I can see how some people might be quite turned off by "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri". Before having seen it, I did hear rumblings about the movie having somewhat of a, what's-the-word, let's say, un-nuanced take on racism in America. Or maybe a delusional wrongheaded one. Or possibly it was so nuanced that it had no plausibility in modern America, which, for the most part, is when the movie takes place. However, I think that's as big an issue as anything else in the movie, the location, and setting; I'm not talking the modern-day outskirts of Missouri; in fact there is no such town named Ebbing, Missouri, the closest is Ebb, Missouri which is a long-dead ghost town hat barely survived ten years at the beginning of the century. That's both a shame and considering other news and stories that involve race in Missouri lately, probably a blessing.
The movie opens with the titular billboards, three of them on a rarely-used sidestreet outside Ebbing, that are calling out for Willoughby (Oscar-nominee Woody Harrelson) to do something about a unsolved case involving a rape and murder of a young girl. Angela (Kathryn Newton). It's clear that the billborads were bought by Mildred (Oscar-winner Frances McDormand) the mother of the deceased girl. It grabs the attention of the town, and of Willoughby, although it's not exactly sure what he can do. He tries to explain to her at one point that whoever did it is clearly isn't it the system anywhere, but he begrudgingly decides to investigate again anyway. Now, I don't want to give too much of the several directions that the story turns, but the key device of Mildred buying the billboards is what introduces us to several other characters, who come in and out, sometimes literally just in and then they're suddenly out, of the movie. The most notable one is the Deputy Jason Dixon (Oscar-winner Sam Rockwell) the local racist dimwit who's Willoughby's right-hand man, known for apparently having tortured African-American prisoners in the past, although while he is racist, he is quick to point out and prove that he will abuse his powers of authority to hurt white people too in sudden extreme bursts of violence, often with little-to-no consequences. Or adequate consequences at least. During one sequence he beats up a woman and throws a guy out of a multi-story building.
Everybody's got their own issues, however. Mildred's struggling to raise a teenage son, Robbie (Lucas Hedges), and dealing with an alcoholic ex-husband Charlie (John Hawkes) and his teenage girlfriend Penelope (Samara Weaving) Willoughby's dying of cancer and now the billboards are dividing the town as struggles through his job and his home life. If nothing else, the movie is well-acted and very well-cast, there's some good supporting work at the corners of the screen by people like Peter Dinklage, Abbie Cornish, Clarke Peters and Caleb Landry Jones to name a few.
I don't honestly know quite what to make of it; I can see an argument for it being a positive film that admittedly reveals deeper levels of all its characters as they overcome, albeit somewhat simply and probably not entirely, their most devastating shortcomings, and help them come together. On the other hand, it is too simple and ultimately it indicates that the answer to such emotional struggles like grieving is more escalated violence. As a story, I think it's fine maybe even good, but it's when you dig a little deeper does it get disappointing. "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" seems like it's about something; it certainly deals with a lot of issues, but they're all just tools used in the telling of a story that's really about nothing at all.
PHANTOM THREAD (2017) Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
So, as much as everybody else seems fascinated by the fashion and clothes of "Phantom Thread", I want to focus on the food. "Phantom Thread" is a romance that doesn't start with the world of high fashion that Reynolds Woodcock (Oscar-nominee Daniel Day-Lewis) lives in, but instead with, a breakfast order at a restaurant. It also ends with him, lying with his head in the lap of the waitress, Alma (Vicky Kreips) that he has now gone on to marry, something he previously said that he didn't think he was capable of doing, and now he's mentioning that, he's getting hungry. This, after having eaten an omelet that Alma made for him. (Eh, don't entirely think "Big Night" with a parallel though, different kind of omelet.)
