Author Topic: Robinson Devor  (Read 2655 times)

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w/o horse

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Robinson Devor
« on: October 18, 2008, 07:53:04 PM »
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I seriously hope someone here is familiar with this guy.  They were talking him up last night at the American Cinematheque (before a showing of Salo).



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Robinson Devor's Zoo investigates a tabloid story about a Seattle man who died of internal bleeding after having sex with a horse. A "zoo" is short for zoophalia, defined by an interview subject as "someone who feels they have an affinity for un-human animals more than mankind." As shocking as the subject matter may sound, it is dealt with in a sensitive and enlightening manner. The overall style -- from the dreamy blue-tinted visuals to the patient even-sided investigatory techniques are directly indebted to Errol Morris' The Thin Blue Line. The main footage is comprised of reenactments shot with studied and rigid compositions, extreme jumps from wide to close up, sharp lighting contrasts, and a menacing floating feeling reinforced by a pulsing electronic and classical score. Devor's impassive treatment of the case is disturbing not for making bestiality sympathetic but for attempting to make sense of it and failing. Zoo is really about the limitations and vagaries of interaction between living creatures and our grasping across these communicatory gulfs. (Contrasts are routinely drawn between solitude and connection, primarily through the Internet.) As the veterinarian who seized the horse says, "I'm just on the edge of being able to understand it." Devor does not gloss over the subject matter, it is often bewildering and surreal, but finds some sort of hope by revealing the vulnerable humanity within each of his subjects.



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A revelatory second feature from director Robinson Devor, Police Beat is an abstract procedural and existential love story about Senegalese immigrant bike cop Z (Pape Sidy Niang) who tries to wrangle the chaos of human emotions through the order of his job. He glides around the outskirts of Seattle contemplating his relationship with absent girlfriend Rachel (Anna Oxygen) through a voiceover in his native Wolof dialect. His investigations of cases (all reconstructed from actual police reports) are mini-dramas acting out the questions he asks himself about commitment and relationships; the penal codes they get filed under function as thematic markers: threat, trespassing, prowler, domestic disturbance, aggravated assault. While Z struggles to make sense of his environment, his Alaskan partner Swan (Eric Breedlove) takes up with a prostitute (Sarah Harlett) and starts using heroin. Dervor and D.P. Sean Kirby shoot in liquidy blue-green tones that appear both free flowing and suffocating. The entire movie, though hopeful, feels drugged, the characters desperately displaced and struggling for companionship and connection through the fog of their isolation. Some of the acting is stiff and amateurish, yet this only emphasizes the haunting remove of the characters. Police Beat is one of the few feature American films that is genuinely independent in financing and approach and should be recognized as a unique work of art. The script was built around co-screenwriter Charles Mudede's "Police Beat" column in Seattle's The Stranger newspaper and was originally titled "Cascadia." It was an official selection at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, 42nd Karlovy Vary Film Festival, 2005 Seattle International Film Festival, 2005 Edinburgh Film Festival, and won the FIPRESCI prize at the 2005 Turin Film Festival.



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Robinson Devor directed this film noir parody about a used car salesman obsessed with writing and directing his dream project: a maudlin tale called The Man Who Got Away about a trucker who runs over a little girl. Richard Hudson (Seinfeld regular Patrick Warburton) works at a used car lot during a scalding hot summer in L.A. during the 1950s. The atmosphere, or perhaps the heat, begins to lead his drifting mind to the glamour of showbiz. After moving in with his floozy of a mom (she even flirts with him), he learns that her new husband is a has-been filmmaker. This starts Hudson's gears turning, and soon nothing daunts the salesman from pursuing his dream. The Woman Chaser was screened at the 1999 New York Film Festival.
Raven haired Linda and her school mate Linnea are studying after school, when their desires take over and they kiss and strip off their clothes. They take turns fingering and licking one another's trimmed pussies on the desks, then fuck each other to intense orgasms with colorful vibrators.

wilder

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Re: Robinson Devor
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2014, 11:05:09 PM »
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Robinson Devor is Kickstarting the finishing of a new documentary, 'Pow Wow', with 15 days left to reach its funding goal of $20,000.

I'm a huge fan of his documentary Zoo, which you can view online at this link. His DP Sean Kirby is incredible, if for nothing else watch Zoo for its photography. Devor generally presents true stories with extremely bizarre, almost Lynchian qualities to them. Zoo gets a bad rap because of its subject matter but if you take a look at it and try to separate content and form, you'll find it's full of gorgeous associative imagery paralleling the zoophile's experiences with almost spiritual climbing/rising visuals and Mr. Hands' profession constructing rockets that venture into space...into the unknown...into otherworldly avenues...it's as scary as it is beautiful.

You can view excerpts from some of Devor's other work on his Vimeo page, including footage of LA billboard icon Angelyne (1995) (jenkins I know you'll be all over that) and an excerpt from his early feature The Woman Chaser (1999)


Pow Wow - Kickstarter


Time swims: modern country-clubbers celebrate an annual Pow Wow party while a 1908 mounted posse chases Willie Boy across the desert.

Elegant, thought-provoking and darkly comic, Pow Wow documents a stunning range of Coachella Valley characters in age, gender, ethnicity  and class—country clubbers, service workers, lovers, rivals, gods, ghosts, retired Hollywood, Native Americans, Hispanics, whites, the fleeting and the eternal, the deep and the dead. A “Desert Gothic” set in Palm Springs, California, “Pow Wow” chronicles a type of American joy that is slowly dying out.

