Hot Docs 2014: Giuseppe Makes a Movie (Adam Rifkin)

2014_hotdocs_stock_imageHaving its World Premiere at 7pm this evening at the Scotiabank Theatre, this behind-the-scenes film focuses it’s objective eye on the filmmaking process of Giuseppe Andrews.

One time, he was a young bit part actor, with roles in films like Independence Day and Detroit Rock City, as well as recurring roles on television series. But now, he’s turned his attention to directing.

From his trailer/shed/trailer set-up that he shares with his producer, and wrangler, Ed,  Giuseppe makes ultra-low budget films that embrace the odd, revel in the eccentric, and are usually cast with fellow trailer park occupants, vagrants, and homeless people.

His latest effort, Garbanzo Gas, while touting its anit-meat message, is surrounded in weirdness, as Giuseppe rushes to shoot the film inside his two-day schedule.

The documentary records the trials and tribulations of Giuseppe, a one-man movie studio, and his cast. With a barely coherent script, paying his actors $50 and supplying them with booze, he shoots everything himself, and loves what he gets from his players, people like the geriatric, but fiery Tyree, Vietnam Ron, Dongo, Tiffany and Miles.

In the day and age, that anyone can now shoot a movie… apparently everyone is.


Reveling in his seemingly nomadic, and rather troubling existence, seemingly always on the verge of destitution, Giuseppe lets his creative juices flow, lacing his dialogue with profanity, and strange characters.

While, his films may not necessarily be something I would watch, the passion with which he approaches it, is at least, in some ways, relatable to me.

He has a vision, and he follows it, filling it as best as he is able with his stock players, and limited budgets, creating strange tales that seemingly have found an audience outside of his little trailer park (he’s since relocated to Texas).

This one is an odd little gem, and shows movie-making on the cheap, and while interesting, I’m still not sure I would find myself watching any of Giuseppe’s films, but the fact that he is out there, following his vision and his creativity, that’s story enough for me.

For burgeoning filmmakers this would be one to watch to learn what and what not to do, there are some things that he seems to be really good at, but other things that I would have approached completely differently… but still you have to love his sense of casting, and his total lack of attention to continuity.

This one screens again on the 28th at 11:15 at Bloor Hot Docs, and the 4th at 6:00 at the Lightbox.

Let me know what you think of it!




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