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Have You Seen Clem

Billed as a "docu-dramedy," "Clem" mixes improv, scripted scenes, and verite footage to cobble together a road-trip movie focused on the U.S. homeless population. Far from grim, however, pic is mostly a shaggy comedy. Pic avoids -- sometimes just barely -- collapsing into a spare-parts heap, maintaining interest to pleasant effect.

With:
With: Kris Jamieson, Weredail, Tony Lozito, Danny Bruno, Megan McMullen, Ray DeMarini.

Billed as a “docu-dramedy,” “Have You Seen Clem” mixes improv, scripted scenes, and verite footage to cobble together a road-trip movie focused on the U.S. homeless population. Far from grim, however, pic is mostly a shaggy comedy. Despite somewhat elusive raison d’etre and unconventional narrative, this curio avoids — sometimes just barely — collapsing into a spare-parts heap, maintaining interest to pleasant effect. Unclassifiable nature won’t help finding berths beyond the fest circuit, however.

Story hinges on newly homeless young Portland skateboarder Jaymo’s becoming intrigued by “Clem” (Weredail, apparently an alias for producer Dan Wilkins), whom he spies one day removing his comically grotesque “beggar” guise in an alley. Preferring to keep his identity a secret, Clem offers to take Jaymo and vidcam across country if he’ll make a docu about street people en route. Destination is Nashville, where Clem/Weredail/Wilkins plans prankishly avenging himself on a former business partner who’d robbed him blind — a real life circumstance, though pic doesn’t explain or play that out very satisfyingly. Instead, loosely slung but nicely crafted feature’s appeal rests mostly on personalities glimpsed, notably many street musicians heard on the soundtrack.

Have You Seen Clem

Production: A Legacy Films production. Produced by Dan Wilkins. Directed by Erich Lyttle. Screenplay by "Itself."

Crew: Camera (color, DV), production designer, Ethan Shiels; editors, Shiels, Lyttle. Reviewed at San Francisco Indie Festival, Feb. 6, 2004. Running time: 86 MIN.

With: With: Kris Jamieson, Weredail, Tony Lozito, Danny Bruno, Megan McMullen, Ray DeMarini.

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