Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Walter (2013)

Walter follows filmmaker Hunter Weeks and his fiance Sarah Hall as they investigate the longevity of several people around the world. The quest was sparked by Weeks knowing Walter Bruenig, who at age 114 was the second oldest person and the oldest man alive at the time the film was made .

Weeks has made a film that is a thought provoking look at growing old and staying connected. The joy of Weeks film is that it shows that it is possible to have a long, I mean really long, life and still be connected to the world. Walter is 114 but he is till chugging along even driving a motorized wheel chair around the nursing home.  Weeks also shows us other people around the world who have reached advanced years and are still finding the strength to get up each morning and be more than merely alive

While the interview segments and talking head segments are really good and bound to put a smile on your face and perhaps a tear in your eye, how you react to the film is ultimately going to depend upon how you react the Weeks and Hall as people. I say this because the while the film is full of charming people Weeks and Hall never really charmed me.  To be honest they got on my nerves.

The framework of the film is the couple relationship (it begins pre-Valentines Day as Weeks is preparing a special meal for Hall before he goes off to film Walter.  Weeks  is talking to the camera and he comes off  sounding  the wrong Oh gee whiz wow which makes him seem a little condescending. I suspect this is the result of being on for the camera, but at the same time it makes him not someone I'd want to spend time with. Hall also doesn't seem fully comfortable in front of the camera and while she's sweet I never connected since she seems to be playing to the camera instead of being herself.

My reservations concerning the filmmakers on screen personas aside,  this is a good look at growing very old

 WALTER will have will be playing at at the IFC Center starting October 4th . There will be a Q&A with the filmmakers.

It will be in L.A. starting October 11th at the Laemmle Music Hall in Beverly Hills. and will also include a Q&A with the filmmakers.

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