Saturday, June 11, 2005

American Splendor Revisited


I caught this on cable today and was greatly enamored with it the second time around. I enjoyed it alot the first time, but I guess I was just caught up with the story and overly intrigued with the life history of comic book seminal Harvey Pekar and his fellow luminaries. On the second viewing it's hard to ignore the beautiful camera work and lighting, with great shots and settings that linger enough for the eye to take in. Far too common in modern films the camera cuts are by the second, denying any allowance to appreciate the scene. American Splendor is full of picture perfect composition wrapped around Paul Giamatti's engrossing portrayal of Pekar, albeit the portrayal exaggerated for film. The film between the film which features Pekar himself and his real-life counterparts is an interesting deconstruction of the documentary/biopic formula. Outside of the interest it would hold for those who enjoy or work in comics, it's a great movie that finds drama in the banal, just like the comics it celebrates.

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