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Thomas Pynchon - A Journey Into the Mind of [p]
Thomas Pynchon - A Journey Into the Mind of
Actor: Richard Lane
Director: Fosco Dubini
Genres: Documentary
NR     2008     1hr 29min

Thomas Pynchon is one of the most popular authors of modern literature and without doubt, one of its most mysterious representatives. For 30 years Pynchon has been out of public sight, giving no interviews and not allowing...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Richard Lane
Director: Fosco Dubini
Genres: Documentary
Sub-Genres: Biography
Studio: KULTUR
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 11/18/2008
Original Release Date: 01/01/2008
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 29min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Not your typical literary profile
Volunteer of America | Austin, Texas | 12/01/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Given Pynchon's recurring themes of paranoia, drug use, and involved, labyrinthine plots, coupled with the almost complete lack of information about the man himself, I thought this was an interesting approach to the writer. It's a highly impressionistic pastiche of archival footage, interviews, speculation, eerie versions of sixties music ("In-a-Gadda-da-Vida", "Land of 1000 Dances", "Gloria") and surrealism; which actually doesn't do a bad job of evoking the feel of Pynchon's writings. Perhaps better than a bunch of talking heads from academia.

There's a William Burroughs, cut-and-paste feel to the filmmaker's approach, but I don't think this is a bad thing. Though it will appeal more to "sixties survivors" than to those seeking a more measured, academic discussion. However, the latter model would be hard put to find much to include in a film, given Pynchon's remoteness and secrecy.

Was amused to learn of his friendship with Richard Farina, "Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me" being an old favorite of mine.
The Invisible Man, the Sixties, and Everything
Henry Musikar | Washington, DC USA | 11/18/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"If you've read everything that Pynchon's written, you gotta see this. If you remember the sixties, or wonder about the paranoia and the drugs, you gotta see it. From the atom bomb to LSD and an interview with one of Pynchon's old lovers, this documentary is a whole lot better than the sum of it's parts."
Unfortunate viewpoint on Pynchon and his work
Sergey Feldman | Seattle, WA USA | 11/26/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)

"The first reviewer of this documentary suggests that if you've read all of Thomas Pynchon's books, then you're in for a treat. Having done so, I disagree. Pynchon is by far my favorite writer, and this is one of the worst documentaries I've ever seen.

Since Pynchon left so few bread crumbs for anyone to follow, the directors are free to say anything about any and all aspects of his life and work. They interview "webmasters," "writers," and "critics," all of whom seem very slightly brain-fried, and not exactly reliable witnesses to Pynchon's life.

If the credentials and expertise of the interviewees were the only concerns, I might have given this three stars, and called it an interesting examination into the culture of a fandom left isolated and without input from its idols. But that is only the tip of this unfortunate iceberg. The documentary feels amateurish, featuring lengthy, boring swaths of poorly edited montages of unrelated black and white sequences. The music was silly. There was no central point. I don't know if I learned anything at all.

A rental at best, and only if you're a particularly committed fan."
Atmosphere over Analysis
Progressive | Colorado | 12/02/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I agree with Volunteer; this film is more about creating an atmosphere and a mood that evokes Pynchon's writing, rather than a literary, literal analysis. The music - which I really enjoyed - and the sinister, paranoid snips of puzzling events like the Kennedy assassination do a good job of evoking the feel of an alien, threatening power in the world. And yes, there's definitely the influence of Burroughs; the filmmakers' approach somewhat resembles David Cronenberg's film rendering of Burroughs' Naked Lunch, where he mixes the novel with biographical scenes.

I can see that this is not for all Pynchon admirers, but if you're psychedelically inclined, you'll find it quite engrossing."