Wednesday, August 09, 2006

"One reason why McElwee's film so bountifully transcends its limited and narcissistic premise, distinguishing itself from the mid-quality Woody Allen movies to which so many 1980s critics compared it, is that the women for whom McElwee pines emerge as layered, credible, unexpected figures in their own right—persuasive and interesting objects of love, rather than simple avatars of some generalized "womanhood" or empty mirrors in which the filmmaker sees mostly himself. Quite to the contrary, McElwee continually detects interests, expertises, energies, and even manifest foibles in these women that inspire him to be with them, and often to be like them. As much as his dashed hopes for romance provide the film's driving conceit, it is palpable throughout that he is hugely, creatively, and indeed hormonally inspired by his encounters with [them.]"

-Nick Davis

Sherman's March, Ross McElwee's 1986 cinema verite masterpiece, points like an extended finger towards a lot of other things I love. Stephen Shore's American Surfaces, Jim Jarmusch's Broken Flowers, Robert Frank's The Lines of My Hand, Chester Brown's I Never Liked You, Jem Cohen's Buried in Light, Jim McBride's David Holzmann's Diary, Walter Tevis's The Man Who Fell to Earth.
It points to these things and they point back, like ships signaling each other at sea.