Tag Archives: paradise lost trilogy
Any Day Now (2012)
Directed by Travis Fine
Written by Travis Fine and George Arthur Bloom
What does ‘based on a true story’ mean?
The phrase gets used a lot to promote movies, and both your average joe and your above-average joe, when seeing said phrase, typically assumes it to mean that the basics of the story are true. Maybe there’s some artistic license here or there, some composite characters or whatever, but the movie bears enough resemblance to the actual facts that the phrase can be used in good faith.
This assumption is usually correct. Most movies ‘based on a true story’ are, in fact, that. But occasionally, they aren’t. Occasionally, the phrase is used as a deception. The filmmakers and/or producers know that the movie will have more pull if the phrase is there, so they stick it on a poster or promotional material, even though the film is entirely fictional.
Michael Moore, being repulsive. That was not intended as a dig at his physicality. He’d be repulsive even if he looked like Kat Dennings. Okay, maybe not then, but you get the point.
What is a documentary?
I know that may seem like kind of a ridiculous, pretentious question to ask, especially right off the bat of an essay or whatever, but I don’t mean it like that. I’m absolutely serious, and it’s an entirely valid question. What the fuck is one? I don’t think we really know. I mean, we know ‘em when we see ‘em I guess. Basically, they’re movies about real life. Nothing staged. Except interviews, of course. Interviews are, by their very nature, extremely staged and controlled and can very easily be manipulated by both the interviewer and the editor, but those get a pass, I guess. (As do dramatic reenactments, which can be very misleading, but are thought of as okay for some reason.) I think we can all agree though that documentaries definitely must not have a script that people are following. That’s for sure. Well—except of course in the case of a sort of monologue through-line or whatever. The documentarian gets a pass on having a script. Even if it’s way subjective. Man, this is getting contradictory. And confusing. And gross.