The Windmill Movie
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As conceived and edited together by Alexander Olch, this documentary pays homage to the life of the late filmmaker and professor Richard P. "Dick" Rogers (Pictures from a Revolution). Director of the Harvard University Film Study Center, Rogers died in July 2001. He left behind boxes upon boxes of footage intended for an unrealized autobiographical film; working together with Rogers's wife and creative partner, Susan Meiselas (who assumed the role of producer here), Olch began assembling the footage in its intended form. The resultant work sits poised halfway between fiction and… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Late in this meandering film, Rogers' romantic infidelities and the onset of illness add some much-needed dynamics, but even when it's just shooting the breeze, The Windmill Movie is captivating."
‑ Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"Olch doesn't make it easy to identify with Rogers and his stylish existence, but that choice begins to pay off gradually as the fragments start to add up to something more."
‑ Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
"In embracing Richard Rogers' style and adopting his tone, Alexander Olch creates a documentary that's as much a respectful, moving tribute to Rogers, as it is the projected realization of Rogers' intended cinematic autobiography."
‑ Jennifer Merin,
"The ongoing, deeply personal introspection that permeates the picture gives it the haunting feel of a sťance."
‑ Robert Levin, Critic's Notebook
"There's something worth valuing in a documentary that would be a worthy companion piece to both Grey Gardens and Synecdoche, New York."
‑ Geoff Berkshire,
"Although the format will be familiar to fans of Tarnation and Capturing the Friedmans, the result comes closer to Fellini's autobiographical 8 1/2."
‑ John Hartl, Seattle Times
"There hasn't been as good a film of this type in this country since Tarnation, which means Olch's movie is a treat and a surprise no one should pass on."
‑ Philippe Garnier, L.A. Weekly
"This movie should be unbearable; instead it's grotesquely fascinating. Rogers' striking early short Quarry precedes the main feature, demonstrating the man's considerable talent."
‑ Stan Hall, Oregonian
"One gets swept up in the first soapy, then tragic melodrama of the life matter that overwhelmed Rogers' desire/compulsion/ability to make art."
‑ Karina Longworth, Cinematical
"a heady combination of Synecdoche, New York, Annie Hall, Peeping Tom, and It's All True but all the more compelling because The Windmill Movie is all true."
‑ Paul Brenner,
"A remarkable documentary attempt to reconcile Rogers's sense of personal, professional, and artistic malaise, which culminated in his decades-long attempt to make a film about his life."
‑ Wesley Morris, Boston Globe
"From the wall-to-wall piano score to Rogers' tedious navel-gazing, The Windmill Movie renders prosaic and pretentious the churning conflict behind the process of artistic creation."
‑ Noel Murray, AV Club
"Unfortunately, a man died (from cancer) in the making of this explicitly introspective life tome; it was the only way he saw to complete his masterpiece."
‑ Chris Faraone, Boston Phoenix
"Maybe Edwards has some crazy intent to try and offer his reel to God himself and get a pass. Whatever the case, he leaves one heck of a masterpiece for us mortals."
‑ Matthew Nestel, Boxoffice Magazine
"A stirring autobiography-by-proxy."
‑ Nick Schager, Slant Magazine
More reviews for The Windmill Movie on Rotten Tomatoes