Review: ‘Don’t Make Movies!’

A making-of that almost doesn't make it, "Don't Make Movies!" documents the final days on the set of Belgian sci-fi flick "The Feast of the Praying Mantis," the self-funded feature helming debut of sixtysomething Marc Levie. Docu confirms there are few places as tedious as a film set, though result could appeal to movie buffs in fest situations.

A making-of that almost doesn’t make it, “Don’t Make Movies!” documents the final days on the set of Belgian sci-fi flick “The Feast of the Praying Mantis” (2004), the self-funded feature helming debut of sixtysomething Marc Levie. At a rambling 71 minutes, this semi-endearing docu confirms there are few places as tedious as a film set, though result could appeal to movie buffs in fest situations.

Equal parts elderly slacker and cheerleader, the low-key Levie is shown as he gets the last of 430 shots in the can. Sequences include him negotiating nude scenes with his leading lady; advising an actor to tape his dangling penis for a naked dance; blocking an anemic chase scene; and meandering around the fake snow and real pyrotechnics of a finale that obviously hasn’t been thought through, let alone storyboarded or budgeted. Priceless moments, while thin on the ground, include Levie recounting the famous “Ready when you are, C.B.!” anecdote only to have its real-life corollary befall his shoot soon after. Merely adequate lensing and video blow-up are fitting.

Don't Make Movies!

Belgium

Production

A Les Films du Barbue production. Produced by Oren Nataf, Marc Levie. Directed, written by Oren Nataf.

Crew

Camera (color, DV-to-35mm), Francois Brey, Ernesto Giollitti; editor, Jean-Francois Elie. Reviewed at Balzac, Paris, March 24, 2005. Running time: 71 MIN.

With

Marc Levie, Yann Chely, Lou Broclain, Sacha Kollich, Michel Van Laer.
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