Dir: Mark Wexler, 2005, USA (95 min)
Dads, eh? While Mark Wexler’s documentary on the work of his father, legendary cinematographer Haskell Wexler, starts out as a puff piece of respectful platitudes from Hollywood royalty, it quickly develops into a fascinating examination of paternal relations.
Growing up in the shadow of Haskell’s talent, arrogance and magnetism, Mark clearly displays a chip on his shoulder from a lack of affection and respect, which leads to some compelling cameras-at-dawn interplay between the irascible old man and his whiny progeny.
In his twilight years, Haskell sees the film as an opportunity to say something true, yet Mark’s intentions seem clouded by a lack of confidence, manifested by petulant antics such as overdubbing Haskell’s political rants and eavesdropping by leaving the microphone on when he’s not in the room.
So, while more sympathy may be elicited by Haskell for having a drippy son, the film certainly makes the point that mavericks are no fun to grow up with. Kate Taylor