at what he is doing, while a minority ... Written by
This was recommended by a reader, and I'm glad to have seen it. But that's only because I'm interested in anything that contributes to the vocabulary of folding or self-reference. But I would not recommend this to you as a film experience. It is a clever idea: film acting students in Central Park doing a screen test. The lines they play with are capriciously malleable. Meanwhile a camera documents the events behind the first camera. There's sometimes a third camera as well, and from time to time that camera focuses on a discussion of the crew. They're discussing with amazing vacuity the advanced implications of the film.
In other words it is explicitly self-referential in the simplest of ways. There are many more clever folds in the film world, and certainly from that period, so this isn't rare or even novel. It would be something to recommend if all this relatively sophomoric enlightenment had been turned to something that had blood and muscle of some kind.
But it hasn't. Its one tool in a collection of several that have to be applied to the real building material of life. It lacks any of that and isn't a particularly sharp tool at that.
Perhaps Part 2 1/2 will be worth it.
Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.
8 of 25 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?