Routine Pleasures Film Details
Overview: What do a club devoted to model trains and the legendary film critic and painter Manny Farber have in common? These two story lines intersect in an attempt to recreate the past.
Review: I don’t know much about Jean-Pierre Gorin besides that he collaborated with Jean-Luc Godard in the ’70s in the Dziga Vertov Group. I think I’ve seen a film or two from that era, but it’s been forever. This documentary is post-that, a while, apparently, after Gorin had moved to the United States (which I’m assuming broke Godard’s heart!). This is kind of reminiscent of the documentaries people like Errol Morris or Werner Herzog would make. The subject here is train/model train enthusiasts. I’ve heard it said that “buffs” are only interesting to others who may be interested in their particular interests. I don’t think that’s really true at all myself. I love watching people who are truly excited about things. Most of the time I am, anyways. These people, though? They are truly boring. They seem like perfectly nice people, but Gorin is unable to get them to seem even remotely interesting. The film seems to have come about from a dare by his friend Manny Farber, a famous film critic himself. A chunk of the film is devoted to Farber and his art – he had moved on to being a visual artist by this point in his life. Gorin makes himself the center of attention a lot of the time, too. All this seems like a ploy to mix things up and give the doc some life, but it doesn’t work. All in all, it’s too small and unassuming to be an awful film, but it’s pretty dull.
Country: UK, France, West Germany
Duration: 81 min
Also known as: Routine Pleasures