Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Autobiography of Michelle Maren (2015) DOC NYC 2015
Maren is a former beauty queen, go-go dancer, professional escort, and porn star living on disability checks and struggling with clinical depression and various personality disorders. She is an intriguing person who has had one hell of a life. This is a literally in your face or rather in her face portrait of Maren who we watch as she has her ups downs, talks to her friends and family and tries to figure out her life before our eyes.
How one takes this film will depend upon how you feel about being on top of Maren for 85 minutes. As I said above this is a literal in her face portrait as the the camera never leaves her face for much more than an instant. We are constantly looking at her and she is constantly talking to us. It can be overwhelming and I found myself starting to drift off as a defense mechanism. This was a little bit like being smothered by a close friend who gives you all the details of their life in one go.
It's not bad, actually it makes for unique viewing, but at the same time I wish I had been in a situation where I could have paused the film for a few minutes here and there. This really is a film where its subject challenges you head on and forces you to react.
Recommended for those wanting to truly engage with a film and its subject. One of the most challenging and unique films at DOC NYC.
The film plays Friday the 13th and Sunday the 15th at DOC NYC. For more information and tickets go here.