Thursday, April 14, 2011
Documentary filmmaker Zachary Levi has made a unique film—both in subject matter and format.
Strongman tells the story of Stanley Pleskun, aka Stanless Steel, a professional strongman who is "the only person in the world who can bend a penny with his fingers."
The film took 10 years to make and uses a very rare form of verite (no interviews, narration, or even music in the film). Director Levi says, "It is probably one of only a handful of films to reach commercial screens in the last 30 years that doesn't have music in it."
How the film was financed is a story unto itself. Levi sold "Bush Cards" to fund the film. www.bushcards.com. The 52-card playing deck has Bush administration figures and will "help you call a spade a spade" and "is still perfect for the same old tricks you have become accustomed to." The cards have a variety of facts, figures and quotes designed to "shock and awe."
Even more unusual is that Levy is distributing the film himself without sales agents and publicists. The film opens at the Loft Cinema on Friday, April 15.
Reviews have been favorable. John Anderson of Variety wrote "A strange and strangely beautiful movie." Roger Ebert wrote, "I watched with quiet fascination."
Watch the trailer below.