Saturday, August 24, 2013

My Raccoon Has Hepatitis: "Local Legends" (2013)


The co-creator of such films as "Don't Let the Riverbeast Get You!", and writer of over 13,000 songs, decides to turn the cameras on himself, with very pleasing results.

Matt Farley writes and directs this quasi-documentary about being a recording artist and film maker in small town Manchester, New Hampshire. He randomly leaves his products around town, where he walks constantly, works a job, lives cheaply, and is able to put out music, films, and books when he isn't doing is so-bad-it's-hilarious stand-up comedy routine. A couple of women show an interest in him, he plays fantasy one-on-one basketball games with his friend Soup, and he deals with an alter ego, also played by Farley, who decides this very film should be used to sell more of his odd music (which he keeps mentioning is available on iTunes, under dozens of different band names).

Obviously a labor of love, this film is much different from the films Farley appears in that are directed by Charles Roxburgh. Farley answers critics like me who don't get his earlier films, and in doing so, makes a better film than his Roxburgh collaborations. This isn't a contest with Roxburgh to see who can make a more appealing movie, this is simply Farley on his own, and the film is nicely directed in black and white, recalling "Stardust Memories" and "8 1/2". There are a ton of familiar faces from Farley's past films here, too, but you won't need to be familiar with them in order to understand what he is getting at. The highlight of the film is a comedy showcase in a basement that did have me laughing. I am hoping this is the beginning of a series of films from Farley dealing with his life outside of his Shock Marathons and monster movie work. He has shown he can branch out into introspective comedy, and he comes up with his best work- a charming effort that I was immediately taken with.

"Local Legends" is good stuff. You can find more information on it at http://www.moternmedia.com (including a link to YouTube, where you can view the entire film for free), or you can call Farley directly at (603) 644-0048. Don't worry, he gives his phone number out in all his music and movies, and according to this film, he would love to hear from you. You might even score a free CD or DVD! (* * * *) out of five stars.