Wednesday, May 24, 2006

American Splendor

Although the film American Splendor has little to do with Philippines, apart from the fact that I watched it for the second time on cable whilst sitting in my lounge room in the Philippines, it is a very good film.

American Splendor is a bio pic which tells the story of the cult comic book writer Harvey Pekar. A file clerk who created a series of comic books about his very ordinary life in Cleveland, the trials and tribulations of man who sees himself as a victim. Unable to draw, he wrote the books and a variety of artists illustrated them. His graphic novel about his battle with cancer went on to become and award winning best seller.

What makes this movie stand out from the crowd of bio pics is how successfully the producers included the comic book style in the film. There are sequences told in comic book frames, in animation, live action with actors playing the characters along with appearances by the actual people being portrayed. The skillful blending of all of these facets makes for an interesting portrayal of the relationships that influenced the creator of American Splendor.

I have seen it twice now, once of the big screen and a couple of days ago via cable. There is enough meat in this film for at least another couple of viewings which pushes it up into my top ten. If you get the chance to see it, take it.

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