The film was edited from 120 hours of footage which was a standard amount for a Fredeick Wiseman documentary. See more »
America can not possibly be this dull
The film Monrovia Indiana is a truly remarkable achievement in that just when you think it cannot possible go on any longer, it just keeps going, much like the Great Crossroads itself. This is a shame.
Contrast with Hale County. That film too turned the camera on an overlooked slice of America, and yet it transcended the typical narrative to reveal something more, something unexpected. A conversation with a man burning leaves turned into the sublime. It provided space for you to think and reflect. Mr. Weisman on the other hand seems to believe that shots of coke in the supermarket are quite subversive, and that it is dreadfully important that viewers experience a full length Masonic ceremony, stumbling and stammering and all. Even Gopher Prairie is a more flattering portrait of small town America than this.
Oh and here's a shot of a field. Wow that sure is a field! And oh here's a shot of a building. That's sure some building there! It all literally looks like google street view.
And oh and now they've been talking about a bench for five minutes. And now a dog is getting its tail amputated for who knows why. And now we are at the mattress store. And now we're in church. Just kill me now.
I refuse to believe that America can possibly be as dull, as small, and as ugly as it is presented as here. There is no profound insight in debating a bench! There is nothing to reveal in a mattress warranty! This is not art but a caricature that has the gall to try passing itself off as an auteur's quietly documentary of real America.
In short: this is a film we've all seen before and do not ever need to see again. It's amazingly boring both visually and narratively, and conceptually bankrupt. The best that can be said of this self indulgent mess is that it quickly and unknowingly descends into self parody.
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