Mark Rappaport’s creative bio-pic about actress Jean Seberg is presented in a first-person, autobiographical format (with Seberg played by Mary Beth Hurt). He seamlessly interweaves cinema, politics, American society and culture, and film theory to inform, entertain, and move the viewer. Seberg’s many marriages, as well as her film roles, are discussed extensively. Her involvement with the Black Panther Movement and subsequent investigation by the FBI is covered. Notably, details of French New Wave cinema, Russian Expressionist (silent) films, and the careers of Jane Fonda, Vanessa Redgrave, and Clint Eastwood are also intensively examined. Much of the film is based on conjecture, but Rappaport encourages viewers to re-examine their ideas about women in film with this thought-provoking picture. —IMDb
Mark Rappaport is an American independent/underground film director who has been working sporadically since the early 1970s. A lifelong New Yorker, born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, he graduated from Brooklyn College in 1964. His films are often marked by high camp, melodrama, deadpan humor, ennui, and a rather cavalier attitude towards copyright law and intellectual property, often using music, archival footage, and excerpts from Hollywood films without seeking permission.
Central to Rappaport’s work is the relationship between the audience and media, particularly pop culture, which is his most recurring theme. An example of this is his first feature, Casual Relations, released in 1973. It is a bricolage of unrelated scenes, often announced by intertitles. One such title informs us that a character decided she would spend all day watching television. The scene that unfolds, approximately seven minutes in length, features just that: the character, in one continuous shot… read more
A wonderful film essay w/limited appeal (people who like film essays/docs about film, Seberg fans). I don't pretend to understand Rappaport's casting of actors who look very little like the stars they're playing in this or RHHM but it doesn't distract or bother for me. I love how films like this turn writing into film art.
Had some intriguing editing and juxtapositions of information, but I found the director's mechanisms of putting the viewer in emotional moods a little too simplistic. And also I had a problem with the autobiographical aspect of it (an artifice I found hilarious at times). But anyway I think the film has intriguing parts.
My first Mark Rappaport film and its a (difficult to find) masterpiece. Like Jean-Luc Godard's Historie(s) du Cinema, a fitting comparison considering he plays an important part in Seberg's life, Rappaport only needs pre-existing footage (on tape) of films to make a work far more deeper and cinematic than a 'glossier' movie. Its an intelligent, humorous and sad work that I wish was more easily available.