Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Not Your Typical Bigfoot Movie: Out On DVD Today!!!

w faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." - Hebrews 11:1

"Faith is the state of being ultimately concerned. [...] Man, like every being, is concerned about many things. [...] Some of them are urgent, often extremely urgent, and each of them [...] can claim ultimacy for a human life. [...] If it claims ultimacy it demands the total surrender of him who accepts this claim, and it promises total fulfillment even if all other claims have to be subjected to it or rejected in its name."
- Paul Tillich, Dynamics of Faith

It is the rare bigfoot movie that calls into question your connection and responsibility to your fellow man, but then, well, this is Not Your Typical Bigfoot Movie. From the first time I saw this fascinating documentary from filmmaker and friend Jay Delaney, it touched the core of my being in a profound and existential sense. My reaction to it was not at all dissimilar to my reaction after watching Werner Herzog's Grizzly Man. Perhaps there's something about watching men obsessed that provokes you to want to save them, while wishing you could share their conviction at the very same time.

NYTBM follows a pair of bigfoot "researchers," from a former steel town in Ohio, as their friendship and reputations are tested by the arrival of a top-shelf professional bigfoot hunter. What unfolds is a story so well-plotted that it's hard to believe at times you're watching a documentary, but the story in NYTBM is merely the delivery device for the documentary's real gift: a kind of potent cinematic essay on the enigmatic powers of faith.

Delaney's subjects are nothing if not entirely powerless over their lives, over their rundown homes and fallen township, over their own emotions. These are men of no means, with no ability to stand up to their circumstance. Just one thing keeps them going, keeps them waking up each and every day, facing the bleakness of the world around them: their faith. Faith in bigfoot, faith in their friendship, faith that there's got to be more to this implacable life than meets the eye. Their stubbornness in the face of reason is the part that really challenges you.

I highly recommend Jay Delaney's Not Your Typical Bigfoot Movie. It's an extremely touching, challenging, and even comedic look at two very real Americans. Buy it on DVD today.

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