Another observational doc, no interviews, though the subjects address the cameraman asking if they’ve seen any more mice around the house – all very Grey Gardens. Backstory comes in the form of archival TV coverage of the now-aging artists’ works – his outdoor rhino sculpture, her teaching art to kids. A few conversations between the lead couple, and twice she goes out and talks to others, but mostly it’s action, not talk. Our screening at the Blue Note was mainly memorable for the ending being interrupted by a medical emergency, and the very great Axon Orchestra as opening band.
Before actually watching them, I kept getting the two retirement community movies confused in my head, but Some Kind of Heaven only wishes it could reach the same level of emotion and drama as this one. The cutesy setup is an elderly man hired by a private investigator to check on a woman at a Chilean nursing home and see that she’s been well-treated, and this man’s attempts to become a spy and master his mobile technology. We get his lo-fi daily reports, but the doc film crew is there in the home, watching him and possibly undermining the secret mission. Sergio isn’t a perfect spy either, at one point taking a side mission to retrieve family photos for a resident, pulling them straight out of a folder with his employer’s name on it. This made me wonder if it’s all a ruse to get Sergio accustomed to stay at the nursing home, but no, he has a loving family and goes home at the end. Before he goes, he solves the case: there’s no mistreatment by the home, only by the family members who abandon their elders here then never visit. RIP the poet and the romantic. Opener Andreas Kapsalis was our second solo artist in a row, nice acoustic guitar for a morning screening. He’s a talented, thoughtful player, so I wish he was doing something cooler than covering Pink Floyd’s Money, which we’d already heard at the college bar the night before… unless it was meant as a T/F callback.
Slick and professional, as it should be with its impressive opening production credits, with tight editing. Sets up like it’ll be an exposé of this perfect-seeming Florida retirement community, but I think they needed official community support to film there, and the subversive takedown never comes. Instead, we follow a Boston widow looking for a companion who hangs out with a parrothead called the Margarita Man… a van-dwelling parasite who ends up settling for whatever woman will let him stay with her… and a guy who gets into drugs then legal trouble to the consternation of his wife. Movie is in 4:3 with popping colors, the music too high in the mix where we sat. We thought the whole thing too surface-level, and I found The Mole Agent to be a welcome corrective. Appropriately, slicky professional band Loose Loose opened – Katy appreciated their cornet.