This week on Trailers from Hell, horror director Ti West takes time off his new film “The Sacrament,” currently gearing up to open in US theaters, to discuss Chris Smith’s hilarious 1999 documentary “American Movie.”
What should be a comedy of errors about a hapless filmmaker’s efforts to complete a low, low budget horror film becomes instead a poignant tale about dodging life’s slings and arrows in order to follow your dreams. The film’s main dreamer is the Quixote-like Mark Borchardt, a lanky Milwaukeean determined to produce his movie come hell or high water. He even has his own Sancho Panza in Mike Schank, the rotund friend enlisted to write the film’s score. Director Chris Smith films his two heroes tilting at every windmill that comes their way and revels in their eventual success, unexpected as it is. Smith’s film was successful as well, winning the Grand Prize at Sundance in 1999.