Catching Out

Unusual docu captures the lives and sights of modern-day hobos who hit the rails in the less-tamed Northwest, where this was mostly shot. Like its subject, "Catching Out" rambles into unexpected places, some more interesting than others, but it stays on track long enough to take auds somewhere special. Vid quality's probably a bit too rudimentary for theatrical play, but regional broadcasters could get mileage out of it.

With:
With: Switch, Baby Girl, Jessica, Lee.

Unusual docu captures the lives and sights of modern-day hobos who hit the rails in the less-tamed Northwest, where this was mostly shot. Like its subject, “Catching Out” rambles into unexpected places, some more interesting than others, but it stays on track long enough to take auds somewhere special. Vid quality’s probably a bit too rudimentary for theatrical play, but regional broadcasters could get mileage out of it.

Shaky-cam pic hops quite a few freight trains — in the slang of the title — with the likes of social activist Lee, who lives in the woods; bespectacled Jessica, who inherited her bohemian mother’s wanderlust; and a couple known as Switch and Baby Girl, committed to “speed rushing” on the rails until they have an actual baby, whereupon they are shocked to find themselves on the bottom rung of society. (“I got good judgment,” she protests. “I’m a wicked-good mother.”) The arguments encountered by go-with-the-flow helmer Sarah George, who pulls the show together with amiable looseness, are of variable conviction. But there’s no doubting the writer and part-time hobo who describes train hopping as “genuinely American, like jazz and having sex in cars.”

Catching Out

Production: A Worthy Entertainment (L.A.) production. Produced by Kelly Ramos. Directed, written by Sarah George.

Crew: Camera (color-DV), Pallas Weber, Shane F. Kelly; editor, Casey P. Chinn; music, Pete Droges. Reviewed on videocassette at Seattle Film Festival, June 16, 2002. Running time: 79 MIN.

With: With: Switch, Baby Girl, Jessica, Lee.

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