American Movie

Released 1999


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  • American Movie Trailer



    Trailer for the documentary American Movie, which screened at Hot Docs Film Festival. It takes a village to make a movie, but when that village is Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin and not Hollywood, CA, the results are at times bizarre, comical, and very American. With the help of his mother, his 82-year old uncle, and a local cast of hilarious and lovable characters, filmmaker Mark Borchardt fights his way through internal and external roadblocks to achieve his goal--to make his movie, his way. Mark's vision for his dream film is unlike most in independent filmmaking today. His inspiration comes from films as disparate as Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Seventh Seal, as well as his experiences growing up amidst the grey skies, rusty cars, and ranch houses of Milwaukee's Northwest side.moreless
  • American Movie



    American Movie is a 1999 documentary about the making of an independent film, by director Chris Smith. The star of the film, Milwaukee filmmaker Mark Borchardt, is desperate to finish his independent horror film, ‘Coven.’ Unfortunately, the making of the film is quite a horror, as well. While the filmmaker is full of passion, he lacks just about everything else. Pretty much non-existent funds, an inadequate cast, and the beginnings of what might become a serious drinking problem, add up to a lot of problems for the high school dropout. He just wants to “create and complete” the film, but life keeps getting in the way, from his strained relationship with his girlfriend, to his three children, to the only thing, other than passion, that he seems to have a lot of: debt. Will he ever finish the film? Or will his drunken 2AM calls to Morocco be as exciting as his life gets? American Movie has won several honors, including the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary at the 1999 Sundance Festival and being named one of the top 20 documentaries of all time by the International Documentary Association.moreless
  • American Movie