Friday, November 4, 2011

50 DTSBYD: #48 The Kid Stays in the Picture

Part of my 50 Documentaries to See Before You Die Challenge

Robert Evans must have been a bastard.  A fascinating bastard, but probably not the kind of person who would drive you to the airport.  A powerful Hollywood producer, you can see his hand all over the documentary of his life, "The Kid Stays in the Picture."  Even the title alludes to an early revelation - that he wanted to be the person in power on the set, the guy who decides who will make it and who won't in the movie business.

Robert Evans was lucky at the onset of his career.  He was noticed while half naked at a pool in Los Angeles, perpetuating the stereotype that being naked in Hollywood will get you into films.  Luckier still, he managed to marry Ali McGraw.  But, he was a coke addict, selfish, and a womanizer.  Somehow, these things are glossed over or dismissed, but he still manages not to address the fact that he married seven women.  Or that the problem was not that he was caught doing drugs, but that he did them in the first place.  I know a lot of sober people who get dragged into murder for hire investigations.  No?  Maybe that was not a witch hunt, but a possible outcome when you meet the wrong people when stoned out of your mind.

Where the documentary excels is in its ability to tell stories through pictures and film.  The colors are saturated and beautiful.  The pacing is wonderful.  Given the subject matter, it was a beautiful treatment of a narcissistic man.

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