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Monday, June 28, 2010

Silver Docs '10: The Invention of Dr. Nakamats

Dir. Kaspar Astrup Schroder
* * 1/2
Schroder is a Danish Visual artist, and his visual talent shows itself early in the film through its inventive title sequence. I'm not saying that the title sequence is the highlight of this film, but it's probably the most successful sequence in the film.

Perhaps the first sign of what sort of film this will be is that Mark Mothersbaugh does the score. It is a very MM score, and underscores that this is a film about a quirky character. This is an entertaining film with a staple of documentary film storytelling (the approaching date): it visits Nakamats as he prepares for his 80th birthday. While the film is funny, well paced and edited, I couldn't get past the fact that this was a film that basically said: "Hey, look at this guy? Isn't he nuts?" It's true that Nakamats seems to be playing a part at times, and at others and in general takes himself too seriously and considers his work far too important. But since we only see this side of Nakamats, and the only time he's really not doing something business related he's forcing his family to re-present his birthday present because they didn't do it with enough respect the first time. It could be that Nakamats is crazy and an unlikable guy. But to have a truly interesting story you need a protagonist who is well rounded, and has some sympathy.

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