Sunday, November 6, 2011
Director: Ben Steinbauer
a documentary about Jack Rebney, a guy made famous by his winnebago industrial video outtakes, and how and what he's doing 20 years after they were made. that is a horrible sentence. i should get a job in the digital cable info button department.
This was pretty good all around. One of the problems that I tend to see in documentaries is a lack of clear vision, and this presented us with a single, cohesive narrative and little screwing around. I don't know how much of that vision was clear to the filmmaker when he was obtaining the video, and that's all the more impressive. One of the things which impresses me about a lot of documentaries--even the ones which waste my time--is how a small group of people stick with a subject for much longer than the length of a fictional feature. The filming here spans something like three years and it would have been impossible to know that it would even be possible for most of the first year of its production. That's probably because the director is some rich white kid.
The subject matter here was interesting, even through the somewhat broken lens of time to which we are exposed. There's some background into the guy and some information about those 20 years, but really just enough to contextualize the clips of the outtake videos and his current political stance. His fame is no more justified than those Jersey Shore douches, but he's getting a lot less exposure. That's OK, because he doesn't care. And the true success of the film is that we do.
Or, at least we did for an hour and a half.
i enjoyed this. the journey that was made from the director finding the infamous jack rebney to jack rebney's discovery and acceptance (?) of his fan base. it's always great to see the life of a true, non-fiction, character. i also love ornery old guys. i believe i will be an ornery old lady myself one day. i picture overalls and a pipe as accessories in seclusion. i'm glad he had a kindred spirit in his friend as well. even hermits need someone to lean on. yay, for jack rebney.
this is a shining example of a documentary with a subject whose life before is not made clear, but is still a success in telling a biographical story. something which " cameraman: the life and work of jack cardiff" failed to do.