Sweet mother of all that is good, that movie was so long.
I understand that there are a lot of people to talk to for interviews, and I absolutely was confused for a while trying to keep track of who is who and how everyone is related, but if me or anyone else doesn’t get it in THREE HOURS… Ok, back up.
The movie Hoop Dreams is definitely moving, and a very important film to documentary as a genre and film as a whole for its commentary on American life. America was built on ideas discussed in our founding documents including “a pursuit of happiness” and the American dream. Movies made in the past thirty or so years that comment on the American dream are usually… commenting on the lack of it or the failure of it. Granted, these are the obstacles the two young athletes in the film (and all over the country in the same situations) have to overcome, and without that there is no movie.
I liked the interviews in the movie. I just thought it was so long. The fact that the filmmakers had to follow these people around for 4 to 5 years is astounding. I thought the same thing when watching American Movie, it made me think about the commitment it takes to make some documentaries. Without breaching ethics, you are pretty much shooting the film and waiting… There is only so much you can take from just interviews. I think that is part of the reason this film is so admired: it is impossible to watch without feeling the hard work or time put into it, even at a subconscious level.