5th Day at SF IndieFest 2013: “The Revisionaries” and “The Last Elvis”

The Revisionaries

471two-stars1Note to self: I will not let circumstances guide my life to where I am forced to send my kid(s) to a state run public school.  At least until the Texas Board of Education begins to resemble a committee of actual educated individuals.  This Board’s influence over what gets published and distributed in all other states is scarily influential.  And this is what I took away from Scott Thurman‘s insightful, and somewhat manipulative, behind-the-scenes look at the thought process that goes into deciding what material gets in and/or out of school textbooks.

I have no qualms applauding this documentary for its ability to both inform and enrage me on a subject I would otherwise have zero interest in.  However, unlike the mostly liberal and very vocal audience attending this screening, I do have a hard time applauding non-fiction cinema that attacks one of the film’s subjects in such a blatant manipulative fashion, in this case the chief Chairman and defender of creationism, Don McLeroy.  Seriously, was there a need for court jester-esque music to accompany the man as he tried to defend his beliefs of man walking alongside Dinosaurs?  Don’t get me wrong, I too thought this was funny, but it was also out of place as far as it being in this kind of documentary.

Am I wrong in thinking that a filmmaker of non-fiction informative movies has a responsibility to not turn caricatures out of its characters?  Just like most Michael Moore documentaries, which this movie most closely resembles, I wanted to like it a lot more than I did.  Ultimately though, I was turned off by the overt and mean biasness that overshadowed the more important issues that the movie was trying to say.

The Last Elvis

last_elvis_laffthree-stars15There’s a screw loose somewhere in Elvis impersonator Carlos Gutiérrez’s noggin, and much to my delight, Director, Armando Bo does a splendid job of letting me watch it rattle.  This is one director I will surely keep on my radar of things to come.

The best part about this downward spiral character study of a man who takes idol worshiping to psychotic heights are the eerily impressive Elvis songs that are performed throughout.  All of the uninterrupted takes further enhanced the already impressive renditions of the late (or still living, depending on what you believe) King of rock n’ roll.An impersonator in real life, surely John McInery had no trouble playing the part, and as a first time acting role he comes off as a seasoned vet.  Not unlike Bruno S.‘s performance in Herzog‘s Stroszek or, more recently, Mickey Rourke‘s in Aronofsky‘s The Wrestler, have I seen acting look so natural in its attempt at exercising restraint.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a peanut butter and banana sandwich with my name on it.

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