I can’t recommend Cinema Vérité enough.
I watched it as soon as I finished the Sopranos, because I was experiencing some major Gandolfini withdrawal.
And it turned out to be a great movie about many interesting topics. Obviously, it’s about the myth of the American family. It’s also about the camera and what it does to people. About the Screen and how it makes everything clearer. But mainly, I think the movie is about Reality, how hard it is to capture and how hard it is to face.
It’s also a beautiful film. Something about the way it is shot makes it seem like a simple low drama 70s nostalgia movie. Which is not a bad thing by any means.
But I think the best thing about the movie is the title. Cinéma Vérité. It seems like some kind of oxymoron to use the pretentious bourgeois frenchy movement to describe the birth of trash TV.
I find it so great that in this movie, Auteur and Indie Art is on the same foot as Keeping up with the Kardashians. The movie seems to be saying ” you may have read Margret Mead. And that’s great. But you have to admit that your voyeuristic, hungry motives are exactly the same as the ones that lead millions of people around the world to watch What Would Ryan Lochte Do? or The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
Something about this equivalence is comforting and humbling. Like no matter how seriously some film buffs take themselves, they will always have something in common with the commoners they look down upon. It’s also saying that there is value in anything recorded by film.