So, couturier houses and couturiers still exist, but they're not as common in the fashion world, especially in America anymore, as they once were. but if I remember my Season 3 of "Project Runway", correctly, couture fashion is very high-quality, completely hand-sewn dresses that are made specifically for an individual client. The hand-sewing being the most prominent and distinctive aspect, when you think of a couture house, you literally think of a dozen or so people hand-sewing and fitting a single outfit at once, and really detail exuberant dresses at that, the kind, you probably shouldn't fall asleep in after having a party, and if you for some reason do, you shouldn't be surprised if the couturier will take it off you in your sleep, no matter how rich you are. In France, you have to be licensed in order to call yourself a couturier or a couture designer and they're not easy licenses to get. The movie does show this, it takes place in 1950s London and Woodcock is the biggest couturier in England. He is essentially an artist of his time, and he behaves that way, partly because he's expected to. Also, his sister Cyril (Oscar-nominee Lesley Manville) basically runs every aspect of his life, including what he eats and when and with whom. Now, at first, she's reluctant to bring on this little waitress Alma into the mold. She's enthralled although for a muse, she isn't necessarily excited about the world of fashion, she's most interested in being with Woodcock. However separating him from hiis sister also seems to mean separating him from his work, something he's reluctant to do, naturally. Other than being brother and sister, they have a deep connection and it's revealed early on that Woodcock they have a soft spot for their late mother, even going so far as to sewing parts of her hair into the lining of his clothers, to always keep her near him.
Still though, despite the fashion and the parties and whatnot, the scene that feels the most important, is also a dinner scene. See, Alma's symbolic relationship with Reynolds isn't through fashion, it's through serving and through food, that's what she was doing when they became enchanted with each other, in her mind, waiting on him and serving him food, two things that his sister usually does with him. They eat together in the morning and discuss the business, 'cause the sister represents his artistic love, fashion. However now, he's challenged by this muse girlfriend who's insisting on being more than just inspiration and this personal dinner she prepares and what comes out of it, is the basic symbol for their relationship. It isn't so much a battle for Reynolds, but a battle to be his muse and how this change from one love of his life to another effects him as an artist. That's how I read the film at least.
P.T. Anderson's by any standard one of the great filmmakers of our time, but I must admit I've been a little confused by some of his inspirations lately. There's basically two kinds of films he makes, the emotional character narratives, "Hard Eight", "Magnolia", and "Punch-Drunk Love", the films that are based more around the emotions of the characters, and then he's got his movies have focused on something particular. "Hard Eight" was the underground gaming world, "Boogie Nights" was the porn industry, "There Will Be Blood" was turn of the century oil tycoon, "The Master" was the beginning of Scientology, "Inherent Vice" was-um, Thomas Pynchon world, I guess. He's constantly shifting the time and location of his movies, it seems to fascinate him moreso than anything in his narratives lately. That's not to take away from the narratives and "Phantom Thread" is a good one, although some of these I just am wondering, why the fashion industry? Why Scientology? Why oil? I guess if there is one theme that overtakes all his films it's indulgence; that's usually his biggest criticism although I find it a strength most of the time, but sometimes it seems completely random. The director he's most compared is Robert Altman, who also switched settings all the time, but he also switched his narratives a lot. Usually, Altman had several narratives, Anderson has seemed to have decided not to continue with that trend since "Magnolia", even "Inherent Vice" is mainly about the detective's story and not everything around him, but there are some other more singular story films in Altman's repertoire too. He's also random in his settings, but the style of every Altman movie is basically the same. With Anderson, it seems like the look and slickness of the film is the only thing that seems to be a acontinuous thread. He DP'ed this movie, although he took his name off the credit so technically the movie doesn't have a cinematographer. Altman has a fashion movie, "Pret-a-Porter (aka Ready-to-Wear)" and that's a great film but it shows absolutely no similarity to "Phantom Thread".
I think what I'm getting at is that I'm just not sure how to interpret Anderson's inspirations and since this movie is about the complications of muses compared making an artist's goals and objective conflictive...- hmm..., well, I guess it's better not to speculate any further on P.T. Anderson than that. (Although I do find myself more interested in that possible subtext of the movie than the film itself.) Anyway, "Phantom Thread" is a great film; I'm not sure how to rank P.T. Anderson's film anymore but it's another great film of his, but I'm just curious as to what he might be saying underneath all the fashion and get to the man himself, who seems to be way more mysterious now than I ever remember him being before.
THE POST (2017) Director: Steven Spielberg
THE BOSS BABY (2017) Director: Tom McGrath
So, like, ever since word of "The Boss Baby" came out, I've basically heard everybody make fun of it, from concept. Apparently, this was the idea that was so ridiculous and ludicrous that we just had to absolutely shun and insult it, and make it our new punchline. To point and laugh at it every chance we could and make fun of those who liked it, like apparently the Academy Awards, one of many groups that found the time and desire to nominate it for Best Animated Feature that year. Um, okay, can I ask one question, wwww-whyyyyyyyy exactly is this the one that broke the internet?
