American Movie Movie Review Summary

Actors: Mark Borchardt, Mike Schank, Bill Borchardt

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of American Movie

This 1999 documentary is a gem. Two independent filmmakers followed around an even MORE "independent filmmaker" -- by all appearances a loser named Mark Borchardt who works as a custodian at a Wisconsin cemetery and wants to make a short horror film called "Coven" to raise money for his dream movie. We see his problems with alcohol, dysfunctional family, slacker friends who seem to have done too much drugs, and his odd relationship with his principal backer, crusty Uncle Bill. Extras fail to show up for shooting on the horror film, and he cajoles his Mom away from shopping to participate. At first "American Movie" seems to have us laughing at Mark and his acquaintances, but steadily we grow to laugh with him, and his unsinkable drive and optimism grow to seem moving, inspiring, even noble. His best friend Mike, who comes across initially like a total burnout joke from Saturday Night Live, ultimately provides a wonderful testimony to friendship (and provides the pleasant acoustic guitar soundtrack). A highly entertaining true story.
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The review of this Movie prepared by David Loftus

Script Analysis of American Movie

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Plot & Themes

Time/era of movie:    -   1980's-1999 Job/Profession/Poverty Story?    -   Yes Job:    -   artist Poverty story?    -   Yes

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Midwest Small town?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Any profanity?    -   Occasional swearing

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