HPPUB MOVIE REVIEW of FURTHEST FROM L.A., and The Independent

 

Title: Furthest from L.A.

Release Date:  2001

Nationality and Language: USA, English

Running time: about 46 minutes

MPAA Rating:  n/a (probably PG-13)

Distributor and Production Company: Token;  IFP  Website

Director; Writer:  Tim Kinzy

Producer:

Cast:   Woody Harrelson, Steve Guttenberg, Clint Allen, Michael Harris

Technical: DVD

Relevance to HPPUB site:

Review:  This documentary provides an amusing account of the 1999 production in Minneapolis of Woody Harrelson’s play (perhaps politically incorrect), “Furthest from the Sun.” Harrelson is well known for rather garish films like “Natural Born Killers” and “The People vs. Larry Flynt.”  The comedy here shows the tensions among the production and cast members (including let one person go) during the pre-production rehearsals and preparation. You get a similar sense of tension from watching the HBO Project Greenlight accounts of the filming of “Stolen Summer.”

    This film was previewed (at the Heights Theater in Minneapolis, Jan 17, 2002) along with a short (15 min, super 16), “The Astral Somnambulist,” starring Adam Beck, produced by Tim Kinzy in 1998.  The sleepwalker, who looks young and vigorous enough, seems to make a life-threatening encounter with REM sleep. Maybe when we die we get stuck in a “dream” like this forever. Or is this just omni-presence with astral projection. Remember the Chickenman:
he’s everywhere, he’s everywhere.” 

 

For the ultimate satire of independent film-making and self-instantiation, check out The Independent (2000, Arrow Films), a fictional documentary about make-believe film-maker Morty Fineman (played by Jerry Stiller, with Janeane Garofalo and Max Perlich), whose filmography of 400+ films would (I mean the subjunctive mood here) the Army training film “The Simplex Complex.”  Or the 1992 spectacle, “The Real History of America.”  Fineman defiantly says, “I don’t make movies to make money. I make money to make movies.”  Like me and my cousin when I was 12, doing our drawings of filmstrips, and again like me at 58.  Fineman wants the world to hear his “message,” like that there is no happy ending and the world, and especially New York, will come to an end (this movie predates 9-11-01). He wants to tell “the truth.”  But that turns out to be an exercise in fingerpainting. Eventually, his ex turns out to be the process server, reading to seize his films as collateral for his credit card debt.  So much for self-promotion.

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