No seriously, I- I don't get it. Of all the stupid ridiculous things we've gotten for movies, and especially animated movies geared towards children, why is this the one that everyone freaked out over? He's a boss baby? Have none of you ever been around a baby? The idea that a baby can be the boss of the house he takes over...- Is this that weird a concept, really? I thought it was a mob boss baby at first, just based on the trailer and screenshot first impressions I saw, but, hell that made sense to me too. I can totally see a baby acting like that and doing shit like that? This was that foreign and unrelatable an idea? Really? Does anybody remember this piece of insanity?
Just to recap to anybody who didn't clip on that, that is a scene from "The Secret Life of Pets", a movie where pets are talking to each other, and the two main dogs go into a sausage factory, eat a bunch of sausages and then,- I think, they hallucinate a utopian world of talking singing, dancing, sausages who are all excited to be eaten by the two main dogs and they're singing "We Go Together" from "Grease", while everybody's moving in a Busby Berkeley-esque musical style, and spoilers, that whole sequence is never explained or eluded to in the movie again, and has no bearing on anything.
So there's this old psychoanalytical parlor game, I'm going with this Carl Jung version, 'cause it's the easiest to look up, although I am thinking of one that's slightly different I can't completely remember right now..., but basically, it's a personality test. You don't have to take it as I'm explaining but bear with me, I've got a point to make: First name a color, first one that comes to your mind:
In "California Typewriter" Tom Hanks, is one of the most notable talking heads who talks about his love of typewriters. Especially how he appreciates type-written thank you notes that he gets, much more than e-mails that he admits, he usually tosses away. Whether I e-mail or DM or use Microsoft Word and print it out, or, is for some reason I ever feel desired to again, and to find a working typewriter to write out a message, I need to get better with my Thank You Notes; I never do remember to do send those out in a timely manner, if I remember to at all. (Oh, you think that's just a Jimmy Fallon sketch? Oh, hell no, he's not kidding, and you better write thank you notes in this industry, trust me!)
So yeah, at this moment, a movie about the romanticism of the typewriter, is actually, something I can greatly appreciate. I'm not sure I can entirely buy the belief that the typewriter will be coming back soon, but I ccertainly appreciate it for some, and I'm glad there's still some people out there
Eh, that's a minor concern though. This is as breezy and light a documentary you can find. Hmm, I think I'm gonna retake some speed tests in a bit; I should be a lot faster. I wonder if my keyboard is too sticky....
OKLAHOMA CITY (2017) Director: Barak Goodman
Oh Christ, I forgot about the daycare. I mean I didn't-, I didn't forget-forget, that there was a daycare on the Second floor of the Murrah Building; I just had managed to block that part out of my mind. I knew, the statistics, 168 total deaths, the bombing was at 9:03am Central Time, which means it happened at seven in the morning when I was watching it unfold on TV before heading off to- I want to say either 4th or 5th grade, the one day they really made sure everybody actually stayed silent during the moment of silence after the Pledge. (Sigh)
Yes, it's another entry into this incessant painful exercise the film and television world has thrust upon me personally in order to relive the parts of the '90s I've spent the majority of my adult life trying to froget, and it seems that they've finally gotten around to the unfortunately, most relevant one to today. The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building is still the biggest and most successful act of domestic terrorism in modern American history; and it was done by this far right-wing former member of the Michigan Militia named Timothy McVeigh. He called it a counter-attack on the U.S. Government, who the Far-Right racists believe were after them. (Sigh) Look, I'm not gonna continue talking about the path of Timothy McVeigh and not feel like I'm writing a parallel to something that sounds like it'll happen shortly in the future, although maybe not consider the Far Right's latest showing of strength disguised as a rally ended so poorly for them, but-eh, yeah,- I can't think of too many reasons other than historical notation to constantly go over O.J. Simpson or Tonya Harding, or what's the latest one, the Gianni Versace assassination, but-eh, yeah, if there are some events to cover from that era, that we probably should be revisiting and trying to learn from, than yeah, it's probably "Oklahoma City".
