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Bruce Weber's slapdash, post-9/11 introspection via a letter to his dog.
'Letter to True,' is fashion photographer Bruce Weber's peculiar, slapdash, often ostentatious cinematic documentary postcard to his wife, Nan, as narrated in a letter to his dog, True. Weber's documentary style here is devoid of any leash law.
We see Weber's penmanship unfold across the screen in shaky images, all the while attempting to follow the text despite the fact that its words are included in the audio. It is a difficult and rather tragic narrative device, but tragedy is one of the films main themes.
For Weber, a soundtrack of old Jazz crooners link loosely collected clips of early Elizabeth Taylor films, scenes from 'Rin Tin Tin,' a brief encounter with a ruckus family on a horse farm, and sequences of swimming (even surfing) golden retrievers, to yield, somehow, a poignant reflection of the September 11th terrorist attacks and a somber remembrance of their victims.
This atypical tribute has also been called a film for dog lovers. Yet Weber's dogs are hardly lovable neighborhood mutts, unless perhaps your dog is pretty enough for the cover of Italian Vogue. The rowdy canine throng, which is essentially the focal point of the film, is impressively well trained, gorgeously groomed, and free to wreak havoc on all their surroundings.
Weber's pets seem to be better off than the wrongfully incarcerated Haitian political prisoners whose struggle he clumsily and mysteriously refers to. They are privy to play dates with African elephants and promises of cross country jaunts in his custom rebuilt antique cars, complete with newly installed audio systems.
One hopes that True the dog, who we are told still struggles with his solemn memories of that horrible day in September, is not trained to open the mail.
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