This cinematic trip through the life of Pulitzer Prizewinning poet CK Williams life was put together by James Franco who had 12 writers and directors do pieces of the film.
The film is cinematic tone poem framed as a reading during which Williams remembers back to moments in his life the film is largely Williams poetry and beautiful imagery set to a kick ass soundtrack. Its a film more about feeling instead of narrative.
For the first fifteen minutes or so and for fits and starts after that this is a dynamite movie. Its like drifting along on the words of the poems and the feelings they conjure. the trouble is the fact that we are unconnected to any sort of real narrative or real through line works against it. Yes it's nominally the arc of Williams life,but at the same time it doesn't quite work since after a while a sameness kicks in.
That the film is a amped up student film isn't really surprising. There is a fearlessness to it that suggests the filmmakers were willing to experiment in ways that most veterans would never do, It isn't surprising since experimenting is something their teacher, James Franco is well known for doing. As an experiment this is an intriguing film, as one that works from start to finish it's not completely successful
You have to forgive me I'm torn about the film. The pieces and moments that work are quite wonderful but as I said at some point it kind of begins to become less interesting. I really want to recommend the film to you because when it works its wonderful, but when it doesn't its just sort of there, ( thinking about it it kind of reminded me of Terrence Malick's Tree of Life.)
Ultimately I think I would say its worth a look for any adventurous filmmakers or for anyone who really wants to step away from the Hollywood mainstream though I don't think its really worth the price of a theater admission.
Currently out on iTunes and other digital playforms as well as VOD now. It hit select theaters Friday.