‘So You Want Michael Madsen?’ Review: An Informative, Although Repetitive, Look Into Indie Filmmaking

Photo Credit: http://www.smh.com.au/tv

So You Want Michael Madsen? is a rather meta documentary since its about independent filmmaking and is an independent film itself. Documentaries are typically made for two reasons: to be informative and to entertain. This film manages to do both of those but not to the extent that it should have been able to.

The reason that on some level this movie fails is due to the fact that the information is given to the viewer over and over again. There are only so many interviews one can watch about actors needing to like the script before it becomes beating a dead horse. Leaving another fifteen or twenty minutes on the cutting room floor would have done this movie wonders.

I also wish that we had seen more of the movie making process, rather than people just talking about it. If you show by example, it illustrates the point you are trying to make without overdoing it. This is done a few times in the film but these sequences don’t last very long and serve little to the overall purpose of the film.

Despite the repetition and the methods in which the information is being told, the idea behind this film is fantastic and important for anyone just starting out in the film industry. The information may seem trivial for the experienced filmmaker, but that is not the intended audience. So You Want Michael Madsen? could be shown in introductory college film courses.

Also, the people on screen are usually very charismatic. All the interviewees have a personality and get their message across in fun ways. The best, of course, is the long interview with Michael Madsen towards the end of the film where he talks about his career as well as the process he has for choosing films to star in.

So You Want Michael Madsen? isn’t the best documentary you will see on filmmaking, but it’s far from the worst. It kept me entertained throughout, despite the repetitive style of making points. Grade: C

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