Unlike other documentaries, which use literal recreations, Pow Wow uses modern day desert characters to echo and illuminate an infamous 1908 desert manhunt for Willie Boy, a native American youth who outran a mounted posse on foot across 500 miles of desert. Like Willie Boy, the film’s present-day characters have, in many ways, utilized the desert to survive and run free.

Characters include a homicide detective, an Austrian socialite, a prison pastor, an insurance salesman, a theater director, a legendary comic, trust funders, teenage lovers, members of the Native American community and a deceased art dealer. An experiment in storytelling as well as a comparative study of past and present desert existence, Pow Wow sheds light on the unique bond between the insiders and the outsiders of the Coachella Valley.

wilder

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Re: Robinson Devor
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2014, 11:45:25 AM »
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wilder

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Re: Robinson Devor
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2014, 12:18:03 AM »
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In a bizarre twist of fate Devor's early movie The Woman Chaser (1999) is streaming on Netflix right now

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Re: Robinson Devor
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2014, 10:55:20 AM »
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highly recommend both 'the woman chaser' and 'zoo'. amazing director.

jenkins

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Re: Robinson Devor
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2014, 04:42:37 AM »
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footage of LA billboard icon Angelyne (1995) (jenkins I know you'll be all over that)
good call, thanks

thanks for the 411 on the woman chaser stream also. i watched it thinking it'd be pretty good, but i'll be goddamn if i didn't think it was pretty great. charles willeford, man oh man

so devor is 3/3 for me, i look forward to pow wow, and omfg i'm looking forward to you can't win

you can't win synopsis:
A drama set in the 1920s hobo underworld and centered on the unusual friendship between an adventurer and a young prostitute.
(^Michael Pitt+Julia Garner)
Every perspective is an act of creation.

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Re: Robinson Devor
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2014, 10:56:26 PM »
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You will likely never see You Can't Win.

jenkins

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Re: Robinson Devor
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2014, 11:18:45 PM »
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are you telling me imma die tomorrow or i should google some movie news here? either way, sounds like life is hard and that's a bummer
Every perspective is an act of creation.

wilder

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Re: Robinson Devor
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2015, 04:34:44 PM »
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You can view excerpts from some of Devor's other work on his Vimeo page, including footage of LA billboard icon Angelyne (1995)

"Win a Date with Angelyne"

wilder

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Re: Robinson Devor
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2016, 05:15:02 PM »
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'Pow Wow': Locarno Review
By Neil Young 8/9/16
via The Hollywood Reporter



Robinson Devor's documentary surveys inhabitants of the sun-baked Coachella Valley in California.

Nearly a decade after scoring a notable succes de scandale with Zoo — which chronicled a notorious case of inter-species sex — Seattle-based maverick Robinson Devor makes a belated, stimulatingly quirky comeback with multi-chapter documentary Pow Wow. Rather grandly subtitled "Ethnographic Encounters with the People of the Desert Empire (2010-2015)," it's a slickly-mounted glimpse into the colorful lives of various garrulous folk in southern California's Coachella Valley, an area best known internationally for the hugely popular music-festival which takes place there each spring. Bowing in the rewardingly edgy "Signs of Life" sidebar at Locarno, this idiosyncratically droll dispatch from an intriguingly well-heeled and exotically desert-fringed region should have no difficulty racking up significant further festival play and small-screen exposure.

Devor's follow-up to Zoo was originally scheduled to be a fictional feature starring Michael Pitt. You Can't Win, a 1920s-set drama adapted from a cult-favorite memoir about the hobo underworld, was tipped for a slot at Sundance (where Zoo premiered) last year but remains embroiled in post-production difficulties. With Pow Wow, Devor again displays the fascination with marginal lives and oddball individuals that has marked his career all the way back to 1995's Angelyne and reached an early flowering with the superb, lightly fictionalized Police Beat (2005).

Over the course of fourteen short chapters, Devor bow delivers an impressionistic, elliptical tour of the Coachella area, circling but never quite penetrating the precincts of the district's largest settlement, Palm Springs. These environs have long been favored as a getaway/retirement spot for showbusiness types — briefly represented here by legendary Las Vegas comedian Shecky Greene, who's as ebullient dyspeptic as ever within sight of his 90th birthday. And while Devor's other interviewees may not be household names, they nearly all exude that charismatic confidence often to be found among those who elect to live on the frontiers of civilization.

As seen in Sean Kirby's spectacular cinematography — with judicious use of what looks like drone-mounted cameras — the desert is quite literally next door here. Pow Wow hits several atmospheric grace-notes in its depictions of the fabled "magic hour" in this extreme, often stunningly beautiful environment where the natural and the mad-made dramatically intersect. Certain themes, individuals and locations recur, including the hedonistic country club party which provides the title. Devor also draws repeatedly on the oft-recounted story of 'Willie Boy', the ill-fated Paiute whose 1909 flight from the law has already provided the basis for a notable cinematic comeback: Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here (1969), by the long-time-blacklisted Abraham Polonsky.

Shaped by editor Adam Sekuler, Devor's structure is — despite those too-frequent chapter-heading intertitles — somewhat loose and rangy, perhaps picking up on the non-linear "associative" ideas of time which at one point are mentioned as typical of Native American culture. The resulting polyphonic tapestry is guided by the principle, stated early on, that the "constant dialogue of the past and present about the future involves almost everything." He displays a relentless curiosity in tandem with an evidently sympathetic eye to human foibles and peccadillos, yielding numerous fleeting insights without ever really aiming to find a grand overall conclusion.

Production company: Vins
Director: Robinson Devor
Screenwriters: Robinson Devor, Michael McConville
Producer: Victoria Nevinny
Cinematographer: Sean Kirby
Editor: Adam Sekuler
Sales: vnevinny@gmail.com
No Rating, 75 minutes

 

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