Tuesday, April 21, 2009

How to Draw a Bunny

John Walter's documentary on Ray Johnson (conceptual, performance, and collage artist fundamental to the Pop Art era) is a look into his mysterious life and death. A contemporary, and friend, of Warhol he was actually overshadowed by him.

Sometimes this film used superfluous techniques to get a point across. For example, when interviewing the policeman who investigated Johnson's death Walter used cheesy "dun dun dun" type police music and made the image black and white. I'm sure this was meant as a sarcastic play on the legitimacy of the police officer as an official, but it came off distracting. Lots of talking heads really bogged down the flow of the film, and the sudden switches to black and white were bothersome. The stock footage of Johnson that Walter was allowed to use is really all that saved this film for me.

In all, I did like the film subject but I struggled to stay focused. It certainly wasn't the information that was boring or those being interviewed, so the blame must go to the filmmaker...maybe the editor (which was actually John Walter anyway). The film seemed to drag on. The hour and a half seemed like two. How to Draw a Bunny did win the Special Jury Prize at Sundance, it just didn't win any awards with me.

No comments:

Post a Comment