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The Corndog Man (1999)
Great Work from a Great Professor of Mine
I actually had the privilege of taking a directing class with Andrew Shea. I think this film was very successful cinematic ally and in many different ways, but I ultimately I think the narrative structure amazingly innovative. It doesn't break the narrative rules by not being linear, but does something totally different that I can't even explain. My only critique of the movie is I didn't feel established enough with his past, so the memory of the rape felt a little to sudden and not developed enough, not enough transition. I was felt the transvesite character kind of swung the story out of wack a little but not too drastically, it just brought out this other element of the character's life that the movie didn't have time to deal with. Although the parts with the drag queen were treated with enough decency and was not too attention seeking that it didn't take to much away from the movie, and in its defense it did drive the narrative at certain points. You can see Andrew's genius come out through the characters considering the difficulty of the material. I also think that not showing the caller, which is a critique of most of the poor reviews, is actually a threshold of the film. It makes us sympathize and experience with the main character, because he never really sees this person either, and one of the greatest powers of this antagonist is his anonymity. Another critique is why does the man keep answering the phone which I think is another threshold of the film. He keeps answering because he has a guilt complex. He knows what he has done, even if its a repressed and subconscious memory, so he can't avoid it because he has an indescribable attraction to the situation. What these characters have to express to each other is complex and subtle (by this I mean the undercurrent of the humor, swearing, and the son toying with the father), which is accomplished by Andrew's amazing skills of working with actors. Ultimately a great film, even though it may take a few viewings, and I gave it only a 7 simply because I have been recently watching amazing films by Bergman, Wilder, and Hawks. Inspiring to see what you can do on a really low budget.