Filmmaker Ross McElwee (Sherman's March, Bright Leaves) finds himself in frequent conflict with his son, a young adult who seems addicted to and distracted by the virtual worlds of the ...
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Ross McElwee sets out to make a documentary about the lingering effects of General Sherman's march of destruction through the South during the Civil War, but is continually sidetracked by ... See full summary »
Ross McElwee Jr.
Forty year old documentary filmmaker Ross McElwee has a penchant for filming everything around him. Following the announcement of his impending marriage to his film-making partner Marilyn ... See full summary »
North Carolina produces more tobacco than any other state in America. Bright Leaves describes a journey taken across the social, economic, and psychological tobacco terrain of North ... See full summary »
In 1986, Ross McElwee and Marilyn Levine were making a film about the 25th anniversary of the Berlin Wall, when the imposing structure was still very much intact as the world's most visible symbol of hardline Communism.
Filmmaker Ross McElwee (Sherman's March, Bright Leaves) finds himself in frequent conflict with his son, a young adult who seems addicted to and distracted by the virtual worlds of the internet. To understand his fractured love for his son, McElwee travels back to St. Quay-Portrieux in Brittany for the first time in decades to retrace his own journey into adulthood. A meditation on the passing of time, the praxis of photography and film, and the digital versus analog divide.Written by
A young child - the one you loved so much - is still contained in the obnoxious teenager. And as a parent you never forget that. This is what keeps parents from positively strangling their teenagers. I mean, teenagers don't even realize how much they're protected by a smaller version of themselves, which rises up to defend them.
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Now that McElwee's comic masterpiece, "Sherman's March," is available again on streaming Netflix, I'd definitely go for that one first if you haven't seen it. "Sherman" is a one-of-a-kind mockumentary (and not a documentary about Sherman or his march, btw, in the conventional, Ken Burns sense), and if it resonates with you at all, I suspect you'll be a fan for life. "Photographic Memory" is a watchable but distinctly lesser work—a modest, autumnal meditation on aging, parenting and memory. A brief prologue fills us in on McElwee's tense relationship with his talented but unfocused teenage son, Adrian, then, with the help of funding from a couple of regional film boards, McE returns to the little town in Brittany where, as a VW-bus-driving college dropout, he worked as an apprentice wedding photog in the early 70s. Suffice it to say that the trip is uneventful (Adrian refused to go along b/c it sounded too boring), and McElwee's deadpan patter isn't up to his usual standard. He does better in his native North Carolina, where he doesn't have to try to speak French. "Bright Leaves," a rambling but entertaining doc about the tobacco culture in NC, is also available on streaming.
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