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American Movie

Ratings: 7.33/10 from 6 users.


American Movie (1999)You're behind on your child support, your phone's being turned off, and you owe money to the IRS -- what do you do? Make a movie! At least that's what beleaguered Wisconsin filmmaker Mark Borchardt decided to do in the Sundance smash American Movie. Documentary director Chris Smith and producer Sarah Price followed Borchardt for two years as he struggled to complete a 35-minute direct-market thriller film called Coven, with $3,000 borrowed from his semi-senile uncle and the loyal support of his unflappably affable guitar-playing best friend, Mike Schank.

The result is a poignant and often hilarious character study of a charismatic all-American underdog, who makes up in drive and vision what he lacks in talent. Interviews with Borchardt's skeptical family and friends are combined with scenes of sparsely attended production meetings, no-budget film shoots (the scene in which Borchardt tries to shove an actor through a "breakaway" cabinet door is already a classic), and camp-outs in the editing room with the kids.

Guaranteed to touch a nerve in anyone who has ever aspired to make films, American Movie is an offbeat, sometimes sad, but ultimately inspirational tribute to pursuing one's dreams.

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5 Comments / User Reviews

  1. bee

    This is just a Preview

  2. Derek

    damn... i got my hopes up on this one... kind of wanted to watch the whole thing

  3. Tim

    Too bad. It's a pretty interesting film. It also serves as a warning against casting yourself in your own movies.

  4. Karen

    This is an excellent movie. What else can i say? Definitely a must see

  5. Fi-licious. ;)

    Fantastic film... I bought this a few years ago (buy it... you'll want to watch it several times). I still wonder if it's a mock-umentary... there's just some parts that I can't fathom are actually 'real'... but regardless... it's brilliant. ;)

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