The other day I got a Facebook message from a girl named Katie Bachmeyer. She happens to be the sister of a girl I went to high school with. Long story short, when we were on our festival run with Alphonso Bow in Kentucky, her and her sister traveled from Ohio to come to the The Derby City Film Festival. Oh, the wonders of Facebook.
I was in awe that those two girls, one I hadn’t talked to in years, came all the way to Kentucky to see a movie my father and I made. It was very cool. After the film we all went out for lunch, I think it was pizza or something. We talked an awful lot about the film and a bit about life. Anyways, Katie, who was very articulate at the time, talked so in-depth about the movie that I asked if she would please write a review. She said, “Of course.”
After the festival I might have talked to her and her sister one or two more times and then it dropped off as it normally does in this day and age. The Facebook message I got from Katie the other day had the review attached that she wrote up years ago. It had to be at least three years ago. I actually thought she never wrote it. She said she was cleaning her room and she found it on a piece of paper. I think it deserves a share. She was pretty passionate about the film at the time and it made me very proud that someone understood it in the way she did or at least had a point of view. So here it is. I was going to correct the spelling of the title of the film and proofread it but then I decided to leave it as is. So please excuse any issues with grammar, spelling, and punctuation. We all make them.
Katie Bachmeyer’s review of Alphonso Bow:
“Traveling along Kentucky’s countryside has a way of setting the scene for Alfonso Bow the same way a clear blue sky sets the stage for a great storm.
Sitting alone at his booth, Alfonso is reminiscent of the beat generations “madness,” brought current with his stud earrings and always busy cell phone.
When Frank enters Over the Border and the color picture turns to black and white, Alfonso is waiting to perturb the viewer’s reality. Things darken. Alfonso and Frank take nearly ten minutes to order food, adding injury to the waitress’ already painfully awkward presence.
Unlike pop culture films such as Clerks, Waking Life, or Slackers, where characters are quirky but likable, Alfonso Bow takes dialogue to an agonizing level. At a booth, the two men pontificate to a point of maddening curiosity. From life on other planets, to saying “I love you,” the two men are two open books before the camera. Who are these men?
While Alfonso might offend some with his uncanny individualism, I don’t think he is anymore selfish than most men and women today, or any less confused. That is at the heart of what is so great about Alfonso, much like his inability to connect to women in his life (if it isn’t about afternoon sex and tight asses). Alfonso is unable to empathize with others who are lost in his wake.
And Frank has learned to love Alfonso Bow, even if the audience may never. He has a unique stamina for arguing a point into the ground. His quieter, softer demeanor seems psychoanalytical. As if he were trying to assess Alfonso’s behavior based on a set of psychosocial inquiries.
The restaurant patrons keep moving away from Alfonso’s loud bravado, as the audience cringes but he could care less. In fact, he only finds the topic of God and religion worth whispering. His reasoning? “Maybe they’re dying,” referring to the people within earshot.
In the end, only Death has a way of invoking sympathy and reverence in Alfonso, when it seems nothing else can. Well, nothing else except for his dog, who just so happens to be dying. He and his dog live a married life together, following the same bed time routine each night and knowing how the other is feeling just by noticing their behavior. Alfonso’s most selfless act in the movie is when he doesn’t eat but packs his food up to bring to his dying dog.
Don’t miss this gruesome commentary on life until death.”
If you would like to see the film you can watch it several places online like Blockbuster.com, Amazon.com, and SnagFilms (here it’s free). It is also available to purchase via this website right here under VOD.
Thanks for reading,