Six bright teenage brothers have spent their entire lives locked away from society in a Manhattan housing project. All they know of the outside is gleaned from the movies they watch obsessively (and recreate meticulously).
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The last scene is superb (the theater one), but I kept thinking this doc could have been done by any TV network. It was just too unidimensional: there's a lack of any kind of plot that told me where I was headed. Although the boys are very charismatic, I was hoping for a deeper research on who they were. Great subject, not that great of a cinema work.
amazing, wonderful story [dramatic music enters] but it constantly restates itself, as a discovery channel documentary, and lives on sentimentality. which is a pity, because, beyond that, i loved some aesthetics - the DV cams are incredible - and the characters.
El aspecto más agradable de este documental pasa por esas representaciones de cinefilia low-fi mediante las cuales los hermanos comprenden el mundo. Su lado mas oscuro, lo que yace detrás de ese padre que infunde su miedo hacia su familia, termina abarcando por completo el relato y el cine pasa a un segundo plano. La oscuridad le gana a la luminosidad de ese juego que hacía del cine algo propio, un modo de poder ser.
The power of lo-fi imagination to transcend harrowing experiences is gloriously captured here. This fan-fiction style exploration of the art of films by the documentary's subject is a delight. Films can transmogrify any incarcerated context and gain new meaning with interpretation - to educate, to inspire, to coagulate into something new. Film as the spectator's domain more than that of its originator: love it.
Fantastic work. The mesmerising subjects take us openly into their world and Moselle has managed to respect the darker more terrifying elements of their privacy to create a truly a post-modern cinematic documentary. That the audience is not given all the answers is a good thing and only makes the film stronger. 5 stars
One can't help but think that this film only scratches the surface of what was happening in that apartment over the years. People are getting wrapped up in the celebration of 'cinephilia' instead of the abuse angle of this upbringing. The question of 'why?' is never answered and the underlying tensions of spousal abuse, child abuse and mental illness are only hinted at. '...some things you can't forgive...' ???
For me, the story is surreal by itself. I'd like to see more about them. What are they all thinking about the future? Their dreams and fears? It was all showed too fast. I have so many questions that didn't got an answer. I hope to see them working with movies and their own stuff.
Shock value aside, this documentary is tragically underwhelming, especially if compared to more convincing efforts like Andrew Jarecki's Capturing the Friedmans. Moselle provides zero contextualization: her storytelling is directionless. A truly amateurish, shallow effort that could only make a splash in an increasingly meaningless event like Sundance. It does not help that it is 80 minutes too long.