Thursday, December 29, 2016

Another Director, Another Documentary

Film buff that I am, these types of documentary are usually catnip for this kitty.

The operative word here is "usually."

Sidney Lumet is a legendary film director who made some of the most memorable movies in history.

Twelve Angry Men.


Dog Day Afternoon.



The last one alone should be must-see for future generations.  It is that good and prophetic.

So, you would think a documentary about this guy would be captivating.   Especially it's here nothing but clips and the sole talking head of Lumet himself, who sat for 14 hours of interviews several years before he died.  But, alas, alack, this one misses the mark.

Perhaps, my opinion was tempered several months ago when I saw the superlative documentary about Brian DePalma"DePalma."  That, too, was nothing but the director talking to the camera about some choice excerpts from his movies.   The difference is in the content of the commentary.

Whereas DePalma discussed the process of making these films with some juicy tidbits about the productions, Lumet is more esoteric and discusses his work as a reflection of society at the time.  Clearly a socialist, Lumet's words go too deep and, as a result, the documentary comes off more of a lecture than a showcase of his work.  Don't get me wrong.   Lumet is well deserving of a salute.   It's just that this documentary gets boring in a hurry.   And you really learn nothing about the productions of his films.


"By Sidney Lumet" did one positive thing for me.   It got me to go home and pull out my DVD of "Network."

So there.

LEN'S RATING:  Two-and-a-half stars.

Dinner last night:  Leftover beef and salad.

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