Monday, March 10, 2014

Stream Jamie Meltzer's INFORMANT and meet Brandon Darby, America's perfect Republican!

Oh, you won't imagine that Brandon Darby, bless his sick and sleazy little soul, is anything close to a Republican when you begin watching the documentary INFORMANT, from writer/director Jamie Meltzer. No. Mr. Darby, at the beginning of the history we see here, was working for victims of Hurricane Katrina, leading the fight to give these people a fair shake at getting back on their feet and into their homes again. But just like Ronald Reagan -- hero-to-the-max of the Republican Party, who began as a liberal Democrat actor, before selling out some fellow performers to Joe McCarthy and his crew and eventually going full-scale over to America's wealthy right wing -- this sad and probably very sick young man began betraying everything and every one that the viewer would imagine that he stood for and cared for.

How this happens and especially why (as much as Meltzer and we viewers can fathom the latter) proves the meat of this consistently interesting and unsettling movie. However Mr. Meltzer may feel about what went down (the filmmaker is shown at left), he keeps this to himself and mostly lets Brandon do the talking and explaining. But like a hangman offering rope enough and more, Meltzer gives Darby all he needs to knock our socks off leave himself twisting in the wind at the end of that rope.

What we learn from Brandon (shown below and below) and his (mostly "ex") friends and co-workers is shocking in ways that only members of today's Republican Party and its imbecilic Tea division could embrace. And have they ever!

Sort-of spoiler ahead. What you see toward the finale of this film should make it clear why the "Grand Old Party" imagines that it is actually helping the down-trodden by refusing to raise the minimum wage, allow abortions, admit to and try to head off apocalyptic climate change and so much more. Its embrace of Mr. Darby acknowledges that it will reward anyone, no mater how low, if only that person will spout the party line. Hey, even the late Andrew Breitbart called the guy "an American hero!" To Breit-bart, "destruction" would seem to be the sole labor of American heroes.

How can you tell when a person is sincere? That question arises quickly in this documentary. One way has long been to start with their actions. Yet some of Brandon's were first-rate. Early on, at least. But as this tale progresses, the guy comes off like an opportunistic liar and user, always ending up where he could exercise the most power. His need to be in the public eye, garnering acclaim. seems to trump all else.

When our subject tells us that "Everything I had believed in for so many years started crashin'," one immediately asks, what did you ever believe in? And yet, after all of this, if we were to be asked if we can accept Brandon as a reliable witness, I think the answer would be yes. Because, no matter how much he talks and explains and defends himself, his own words double perfectly as his noose.

While we hear from a number of other people involved in this staggering story, there is never a mention of a girlfriend. Or a boyfriend. Was Mr. Darby never involved with anyone romantically?  To my mind, he comes across at times as a closeted gay, but there's no probing of sexuality here. Instead there is just Brandon -- justifying, or trying to, his life and work. And that is quite enough to make this a riveting watch.

As the closing credits roll, do stick around to read the updates on some of the people involved here. They're eye-opening, particularly the latest accusations from Brandon himself, which he is now directing at.... Oh, but you really need to see this for yourself.

Informant, from Music Box Films and running just 81 minutes, is available to view now via Netflix streaming, Amazon Instant Video and elsewhere -- as well as on DVD.

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