What’s Up, Tiger Lily? (1966): Before there was Mystery Science Theater 3000 or Take the Money and Run, there was Woody Allen’s parody of a mostly faded practice: American dubbing of foreign imports. Two entries in the Japan’s Bond ripoff series International Secret Police (A Barrel of Gunpowder and Key of Keys) get spliced together and the soundtracks are replaced with a gag-filled redub.
Don Quixote (1992): Through the ’50s and ’60s, Orson Welles shot, but never got close to completing, a film of Cervantes’ tome. Decades later, enter Jesús/Jess Franco, the prolific director of cheap shit—who cut his teeth assisting for Orson during his Spanish years—was allowed a stab at whipping the material into shape. The result is such a disorganized, technically incompetent mess, most Orson fans would rather have nothing at all.
Capturing the Friedmans (2003): When documentaries employ home-movie footage, never intended for public exhibition, it’s likely because of this insightful and haunting doc on a family who discovers two of its members may be child molesters.
Grizzly Man (2005): Not only was he eaten by a bear, but amateur environmentalist Timothy Treadwell had the footage of his many Alaskan trips edited by Werner Herzog, who really couldn’t resist making mincemeat of Treadwell’s fuzzily anthropomorphic view of nature.
The Windmill Movie (2008): Avant-garde filmmaker Richard P. Rogers never completed the epic experimental documentary he spent most of his life shooting. (He died of melanoma in 2001). Years later, former student Alexander Olch took a stab at it, creating shape from chaos though still acknowledging that a definitive film could never exist.
Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010): As the possibly bogus story goes, Frenchman Thierry Guetta shot great footage of street artists, including acclaimed graffiti artist Banksy. But when he edited them together the results were so terrible Banksy himself took the reins. No director is credited. Because, as with the rest on this list, who technically made them?
B+ Opens Fri., April 23 When Thierry Guetta finally put together the hours upon hours of footage he’d shot of famous street artists, the results were called “ too artistic.” Aptly named Life Remote Control , it was described by infamous graffiti artist Banksy as “90 minutes of someone with ADD rapidly flipping through channels.” Banksy seized control of the project, and the new film, Exit Through the Gift Shop , is not “too artistic.” That is, it’s not the aesthetic equivalent of a Banksy piece (say, his satirical, moving vandalism of Israel’s West Bank barrier). A sprightly, smart and very entertaining documentary, it takes a traditional expository approach, telling...
Empathy, they say, is the cornerstone of art. By that credo, few films have been more “artistic” than The Girl on the Train.