The Windmill Movie
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Culling from a 200 hour trove of footage, Alexander Olch cleverly invents an imaginary autobiography by proxy: the story of his mentor - legendary documentary and experimental filmmaker Richard P. Rogers - a mind-bending essay film constructed of sun-dappled Hamptons lawn parties, plane rides to exotic locales, stunningly raw moments with Rogers' domineering mink-coated mother, and new footage with Rogers' childhood friend, actor Wallace Shawn. Harvard-educated, born to privilege in NYC, Rogers was a tortured soul torn between the narrow patrician loyalties of his upbringing and a desire for artistic achievement on his own, unmitigated terms. Though Rogers did complete many remarkable films in his career, his untimely death at age 57 put an end to his magnum opus: an autobiographical project he had worked on for 25 years. The tragic and profound story of a gifted artist, The Windmill Movie is ultimately a mind-bending cinematic amalgam that beautifully explores the chasm between documentary and fiction.
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
- Reviews Counted: 22
- Fresh: 19
- Rotten: 3
- Average Rating: 7.2/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: Olch doesn't make it easy to identify with Rogers and his stylish existence, but that choice begins to pay off gradually as the fragments start to add up to something more.
Fresh: A remarkable documentary attempt to reconcile Rogers's sense of personal, professional, and artistic malaise, which culminated in his decades-long attempt to make a film about his life.
Fresh: The examined life may be the only one worth living, but as The Windmill Movie profoundly illustrates, it's no guarantee of happiness.
Fresh: A warm portrait of the fascinating Richard P. Rogers, an experimental filmmaker.