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Marina Antunes [Film Festival 11.30.18] Canada documentary

Between his English-language debut in 2000 and his retirement in 2016, Uwe Boll made 28 films, some years pumping out as many as five movies. It's safe to say that the quality of Boll's movie's range from mediocre to bad but no one can argue with the fact that Boll was a great producer; constantly bringing in his projects on budget and for a profit which is why he was able to keep making movies... even after he probably should have stopped.

In the nearly two decades of work, Boll earned the moniker of worst director of his generation but is it deserved?

In Fuck You All: The Uwe Boll Story, Sean Patrick Shaul digs into the career of the notorious filmmaker, tracking the early years of Boll's career in Germany and the director's cross over into North America and the Hollywood system. Via a series of interviews with producers, writers, actors, critics and Boll himself, the audience is treated to a fairly good portrait of Boll's tumultuous time as director.

Though Boll speaks candidly of his family and growing up in Germany, Fuck You All is far from a complete biography. The conversations, with everyone from long-time Boll producer Shawn Williamson to regular collaborator Clint Howard, provide some entertaining anecdotes and insight into how Boll works. The interviews paint Boll as a hardworking hustler; a man brimming with energy and ideas and the means to pull them off but maybe not necessarily the talent.

Boll has always come off as someone who is both too aloof to care about what people say and he was never willing to play nice with the establishment but he clearly wanted to win it over. His antics, including the much buzzed about at the time critics boxing match, are a clear indication of that but why he chose to direct as the thing to hang his hat on was never quite clear and is still not clear post Fuck You All. As Williamson and others note, Boll was always a better producer and though he's now hung up his directing hat - for the time being - he is still producing the occasional project.

So what exactly is the point of Sean Patrick Shaul's documentary? I'm not really sure. Boll was never one to care whether people liked him or not so it's unlikely he cares about that now that he's stepped away from that limelight and though Shaul ends by asking his interviewees the same question: is Boll the worst director of our generation? the movie doesn't really provide enough insight for the viewer to make their own judgement call or to change anyone's mind if they already hated the director.

Still, I did find Fuck You All: The Uwe Boll Story an entertaining look at one of the most notorious filmmakers of the past 20 years and hearing the people who worked closely with him speak of him so candidly and with so much warmth and respect does shed some new light on Boll.

Recommended Release: Postal

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