Johnny America


Film: Amer­i­can Bar


Amer­i­can Bar is an hour-long doc­u­men­tary filmed in a work­ing man’s pub in Port­land, Ore­gon. It’s a straight-to-DVD film sub­mit­ted for re­view on or about last year. The film sim­ply shows in­ter­views of bar pa­trons, with a be­nign ed­i­to­r­i­al view. It is di­rect, af­fa­ble, light in bud­get and lack­ing any tech­ni­cal mer­it. Most of the time the tech­ni­cal weak­ness are for­giv­able if not ex­cus­able, but at times the black-and white pic­ture col­laps­es in­to ten or twen­ty shades of gray, and this lit­tle la­dy had to drink an­oth­er Jame­son to blur the pic­ture back to clar­i­ty. The sub­ject mat­ter is ram­bling lo­cals. The cam­era catch­es the odd glimpse of ig­no­rance here and there, but most­ly it just shows how blue col­lar Amer­i­cans wind down: shoot­ing pool, get­ting tip­sy as the juke­box blares, oc­ca­sion­al­ly flash­ing tits to their friends. Like the bar pa­trons it cap­tures doc­u­ments, Amer­i­can Bar is com­plete­ly lik­able but un­spec­tac­u­lar, a $2 Coors Light draugt in a sty­ro­foam cup. Like the Coors, if you feel like a lark it’s not not worth the $5 the cre­ators ask.

Filed under Films on February 12th, 2007

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