Mae Day: The Crumbling of a Documentary (1992)

  |  Short, Comedy, Documentary


After a student documentary project on a transsexual entertainer falls apart, the two director/producers have to come up with another documentary. This is what they came up with.

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18 December 2006 | MisterWhiplash
6
| the 6 P's...
Yeah, it's an amateurish student effort, but from what I got from the film- as presented on the Clerks DVD set- Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier pretty much acknowledge this in their intro. It's kind of amusing, actually, though not in the very funny, outrageous aspects that would come out in Smith's other works. It's a goofy, cover-your-ass effort where Smith and Mosier, without access to a night-club singing transvestite (I think she sang nightclubs anyway), decide to make a documentary about the failure to make a documentary on her. It doesn't quite reach the ranks of a mockumentary in the Christopher Guest style, though it basically is a mockery of 'in-depth exposes', practically in a TV-fashion. One of the funnier things is seeing, from the start, Mosier and Smith in complete silhouette, and the title card of 'Directors' also spelled with the phonetic spelling attached. The documentary then proceeds as the actual members of the crew spout off on the un-professionalism of the directors on the project (one of the funnier bits being that aforementioned '6 P's' quote).

Some of the exchanges of the two 'disgraced' filmmakers end up getting some raffish chuckles, and the tongue-in-cheek method of not showing them from chest up is not a bad idea. But it's so short that it doesn't really give off that much of their side's skills, except to show that they know how to edit in a mock-style and get some genuine reactions out of their crew. So it's worth the viewing if you've never seen it (actually, no one has been able to outside of perhaps the Vancouver film class Smith and Mosier were in- likely with the best premise of anyone) from the DVD, if nothing else as a curio. It's one of those trifles I wish could've been better, but it doesn't matter too much as it only shows so much anyway as to the great paths that were to come for the director/producer team.

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