Route One/usa

I’ve only seen about half of Robert Kramer’s 253-minute epic, but I can certainly recommend it very highly on that basis. This is a fictional documentary in which a character named Doc (Paul McIsaac), who figured in two earlier Kramer films, travels with cinematographer-director Kramer from Fort Kent, Maine, to Key West, Florida, looking for a job and a home, as well as noticing what’s been happening to his country. Doc attends a Pat Robertson for president meeting in New Hampshire, visits Walden Pond, and is interviewed for a job in a Manhattan ghetto school. Kramer is an American independent with a background in radical documentaries whose political fiction films (including The Edge and Ice) made a decisive mark in the 60s, but since 1979 he’s made most of his films Europe, which has regrettably kept his work out of general circulation in the U.S. This multifaceted road movie represents both a return to his sources and a striking out in fresh directions (1989). (JR)

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