The movie does this, it doesn't simply explore "Oklahoma City" in the vacuum that most of us who were too distraught and angry to try to seek and figure out. The two big incidents they go over in regards to the '90s right of the terrorists right were Ruby Ridge, which is an infamous shootout outside Naples, Idaho which was an infamous shootout between the FBI and far right murder suspect and state's witness Randy Weaver, after the death of a U.S. Marshall that ended in Weaver and his family getting killed, and then, there's Waco. I'm not too familiar with Ruby Ridge; it's important in certain circles, but Waco is a big one. Timothy McVeigh was apparently there too, 'cause that standoff actually lead to a lot of far-right people coming down to Texas to witness the standoff thinking this was apart of their fictitious war on the government,- (Fictitious in the sense that they thought they were being attacked, because-, well, they're gun-loving Bible-thumping racists, so we probably should be going after them; I'll give them that.) but he was passing out flyers there apparently. David Koresh and the Branch Davidians were a lot of things, but racists and far-right wingers, that's actually a little debatable. As far as I can tell he should be talked about in the same way we talk about Jim Jones, only crazier. Koresh loaded up on weapons and everything else that would cause mass suicide if the FBI ever came to attack, which he claimed they would do, and released those he didn't want with them and kept the others. Also, he was probably a pedophile and a polygamist probably, and a bunch of other shit and the FBI was trying desperately to treat him and his cult like they were reasonable people and hostages, and that was their biggest mistake, but one that anybody would've made honestly. They tried to tear gas them and he throw rocket fuel all over the compound to burn everyone alive with.
There's some idiots who still think Waco was some greater conspiracy, and they probably think other things too that are just conspiracy bullshit in for them to believe that progress is just an attack on them and their way of life. In reality, they're attacking our way of life, and those incidents and several other factors led to a homegrown, good old U.S. Terrorist who looks like he could've found in a jail in Mayberry, U.S.A. after a drunken brawl. (Sigh) They all look like that though. .
Documentary's like "Oklahoma City" are the ones we need right now. They may be out in the open more than ever, but they've been around and causing havoc and hell on us for a long time, and I seriously doubt they're stopping anytime soon.
THE ORNITHOLOGIST (2017) Director: Joao Pedro Rodriguez
Somewhere near the end of "The Ornithologist" it somehow finally dawned that this movie is basically a retelling of "The Odyssey". Apparently there's more going on than that as I seek out reviews of the films, there's some notes about some parallels between the main character Fernando (Paul Handy) and St. Anthony of Padua. the Portugeuse saint who's a followers of St. Francis of Assisi and is the Patron Saint of Lost Causes. Um...- Whoosh! (Moves hand quickly over head) Yeah, that all went right past me, I basically see a retelling of "The Odyssey". I mean, I don't think I'm that far off here, it's a guy struggling to get where he's going, he gets kidnapped by some women, he escapes, there's weather problems all the time he runs into, there's animals in the way,- okay, that's more Gilgamesh or "Gulliver's Travels", but he's searching for a rare bird, that could be a metaphor for women. Ornithologist kinda sounds like Odysseus? I think there was music coming from something that could be a siren.
Alright, maybe I'm stretching it a little bit. Honestly, this is one of those movies I was just bored by. I think it is clever in what they're doing, even moreso as I refresh my knowledge on saints and reflect on how I never got far enough to learn the saints in Catechism. (Wait, do they even teach that at Catechism? I don't know I only got to my Holy Communion.) but-eh, this is one of those independent allegorical movies that...- well, frankly, I don't think it leads to much. It's one of those personal films apparently, those directorial autobiographical pictures that's more symbolism than movie. I think I'm one of the few people who can't stand Tarkovsky's "The Mirror" for this reason; I think that film is just meandering through nostalgia for, what I'm shockingly told was only 90 minutes when I thought it was three hours. "The Ornithogist"' isn't that bad, although I think it's kinda worst at how much more it puts into it. It's director Joao Pedro Rodriguez was an ornithologist before he went into film, and Fernando is looking for some rare, endangered birds to study in this Portoguese forest, and that's when and where a bunch of strange shit happens to him. There's also clearly a spiritual presence and connection, especially if he's making St. Anthony reference, who is the most famous Portuguese saint out there, and yes, that's a big part of Rodriguez's background as well, and his story is important enough to basically represent both himself, St. Anthony and Jesus, I guess, and I thought it was Odysseus, so he's just the greatest guy that we're supposed to relate to. (Shrugs)
I don't know, maybe if I saw his previous films, I'd have a better understanding of this one; there is something admirably Jodorowsky about it, but I mostly just found myself, waiting around for the next strange thing to happen and that's not where you want to be with these kind of movies. You want to care about the next strange surreal-ass that happens, and frankly I just didn't. Sorry.
BRIDGET JONES'S BABY (2016) Director: Sharon Maguire
Uh, you know what, since I'm doing this already, let's make it a double-review.
