Kino Bosna VII: American Movie: The Making of Northwestern (1999)

Posted on August 3, 2012


This is the story of the American Dream, as lived through the eys of those who don’t have the money to make it a reality. Mark Borchardt is an idealistic, enthusiastic, determined and resolute independent film maker, looking to complete his first feature film, ‘Northwestern’. He is also ultimately completed doomed. Financial difficulties lead to the pausing of ‘Northwestern’ and the finishing of his short horror film that is 3 years in the making, called ‘Coven’, in order to finance ‘Northwestern’. It is hilarious in the saddest possible way, with Marks Uncle Bill providing some of the clearest insight of the whole movie and failures of the American Dream in reality, with his human Eeyore impression. The film ends with the premiere of ‘Coven’, and the confirmation that Mark had the financing for ‘Northwestern’, although not from his intended source. On the surface this is a basic ‘Making of…’ documentary, but in reality it is the story of broken relationships, failed dreams and the desperate desire for something more.

WHAT I THOUGHT WAS BUFF: This is just full of really unfortunately hilarious one liners. Classics such as ‘there are people walking around, I wish I could give them destinies’ and ‘there’s more to life than sucking down peppermint schnapps and calling Morocco at 2 in the morning’ are tragic in their hilarity. The films funniest character is Uncle Bill, who simply steals the show. ‘I’ll visit your grave every day. Well, not every day. I’ll visit your grave sometimes. If I can find it’. Beautiful. Mark’s friends and co-workers are also consistently funny, in particular the frazzled Mike Schank with his scratch card addiction.

WHAT I THOUGHT WAS GUFF: There really isn’t too much to dislike about this film. All of the characters are super sad, but in the end does that really matter? Mark himself is at times highly irritating, but you do feel that is due to his internal frustration with himself. The only true negative I can say about this is that ‘Coven’ looks freaking awful. And mullets are hilarious.

I give this a blooming marvellous seven point six out of a potential ten.

Posted in: Cinema