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Light and fun, but lacking resonance
on August 1, 2009
This fast, light read details the trials and tribulations of independent filmmaking -- and the chance meetings, n-degrees-of-separation contacts, and just plain kind souls who lighten the load.
Though there's a lot of fun, interesting stuff in the book, I felt a lot was glossed over or just plain left out. There aren't any real "characters" in the book -- all the people (even well-known actors Ed Harris and Brad Dourif) are passed over very lightly. Nobody ever becomes real, which makes it hard to care about the brothers and what they're trying to accomplish. The movie the brothers are making is based on their life; it would have been nice to have anecdotes about the real people the characters are based on. For example, stories about the real "Clyde" and then some examples from the film that show how "Clyde" translated onto film -- maybe even bits of the screenplay.
The brothers -- who narrate the book as "we" -- are good for a few laughs. The chapter titles and subheadings are cute and funny, but sometimes don't focus on the true subject of the chapter or subsection.
Ultimately, the book didn't make me burn to see the movie -- which I think certainly should have been the #1 goal of the book. I also didn't feel it was a terribly detailed chronicle of what goes into making an independent film -- I don't know anything about it myself, but I don't feel like I learned anything from the brothers' experiences.
Definitely a fun read, though, and worth checking out of the library. The book didn't inspire me to track down the film, but maybe you'll feel differently.