American Movie (1999)
Director: Chris Smith
With just one viewing of American Movie, Wisconsin will no longer be the land of cheese and Brett Favre for the viewer—it'll become the land of broken dreams. Perhaps that's a harsh judgement of the subjects in Chris Smith's documentary about a guy who just wants to make a movie. But really, things are pretty dire in Menomonee Falls, where Mark Borchardt is trying to turn his love of cinema into something that can turn a profit.
He has difficulty holding down a job, maintaining relationships, and moving out of his parents' house, but he is going to make this horror movie—even if it kills him. And really, the horror movie (entitled Coven) is only a means to secure funding for the serious, autobiographical film Borchardt wants to make. His path is beset by struggle. Sorry, Wisconsin. —RS