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Australia, 1995 (MIFF 1995, Documentaries)

Director: Robert Gibson

A man, a video camera, a life! Robert Gib­son's home movies are verite at its most voyeuristic and vertiginous. Since 1983 Gibson has carried a camcorder with him at all times. Repeat-at all times. So adept has he become with the palmcorder that, like a yet to be made Cronenberg flick, the camera has become an extension of himself, one that he has used to record the most intimate moments of his life. He is a one person cast and crew (check the credits above), filming everything that moves, including himself, at arms length.

Reviewing the material after many years, Gib­son noticed a tentative narrative emerging from amongst the hours of tape recording-the debris of a decade. Here was his emotional life laid bare, charted, dissected, revealed for him to assess and reconsider; and there it was, the oth­erwise irretrievable moment in a darkened bar when he first met Gianna, the only woman he ever wanted to marry.

Sure enough he chronicled their first night together, the falling in love, the proposal, and, gulp, the wedding preparations. When other girl­friends entered the scene, when he went over­seas to visit them, it's all on tape. When Gianna announced she was leaving him for another man, he filmed that too...and the other man...the moment she left,..and the aftermath,

Encouraged and supported by George Miller, Gibson has turned his video life into a deeply funny, self-mocking, irritating and disarmingly honest Rim. This romantic fool invites us into his world in a manner so candid it leaves Woody Allen, and Ross McElwee (Sherman's March), quiv­ering like wimps behind a camera lens. Yet in doing so Gibson challenges the line at which life, lived out before the camera, turns into a movie, and this editor is pulling all the strings.

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