Escapes Screen 81 of 4 reviews

Escapes

2017

Escapes Poster
  • The film understands cinema as a series of nesting neuroses, in which our desires are rechanneled in legends that render the former puny by comparison, though our longings are the ultimate manna of said legend-hood. Cinema, then, is transcendent as well as entrapping. Fancher recalls his life and realizes that it has been governed by fear, which may flabbergast audiences. Projected on a vast, myth-enabling screen, Fancher appears fearless.

  • Mr. Fancher’s movie love and way of spinning a yarn to its near-breaking point — one detour opens onto another — dovetail nicely with the cinephilia and playfulness that characterize Mr. Almereyda’s movies (“Experimenter”). He folds plenty of tangy bits into “Escapes” — Mr. Fancher palled around with fame and was romantically involved with Sue Lyon and Barbara Hershey — but the movie is more essayistic gloss than definitive biography. It’s a liberating take.

  • When Fancher’s weathered visage finally appears, he recounts more regrets than triumphs, but in Almereyda’s affectionate biographical scrapbook, his accomplishments are small manifestations of an iconoclastic existence whose reward is a messy, cherished independence.

  • Fancher is an unusual kind of storyteller, someone with a lot of very cool experiences told in a largely placid tone, without the honed-with-years stop-and-starts of the kind of raconteur who’s timed reaction to his anecdotes down to a repetitive science. The film’s both a blast and a little sneakily sad: Restlessness punctuated by lots of improbably lucky breaks is the gift and the curse.

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