Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Dave Gorman's America Unchained: Review

Dave Gorman’s excellent ‘America Unchained’ went out on More 4 last night and was rather a cute and fuzzy experience for all. As usual it was the depth and the detail that makes a Gorman project transcend type (here sincere travelogue, in the past whacky misadventure) and become something more thoughtful, funnier and more beautifully observed and constructed than it really has any right to be.

A few interesting points. When Daves' injured camera-woman is swapped for an able-bodied camera-man (please note there is no intended comment on Gender Vs Ability here at all) the quality of the footage leaped ahead. The last two thirds of the film were beautifully shot. Next time he’ll know who to take.

We also feel compelled to note the irony of Dave searching for an America free of overt commericalism and trying to stick it to the large corporations sacrificing the personal approach in favour of the big bucks: Dave Gorman is managed by Avalon, a large company known to chase the dollar in any given situation. It is a little like marching in a ‘Meat is Murder’ protest while being sponsored by Burger King.

Still, that isn't really a criticisim. It’s almost impossible to genuinely find a criticisim. In this age where the beloved telly has been exposed a filthy liar there’s always a little voice at the back of the mind telling you “he couldn’t really have found an independent soda-fountain closing on the same day he was in town, surely?” But with Dave Gorman you really hope so. You really want to believe. Because Dave Gorman is a truth-teller, a story teller (and occasionally but surprisingly not that ofte, a joke teller.) You want to believe him because you like him.

And I do believe. Dave Gorman makes you believe.

A wonderful little film then, and one that will make you feel better about yourself, the world, and shockingly, about America.

Buy the DVD here.

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