13.5.10

Film: Following Sean





I love documentaries. The main reason is that I am a voyeur and enjoy catching glimpses of other peoples lives. There is no better documentary then one that relays the story of a life that I have no chance of glimpsing first hand. Such is the case with all historical documentaries, as we cannot turn the hands of time.
I don’t know much about San Fransisco’s Haight Ashbury neighbourhood from the 1960’s. What I do know about the counterculture central, I learned from music of that era. I have always been  fascinated with people who live for a cause. I am much too selfish for that.
I found this film in the Child Psychology section of my local library and think it is miscategorized.
In 1969 Ralph Arlyck, a young Jewish filmmaker made a short about a barefooted four year old boy who testifies that he eats and smokes ‘grass’, that ‘speed freaks’ occasionally live in his apartment and that the police ‘should be hurt’ because ‘they might bust him’.
Mr. Arlyck says in the film:
I was living in the Haight, and there was this wonderful, precocious, audacious four-year-old living upstairs from me. I was a film student at the time, and I needed a project, so I decided to film him.
What ensues after the short and thirty years later is Following Sean.

The first words out of Dr. J’s mouth when we finished the film were: "I would love to see the original short." Well the original short, as well as deleted scenes and interviews, are on the DVD version pictured above. If we had to do it over again we might have watched the 14 minute original Sean before watching the full version Following Sean.

11 comments:

affectioknit said...

That sounds like a good film - I'll have to look for that one...

sherri said...

that's it. i'm getting netflix back. i've been without for a little less than a week, and a good documentary - to me, there is nothing better. this one looks great.

Pat Tillett said...

I'm going to check this out for sure. It sounds interesting to me because of the main subject and because I spent some time in the Haight during the "summer of love."
It was quite an experience for a 17year old who was supposed to be somewhere else...

one sydney road said...

Wow, just reading your post made me want to go grab this film right now...seriously sounds so interesting. especially the original Sean part!

Lazaro Cooks! said...

Wonderful post. Sounds like an interesting film. I share your love of documentaries.

Cheers!

Luna said...

I'll watch out for that one. I love documentaries about 'ordinary' peoples lives too, especially families! Thanks for the reviews!.

Bossy Betty said...

I also love documentaries! Thanks for the suggestion!

Dani said...

Wow. Very intrigued. I love these kind of movies. Although they often stay with me a little longer than I'd like.

Clair said...

I enjoyed watching the Up Series, directed by Michael Apted, which follows the lives of 14 British children since 1964 when they were 7. When you posted your review for -Following Sean- I immediately ordered it from our library. Will take your suggestion to see the original short first.
Thank you!

thenextarrow said...

i've spent some time in the haight ashbury area, so i'm definitely going to check this out. i have a deep love for beat poetry + joan didion essays, so this is right up my ally.

xo Alison

Mary said...

You've made this sound quite interesting. I love your recommendations. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

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