American Movie: The Making of Northwestern

Posted by barb on Feb 1, 2004 in Movies |

3/5 stars

I honestly don’t know how to rate this film.

It is a documentary following Mark Borchardt, an amateur filmmaker, who is trying to make a feature length film. This has been his dream. Though he can’t find the funding for the movie, so he decides to first finish a short film he had started a few years earlier (Coven, pronounced coe-ven). In the process we meet his friends who have starred in some of his teenaged efforts and his family who have financed some of his film efforts. (Though after $10k, his father was done supporting him at all). He still lives at home with his mother. He has three children, though he is not still seeing the mother. He has a girlfriend who looks old enough to be his mother (though we suspect that he’s older than he comes across). His uncle Bill is a sad old man living in a trailer with nothing in his life. It is finally Uncle Bill who comes through with the money to finish Coven.

Andrew’s comment was that this movie was like watching a very long episode of Judge Judy. Almost true, though we don’t actually have to see the white trash surroundings on Judge Judy — just the people who come out of such circumstances.

It’s hard to rate because on the one hand, it was a well-done documentary. But on the other hand, it was just so depressing that I couldn’t recommend the film to my friends.

Coven itself was a confused mish-mash of potentially scary images that never really comes together into a coherent story.

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