Review: Docufiction ‘Actor Martinez’ questions cinematic truth
The multilayered docufiction “Actor Martinez” explores where truth ends and narrative begins in its story of Denver actor Arthur Martinez and the two directors he hires to make him the star of his own movie.
Like the man at its center, the film is aggressive and awkward, but there’s a sense of playfulness in how it pokes and prods at the world of independent cinema.
Arthur divides his time between his day job as a computer repairman and his side gig as an actor, producer and all-around supporter of the Denver film scene. He recruits directors Mike Ott and Nathan Silver (who also appear on-screen) to create a film with him as the lead. They soon shed Arthur’s ideas for the movie and focus on his real persona, manipulating him into action. Conflict builds between Arthur, Mike and Nathan as the actor bristles against what he’s being pushed into doing.
Don’t let the low-res, low-budget filmmaking fool you. “Actor Martinez” is an ambitious film that works on a variety of levels. It’s full of endlessly long takes, making the audience increasingly uncomfortable as cuts refuse to come. Directors Ott and Silver don’t hesitate to alienate their audience from themselves as characters or the film as a whole, but “Actor Martinez” is a rewarding viewing for those who can make it to the final moment.
Running time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Playing: Laemmle Music Hall 3, Beverly Hills
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