BRIDGET JONES: THE EDGE OF REASON (2004) Director: Beebee Kidron
I don't review enough older movies anymore anyway. So, can- can somebody explain the appeal of the Bridget Jones movies?
Look, when I first heard that was a new Bridget Jones movie out, I think I made the same joke on Twitter that nearly everybody else did, some version of-eh, "Alright, that's my fault; when I said that I wished Renee Zellweger looked more like she used to, I should've been more specific," but honestly, I've always been somewhat perplexed by this franchise. And, as I realized that the latest one got enough decent reviews that I would have to watch it at some point; I decided to go all in and watch the first sequel, "The Edge of Reason" which I had skipped over when it came out and was fairly certain was gonna be the last time I would ever come across this character. After I saw the first movie after Renee Zellweger got that surprise Oscar nomination for it, it was a clear sign to me that the Academy was looking for excuses to give Zellweger an Oscar. I guess I prefer she'd have won it for that instead of "Cold Mountain" of all forgettable movies, but "Bridget Jones's Diary" was just strange. It wasn't a bad movie, I laughed quite a bit, but it wasn't a fun laugh. There were a lot of cringe-inducing moments, and it wasn't like "The Office" is about those cringes between the line, it was cringy-, like this character just couldn't shut the fuck up long enough to let something be or to see how truly Elizabeth Bennett she was being.
Yes, I know it was based on "Pride & Prejudice", I mean, for fuck's sake, they named the Colin Firth character, Darcy! Even I can pick that up. And "The Edge of Reason" was based on "Persuasion", apparently, and that officially continues my streak of hating all Jane Austen adaptations, except for "Pride & Prejudice", which is the only book of hers I actually like. (Seriously, even if I'm not aware of it, if it's based on anything else Jane Austen, I seem to just hate it. Yes, this includes "Clueless"; that film sucks. [TV show wasn't half-bad oddly enough though])
"The Edge of Reason" is more directly a sequel so it really brings back these confusing angry troubled thoughts I had with the first one. Like, "Is she too fat for these jokes about her butt, or not fat enough?" Seriously, was this character supposed to be heavier, or did we really fat shame that badly that even someone so pleasantly plump can be constantly assaulted about her looks while being sexually assualted and groped, fondled and fought over by men all the time? There was a bit of it in the first movie about how kind of quirky and odd she was, and it kinda made up for it, sorta. It always felt like a bad pseudo "Sex and the City"-wannabe, complete with a group of close friends she has, that for some reason, we never see or know much about, but seem like they should be apart of her life more, but instead it's just, Bridget Jones, and does she want the charming philandering ladies' man, Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant) or the stuffy stuff-shirt ugly Christmas sweater wearing Mr. Darcy. Only now, there's a weird thing where she ends up in a Thai jail for drug smuggling at one point?
It's-, eh, I-, I just don't get it. Just be with him or not or whatever.
I gave the first movie a pass, the second I really can't see the purpose of it's existence, and now with the third one...; (Sigh) I think it's time I do some investigating, 'cause I kinda like this movie. Better than I liked the first one actually-, in fact I think I could kinda go into this, blind to the other two and kinda be okay with it? This, confused me a bit; it's not a perfect movie, but...-
Well, I always kinda gave blame to Richard Curtis for the first two films, which never made sense to me to begin with 'cause Richard Curtis is really a good writer, I couldn't figure out how he kinda botched these films. Now, I'm told that it's not Curtis writing the script for this one, it's Dan Mazur, one of the writers behind "Borat" and Emma Thompson, who plays a gynecologist in "Bridget Jones's Baby" and Helen Fielding, who wrote the original book. This might be why I've always been a little confused by the series; it didn't fit with Curtis's other work, 'cause it isn't his work. So, apparently Bridget Jones's is Fielding's character which originated as a column piece in a paper, and it's credited with creating this character and essentially this weird late '90s sex column girl franchises. I-, okay. It makes sense, especially with all those extra tertiary characters that seem like they would've been more drawn out in a longer series. I don't know how accurate they were aiming for or not, but, the character was always created as an exaggeration in the column the same way that Carrie Bradshaw was, and the same way, basically all those column girls were. I mean, I loved them, I used to read Sonya from the Las Vegas Weekly among others before that trend ended; I think film has proven to not be a good genre for that kind of writing though. Between this franchise and the "Sex and the City" movies and it's worst imitators, this is a genre that needs to be either on TV or perhaps just stay in column form, or in Bridget Jones's case, a column that read like diary entries. (Well, this explains why the diary has so little to do with the franchise in general.)
