May 13, 2012

Evocateur - The Morton Downey Jr. Movie - Clearview Chelsea (Tribeca Film Festival)



Mike: I had never seen a single minute of The Morton Downey Jr Show, but I'd heard that he was an interesting guy and a friend told me that this should be interesting. Erica volunteered at the Tribeca Film Festival and didn't have time to use some of the vouchers she earned, so she gave me some and I checked this one out.
The Tribeca Film Festival uses a handful of downtown and midtown theaters, including the AMC Loews Village 7 and the Clearview Chelsea. I've been to the Clearview Chelsea a handful of times - it's a nice place, and they sometimes have displays up with props or costumes from a recent movie. The auditoriums I've been in are nice and spacious. For the film festival, they had a small gift shop set up on the second floor.
The scene outside of the theater was a bit of a zoo, even for this afternoon screening, but once inside the volunteers were friendly and helpful and pointed me in the right direction.

As for the documentary - I'm very glad my friend recommended this (without having seen it yet himself). Morton Downey Jr. was a maniac - someone to easily dismiss as a crazy. But his quick rise and fall in the late 80s was absolutely fascinating, and Evocateur brilliantly chronicles his life before, during and after his talk show career. One way in which I often judge a biographical documentary is: Did it answer all my questions? And this one mostly did. It provided a very clear timeline (something so many documentaries leave to be desired) and my only issue with it is one that I've had with so many documentaries lately - gimmicky, distracting, and ultimately unnecessary animated sequences. And while they were well done - nothing against the animator - they just didn't need to be in there. But other than that, Evocateur is highly entertaining and fascinating.

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