Formerly "A Movie A Day" :/

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Salesman - 1968 - Dir. Maysles

First of all, let me say that it's totally crazy that they bring up Taunton in this movie. I was totally blindsided by my place of birth in this movie. The documentary follows four different Bible salesmen as they peddle their wares in snowy Boston and sunny Florida. The film ends up focusing on one salesman in particular: Badger as he struggles to get his foot in the door. He's definitely one of the more lively of the four and they Maysles seemed to luck out because he has a kind of break-down as the film progresses. The tone isn't nearly as depressing as it might sound. Sometimes it can be uncomfortable to watch, Badger's jocular behavior can be alternately comedic and tragic in the same sequence. For the most part, the Maysles don't go out of their way to impress any kind of emotion on you so I feel like I could definitely watch this more than once and get something new out of it each time. It's not as outrageous as their better known Grey Gardens, but it definitely has a similar charm. People rambling on endlessly. Badger's Irish brogue. And a great deal of the film is watching these men try and close sales, which can be endlessly entertaining. The faces of some of their "customers" are priceless. The amount of stress one woman seems to exude is incredible. Almost always the Salemen push on, even though it can be a brick wall.
Come give Poppa a hug!!!