Anyway, so once again, Bridget is stuck between two men, Darcy and Jack (Patrick Dempsey). Darcy she apparently broke up with, even after he saved her from Thailand and now he's re-married to Camila (Agni Scott) which...- (Sigh) seriously, you give the boring, humdrum stick in the mud Colin Firth-type a second wife, and you named her Camila! She's not in the movie much, they're soon to get divorced too, but seriously, Camila? Anyway, Cleaver is not here, 'cause his plane went down and the movie starts at his funeral, which is hilarious. I wish they had some funnier way for him to die, but anyway, no Hugh Grant for this movie unfortunately, but that doesn't stop much. So Bridget's alone again and Shazzer (Sally Phillips) her friend and co-worker takes her to, eh, some music festival that seems to be whatever Britain's version of Burning Man is, and she sleeps with Jack. Who she finds out is a millionaire computer love algorithm matchmaker-type, and then at her friend Jude's (Shirley Henderson, who needs way more to do in these films, as does most people in them) child's Christening party, thing I guess, she ends up staying the night with Darcy who's also there.
And now she's pregnant, and really pregnant, unlike the last movie where she only thought she was after some period math counting while nearly killing herself on skis. So, we got a-eh, Mamma Mia, or a Maury Povich here. Two possible dads, and one 43-year-old geriatric mother, who's clearly not as chubby or chunky as her past character was, and she doesn't know which is the father.
I don't know exactly why I prefer this film to the rest, maybe Richard Curtis was in over his head with this material, although this is the first of the films that's not directly based on a novelization of the character, so this could just be a good, entertaining story about a troubled woman that I like. Although Fielding was a writer for the other movies as well too, so maybe that's not just it. For some reason, I find it more believable and realistic, even in the comedy parts. I mean, it does flip between cringe and funny at times, as some of the reporting scenes are just-, I mean how is she not fired earlier, honestly? I guess I just like how this situation is treated. It's believable but not over-the-top ridiculous. There's some mean things said between characters and some things not said as well, but it doesn't seem completely out of line or off the rails in this case. Alright, the one line about the condoms that makes Darcy mad is kinda out there, but I understood the intention.
I still find this franchise's appeal troubling; I really do think this is the wrong medium and it's time period is way past working today as a TV series or anything, but I found this one better than the other films. It wasn't something so petty and childish like which guy to be with; this one had actual stakes and a real life-changing situation that frankly can't, or at least shouldn't be rewritten and revised in a next chapter, not that I'm hoping, encouraging or asking for another chapter. Maybe I'm not the audience, although I'm certainly a fan of work inspired by Bridget Jones, but this incarnation of this original character has always perplexed me. Still, a mixed review is mixed, it's half-good and half-bad, and this one had more half-good than the others.
DON'T BLINK-ROBERT FRANK (2016) Director: Laura Israel
I must confess that Robet Frank is an artist I'm not terribly familiar with going into "Don't Blink-Robert Frank". I'm honestly not terribly sure how much I'm familiar with him now actually. It might be that I've just been watching way too many artist bio-documentaries lately, but I don't know, this wasn't as interesting as I had hoped it would be. Frank has lived an interesting life. He's originally from Switzerland and he has a retreat in Nova Scotia, but he's one of those quintessential New York figures they make documentaries about these days. Like Bill Cunningham or Fran Lebowitz or Will Shortz even. New York isn't necessarily full of these people it's just that it's such the epicenter of the world that they seem to flock to that area and so do many documentarians who may one day make a movie about them. Robert Frank himself is actually a documentary filmmaker, probably most known for "Cocksucker Blues" the post-Altamont cinema verite Rolling Stones documentary. I haven't seen that or any of his films, but he's more famous just as a photographer in general.
His "The Americans" series is considered a seminal work in modern photography. His general worldview and approach is actually kinda interesting. He basically always has a camera on him and is always looking to shoot something; honestly that's something I should do as well. His homes are also surrounded by art as his current wife June Leaf is a modern kinetic sculpture with a following and popularity of our own, and actually I found her more interesting than him. He's around photographing her sculptures a lot, but she actually has some intriguing insight of being an artist but also a wife of a famous artist, and just living a modern artist life. I found her far more interesting honestly. I wish this movie was about her.