You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

This Revolution

There's a big leap between theory and practice, and that leap proves too much for tyro helmer Stephen Marshall's "This Revolution." Pic places characters inside actual events during the 2004 Republican convention in New York. The street action is vivid, but the dramatics are distinctly not, lending the film an unintendedsense of fakery.

With:
With: Nathan Crooker, Rosario Dawson, Amy Redford, Brendan Sexton III, Cynthia Garrett, Brett Delbuono, Immortal Technique.

As any revolutionary knows, there’s a big leap between theory and practice, and that leap proves too much for tyro helmer Stephen Marshall’s “This Revolution.” Pic places characters inside actual events during the 2004 Republican convention in New York; it’s an intriguing idea that has cinephilic roots in Haskell Wexler’s landmark docudrama “Medium Cool,” shot during the 1968 Chicago Democratic confab. The street action is vivid, but the dramatics are distinctly not, lending the film an unintendedsense of fakery. Mini-distribs may take interest, but outside of fests, best action will be in vid.

An Ace network TV reporter played by Nathan Crooker and named Jake Cassavetes (a rather strained reference) is assigned to capture the street protests leading up to and during the GOP’s Gotham gathering.

The walls of Jake’s pad are decorated with posters for “Medium Cool,” “The Year of Living Dangerously” and Christian Frei’s superb docu on battle-hardened lenser James Nachtwey, “War Photographer.” In true Nachtwey tradition, Jake’s addicted to getting as close to the rough stuff as possible.

Jake’s on-and-off g.f. Chloe (Amy Redford) is a producer for the network and keeps prodding him to get along with the top brass — and to get the most violent footage possible. Relationships are drawn up by writer Marshall in the most basic and obvious manner, inspired in part by Paddy Chayefsky’s TV-critical “Network,” but falling miles short of Chayefsky’s colorful and highly informed character studies and dialogue.

An amusing subplot involving Jake following a boy (Brendan Sexton III) home ties into the major storyline, as the boy’s mom (Rosario Dawson) turns out to be an Iraq war widow with a secret life that sends Jake — formerly on assignment in Iraq — reeling in a chaotic third act. After becoming persona non grata at the network, Jake’s revenge is better suited to an overheated high-tech thriller, sending what was a kind of medium, coolish docudrama into the uneasy realm of fantasy.

Crooker possesses the right sort of agile, pent-up tension for a battle-worn reporter, and suggests an interesting combination of seasoned pro able to distance himself from the events he’s covering as well as idealist drawn to a cadre of street anarchists. In one of her least glamorous perfs, Dawson holds some interesting surprises in store.

Pic would have been better off not dropping in so many film references, from Cassavetes to Wexler, by which it suffers in comparison. Production is aptly street-ready and rough, with some clever vid effects adding to a sense that Big Brother is watching us all.

This Revolution

Production: A Co.OpC production of a Guerrilla News/Revolution Theory action. Produced by Lisa Kawamoto Hsu . Executive producers, Bob Jason, Bob Kravitz. Co-executive producers, Jaid Barrymore, Michael Ellenbogenm Adrienne Stern, Brenda Kravitz. Directed, written by Stephen Marshall.

Crew: Camera (color, DV), Brian Jackson; editors, Marshall, Nathan Crooker; music supervisor, Raymond Leon Roker; production designer, Lisa Hsu ; sound, Jonathan Parham; assistant director, Daniel Bellury; casting, Adrienne Stern. Reviewed at Sundance Film Festival (American Spectrum), Jan. 26, 2005. Running time: 101 MIN.

With: With: Nathan Crooker, Rosario Dawson, Amy Redford, Brendan Sexton III, Cynthia Garrett, Brett Delbuono, Immortal Technique.

More Film

  • 'Shelved' Launches China-New Zealand Production Alliance

    Andrew Adamson's 'Shelved' Launches China-New Zealand Production Alliance (EXCLUSIVE)

    As any revolutionary knows, there’s a big leap between theory and practice, and that leap proves too much for tyro helmer Stephen Marshall’s “This Revolution.” Pic places characters inside actual events during the 2004 Republican convention in New York; it’s an intriguing idea that has cinephilic roots in Haskell Wexler’s landmark docudrama “Medium Cool,” shot […]

  • Robert Zemeckis

    Robert Zemeckis to Direct Adaptation of Roald Dahl's 'The Witches' (EXCLUSIVE)

    As any revolutionary knows, there’s a big leap between theory and practice, and that leap proves too much for tyro helmer Stephen Marshall’s “This Revolution.” Pic places characters inside actual events during the 2004 Republican convention in New York; it’s an intriguing idea that has cinephilic roots in Haskell Wexler’s landmark docudrama “Medium Cool,” shot […]

  • Morgan Neville

    Director Morgan Neville on the Mr. Rogers Movie That Will Make You Cry

    As any revolutionary knows, there’s a big leap between theory and practice, and that leap proves too much for tyro helmer Stephen Marshall’s “This Revolution.” Pic places characters inside actual events during the 2004 Republican convention in New York; it’s an intriguing idea that has cinephilic roots in Haskell Wexler’s landmark docudrama “Medium Cool,” shot […]

  • 'Uncle Drew' Review: Kyrie Irving Takes

    Film Review: 'Uncle Drew'

    As any revolutionary knows, there’s a big leap between theory and practice, and that leap proves too much for tyro helmer Stephen Marshall’s “This Revolution.” Pic places characters inside actual events during the 2004 Republican convention in New York; it’s an intriguing idea that has cinephilic roots in Haskell Wexler’s landmark docudrama “Medium Cool,” shot […]

  • Owen (CHRIS PRATT) and Blue face

    Box Office: 'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' to Devour $130 Million in Debut

    As any revolutionary knows, there’s a big leap between theory and practice, and that leap proves too much for tyro helmer Stephen Marshall’s “This Revolution.” Pic places characters inside actual events during the 2004 Republican convention in New York; it’s an intriguing idea that has cinephilic roots in Haskell Wexler’s landmark docudrama “Medium Cool,” shot […]

  • Larry DavidHBO 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' TV

    HBO Welcomes New WarnerMedia Boss John Stankey With Video Featuring Bill Hader, Sarah Jessica Parker, Larry David

    As any revolutionary knows, there’s a big leap between theory and practice, and that leap proves too much for tyro helmer Stephen Marshall’s “This Revolution.” Pic places characters inside actual events during the 2004 Republican convention in New York; it’s an intriguing idea that has cinephilic roots in Haskell Wexler’s landmark docudrama “Medium Cool,” shot […]

  • Carlo ChatrianLocarno International Film Festival programme

    Berlin Film Festival Set to Hire Locarno Chief Carlo Chatrian as Artistic Director

    As any revolutionary knows, there’s a big leap between theory and practice, and that leap proves too much for tyro helmer Stephen Marshall’s “This Revolution.” Pic places characters inside actual events during the 2004 Republican convention in New York; it’s an intriguing idea that has cinephilic roots in Haskell Wexler’s landmark docudrama “Medium Cool,” shot […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content