Monday, February 16, 2015

A CONVENIENT TRUTH: Dominick Bagnato's new mockumentary tackles energy and immigration

Obviously stepping off from that popular and Oscar-winning doc of nine years ago, An Inconvenient Truth (note not only its title but its poster art), this new, very hit-and-miss but sometimes surprising and funny mockumentary by first-time/full-length filmmaker Dominick Bagnato will soon have you questioning exactly what and who his film is actually satirizing. My guess is practically everyone and everything about our currently clueless and far-too-entitled nation. As the movie begins, we are introduced to a California congressman, Coleman Burleson, who has recently recanted his earlier campaign against the idea of global warming only to come up with a brand new "proposal" on this subject -- slowly unfurled -- that he insists will solve a number of current problems.

I am not going to tell you what this proposal is (not to worry, it's neither modest nor Swiftian) -- most of my peers will no doubt spoil it for you, anyway -- because much of the fun arrives precisely at the moment (and via the music) with which Mr. Bagnato, shown at left, unveils his idea. Unfortunately, this very idea has already been presented to us alert viewers who have seen the fine British TV series Black Mirror. There, it was handled in a dark and serious way. Here, it's mostly a hoot.

Because Congressman Burleson (Alan Berman, above and below, right) is from California, a state that has a certain amount of illegal aliens arriving consistently from Mexico, his idea not only impacts the environ-ment but also everything from immigration to energy, racism and obesity.

How all this is explained proves a little too catch-as-catch can. Some of the sections are funny and work well  -- the Congressman and his gosh-I-didn't-know-he-was-illegal gardener (Guy Wellman, above, left) and our politician's wife (Elise Rovinsky, below), ever helpful, hopeful and getting tipsier with each new glass and scene -- others fall a bit flat due to over-reaching and not enough clever ammunition.

But as the film lasts only 82 minutes, it passes relatively quickly and every time you grow a little tired of it -- boom -- you find yourself laughing again, whether it's from the scenes with America's new Minute Men (below)

or the just-folk interviews with various people, most of whom offer a happy, utterly naive attitude to just about everything in their world.
How American!

Though he occasionally nudges a bit hard, Bagnato's humor is more often of the quiet and subtle type, never more so than in the funny, clever moment on which he concludes his little film.

A Convenient Truth, from Living Daylights Pictures, opens this Friday, February 20, in New York City at the Quad Cinema.. Elsewhere? Don't know, but surely the film will be available on DVD and streaming soon.

NOTE: the following personal appearances for Q&A's at the Quad: 
 Fri., Feb. 20th - 7:30pm (Premiere screening w/cast and crew members) 
 Sat., Feb. 21st - 7:30pm (Lead actors - Alan Berman & Kevin Hauver) 
 Sun., Feb. 22nd - 3:30pm (Editor - Charlie Pinto) 
 Mon., Feb. 23rd - 7:30pm (Writer/Director Dominick Bagnato) 
 Tues., Feb. 24th - 7:30pm (Actors Joshua Ryan & Nick Magliocco) 
 Wed., Feb. 24th - 7:30pm (Writer/Director Dominick Bagnato) 
 Thurs., Feb. 25th - 7:30pm (Producers  Charlie Pinto & Patrick Steward)

No comments: