Movie Diary 4/7/2010

Rocaterrania (Brett Ingram, 2008). Another study of a prolific, secret, and eeriely focused artist from the director of Monster Road (which profiled the Seattle-area stop-motion visionary Bruce Bickford). The subject here is 76-year-old Reynaldo Kuhler, who in the course of his social-misfit life has invented an elaborate alternate world (see title) with a detailed history, rendered in accomplished drawings. Kuhler’s own family history is as interesting as his fictional universe – his father was an industrial designer celebrated for his classic streamlined trains – and setting the two chronologies side by side superbly contrasts personal psychology with Rocaterrania’s imagined political history.

The Square (Nash Edgerton, 2008). Tangled Aussie noir that gets genuinely startling when it needs to. The director’s movie-star brother, Joel, also co-wrote the script, and modestly takes a co-starring role in the ensemble.