Reel Indie Film Festial Review: Walking Proof (2013)

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Walking-Proof


Director: Matthew Dorman, Marcio Novelli
Country: Canada
Genre: Documentary
Official Trailer: Here


Editor’s Notes: The following review is part of our coverage of the Reel Indie Film Festival. For more information on the festival visit http://reelindiefilmfest.com/ and follow the event on Twitter at @RIFF_TorontoWalking Proof screens on Thursday October 17th at 7:00 PM at The Royal in Toronto.

Marcio Novelli is a Hamilton, Ontario native singer/songwriter whose career is just about to launch. He sites influences such as Tegan and Sara, 30 Seconds to Mars, and Green Day as being important to his sound, though his structured and layered pop-rock sound feels a bit more diverse than that. He’s an enthusiastic and joyful performer with an obvious passion for music.  In the documentary Walking Proof we join Marcio as he basically locks himself in a recording studio for seventeen days to complete his first full-length album. While he has an engaging and passionate personality, the film comes off as a bit stagnant and it doesn’t allow the viewer an opportunity to get to know any of the people on a personal level.

While he has an engaging and passionate personality, the film comes off as a bit stagnant and it doesn’t allow the viewer an opportunity to get to know any of the people on a personal level.

Walking-Proof

Walking Proof is a procedural documentary that takes us through the technical process of recording an album. It’s a chronological account of the recording starting with laying down the guitar and drum tracks, adding the bass, recording the vocals and finally adding some final touches and mixing. For anyone whose not familiar with the process there is a bit of interesting information here. We also get to join Marcio as he learns the process. This is his first time making a full-length album and his positivity and enthusiasm at learning new skills and new ways of thinking about his music is refreshing. Throughout the course of the documentary Marcio develops a teacher/student relationship with his producer Jim. This is probably the most interesting aspect of the film, unfortunately it isn’t explored enough throughout. We get glimpses of a relationship and a story developing, but there’s not enough follow through.

Walking Proof is a procedural documentary that takes us through the technical process of recording an album. It’s a chronological account of the recording starting with laying down the guitar and drum tracks, adding the bass, recording the vocals and finally adding some final touches and mixing.

This is similar to what happens with the various session musicians who join Marcio. Having this variety of musicians coming in to play on his album demonstrates an openness and humility to the music, but the transient nature of their appearances doesn’t give us enough of a chance to get to know any of them. Relationships, character development, and plot are all important aspects to any film, documentaries are no exception. The focus of this film is a bit too narrow, and doesn’t allow the viewer to really get inside the world of the movie. Focusing very heavily on Marcio it could be easy to dismiss this film as a vanity piece or an ego boost, fortunately Marcio is charismatic and genuinely earnest and playful. His upbeat attitude saves this documentary from being dreary.

Despite all of his enthusiasm, the film feels a bit too insular. There’s no specific direction to the story except to complete the album, which is ultimately not enough to maintain a viewers interest unless they are big fans of the band in question. A bit of extrapolation, possibly some concert footage, could have brought this film into the real world and given a bit more of a narrative focus. As it stands, this is an extended bonus feature on the technicalities involved in recording an album as opposed to an intricate portrait.

[notification type=”star”]50/100 ~ MEDIOCRE. Despite all of his enthusiasm, the film feels a bit too insular. There’s no specific direction to the story except to complete the album, which is ultimately not enough to maintain a viewers interest unless they are big fans of the band in question.[/notification]

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I've been working in film exhibition for a very long time. I studied film at university and I watch far too many movies. At least 2 movies a day. I like to think about movies and I like to write about movies. I'm looking forward to doing more of both. I also like kittens.