American Movie, all-time greatest documentary film

General discussion, shows, and everything else.

Postby Luke's Replacement » Sat Dec 02, 2017 7:50 pm

Tell me anyone else here is as obsessed with this movie as I am. I quote it constantly. I still have my OG VHS copy and I watch it probably twice a year (alone, because my wife thinks it's the dumbest thing ever).

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Postby quixotic » Sun Dec 03, 2017 12:47 am

I rented this movie through Netflix back in the day when people still did actual DVDs. I never watched it, moved, ended up having to pay for the whole DVD, and found it like 5 years later in a box and ended up just throwing it out with the box. I should have at least watched it I guess.
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Postby guttertech » Sun Dec 03, 2017 7:36 am

One of the most quotable movies ever. It kind of reminds me of The Disaster Artist (the book at least) where it's so ridiculous that you can't help but laugh, but you still want to see this guy succeed in his vision.
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Postby sworntotheriff » Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:15 am

ITS ALRIGHT ITS OK, THERES SOMETHING TO LIVE FOR JESUS TOLD ME SOOOOOOOOO

Top 10 for me.
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Postby pizzapower518 » Sun Dec 03, 2017 11:12 am



Never has the opening of a movie been such a perfect indicator of whats to come.

It's so absurdly endearing. I could talk about it all day. There were months where I would just play it in the background and listen to it while I watched sports or browsed the web.

Does it bum anyone else out that to this day he still never made Northwestern?
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Postby jesper » Sun Dec 03, 2017 12:28 pm

thats pathetic man! is that what you wanna do with your life? suck down peppermint schnapps and call morocco at 2 in the morning? thats senseless. but thats what happens man.
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Postby Stormy » Sun Dec 03, 2017 12:30 pm

One of my faves as well.

top 5

1. Sherman's March
2. Vernon Florida
3. Gates of Heaven
4. American Movie
5. Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse
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Postby rowdiedondown » Sun Dec 03, 2017 12:45 pm

Ha, this is great. Never heard of this before, would be cool to have a downass friend like the tie dye lotto guy.

Also, your wife does not know what’s up
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Postby jesper » Sun Dec 03, 2017 12:49 pm

i love this shit. i relate to it so much. i used to make short horror movies with my friends and we’d make neighbors and family members and shit star in them lol
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Postby Luke's Replacement » Sun Dec 03, 2017 7:23 pm

guttertech wrote:One of the most quotable movies ever. It kind of reminds me of The Disaster Artist (the book at least) where it's so ridiculous that you can't help but laugh, but you still want to see this guy succeed in his vision.


Just got back from seeing the Disaster Artist a few minutes ago, and there were parallels for sure. Mark and Tommy definitely exist in the same bizzarro universe, with the big differences being that Mark had actual film-making talent but at the same time a complete lack of work ethic and basically no money.
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Postby Luke's Replacement » Sun Dec 03, 2017 7:26 pm

pizzapower518 wrote:

Never has the opening of a movie been such a perfect indicator of whats to come.

It's so absurdly endearing. I could talk about it all day. There were months where I would just play it in the background and listen to it while I watched sports or browsed the web.

Does it bum anyone else out that to this day he still never made Northwestern?


Dude the opening scene always hits me so hard. I feel like this movie is tailor made for any creatively-minded person of a certain age who occasionally (or maybe constantly) gets that sinking feeling like they've wasted their life. It cuts deep. Probably why I keep going back to it.

Definitely bums me out about Northwestern. Looks like his daughter's in film school... maybe she'll carry the torch? Not like Mark's dead or incapable, just chronically unmotivated.
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Postby chrischill » Sun Dec 03, 2017 7:50 pm

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Postby pizzapower518 » Sun Dec 03, 2017 7:53 pm

I've always been curious about how much Mark made from starring in this. I know he was relatively famous for a couple years after it came out, but it's odd to me he wasn't able to parlay that into some level of success in the film industry.

I know he's done a bunch of smaller stuff, but You'd think he'd have a place on some big budget crew with his fame and experience immediately after AM. Maybe he didn't want to work under anyone else.
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Postby jaredfromsubway » Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:16 pm

Shame he never made Northwestern, I read that he sold a little over 5,000 copies of Coven.
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Postby pizzapower518 » Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:33 pm

I never heard he only sold 5,000 copies of Coven but that makes me even more curious about why he never made Northwestern. There were 3,000 copies to be sold for 45 grand and he almost doubled it.
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Postby jaredfromsubway » Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:35 pm

This was as of 2004, probably sold more by now
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Postby pizzapower518 » Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:39 pm

My theory is that he made so much from AM and his inheritance from Uncle Bill that he completely lost any ambition he had. Instead of using that money to fund projects, he probably just coasted.
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Postby Luke's Replacement » Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:41 pm

Another tidbit that always blows my mind is how this entire movie was shot on either 16mm or Super 16mm, which is the same format all Christopher Guest's best mockumentaries were shot on (hence why American Movie interviews look straight out of Waiting For Guffman) and was NOT cheap even back then.

That means they got all this solid gold footage, yet they were probably only shooting 2% of the time they were actually with Mark, Mike and the rest of the gang.
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Postby Luke's Replacement » Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:43 pm

pizzapower518 wrote:I never heard he only sold 5,000 copies of Coven but that makes me even more curious about why he never made Northwestern. There were 3,000 copies to be sold for 45 grand and he almost doubled it.


From what I've read he basically started drinking even more and out-Mark Borchardt'd himself.

Drink & Dream > Create & Complete
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Postby Luke's Replacement » Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:38 pm

Also if anyone's wondering what Mike Shank's been up to, he's married and listening to Exciter.

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Postby Worship » Sun Dec 17, 2017 1:49 am

Just finished this and loved it. Got multiple lols out of me
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Postby keep_it_real » Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:27 am

oh hellllll yes, this is definitely one of my all time faves.

mike schank's stories combined with mark's comically depressing life situations (i.e calling casablanca) make this one of the best movies of all time for me.
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Postby HUANSOAHN » Sun Dec 17, 2017 2:59 pm

so fucking good
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Postby xRuffianx » Sun Dec 17, 2017 3:08 pm

Bill, you couldn't ask for anything better. I think it was recorded too high.
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Postby MattAttack » Sun Dec 17, 2017 3:45 pm

AND EVERY BITCH ASS MOTHER FUCKING FACTORY WORKER IS GONNA GO DOWN LIKE THAT TOO! BITCH ASS MOTHER FUCKER!
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Postby Worship » Sun Dec 17, 2017 3:57 pm

The scores on the cupboard door had me crackin up
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Postby pizzapower518 » Sun Dec 17, 2017 5:05 pm

MattAttack wrote:AND EVERY BITCH ASS MOTHER FUCKING FACTORY WORKER IS GONNA GO DOWN LIKE THAT TOO! BITCH ASS MOTHER FUCKER!


I will never be like you... you fuckin' job workin' forty-hour mother fucker, you can go to fuckin' hell.
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