Thursday, December 06, 2007

Monster Road


I bought a DVD awhile ago called Monster Road, and finally got to watch it, and after watching it I thought to myself why didn't I see this sooner. No matter. Director Brett Ingram has made a film that is thought provoking, and entertaining as well. "Monster Road" is a documentary about the animator Bruce Bickford. If the name sounds familiar Bickford was responsible for the animation in most of Frank Zappa's films. In the film we are introduced to Bickford's father George who is suffering from Alzheimers. The first time we meet him he says 'Do I have an honest face?"

Throughout the film we are treated to how Bickford grew up. Bickford lives in Washington state near Seattle in a house his father built. George is a main character of the film also. In Ingrams web site he describes George like this:

Bruce Bickford’s father George, a retired Boeing aerospace engineer of the Cold War era, is the other main character of the film. In his own career, George also applied his keen intellect for purposes of miniaturization. But, instead of clay animation, George’s medium was the intercontinental ballistic missile. Now faced with the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease, George struggles to maintain his grip on the past while confronting existential questions about creation, death, the afterlife, and other mysteries of the universe. With the methods of an engineer and the curiosity of a five-year-old, the elder Bickford marvels at the "wonder of it all."

In the film we see Bickford continuing to do his work, and still creating to this day. We see his struggle as an artist, and we get glimpses of why Bickford does what he does. It's an amazing documentary, and a tribute to the creative human spirit. I really invested a lot into these people, and cared about them. The DVD is available at Ingram's web site, and it's worth having. If your a creative being you'll be enthralled at how Bickford and his father George interact with each other.

Ingram spent several years trying to put together the film, and took on many freelance gigs to help finance the film. He was helped by two other filmmakers. Ingram's co-producer Jim Haverkamp, and documentary filmmaker Neal Hutcheson . It is a really good film, and it won several awards at several film festivals including best documentary jury prize. So support a really independent producer & director and buy this film. I don't think you'll regret it.

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