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Almost There2014

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  • 4.2
For many, Peter Anton's house embodies an end-of-life nightmare: the utility companies long ago shut off the heat and electricity, the floorboards are rotting and the detritus of a chaotic life is precariously stacked to the ceiling. But for the filmmakers Dan Rybicky and Aaron Wickenden, Anton's home is a treasure trove, a startling collection of unseen and fascinating paintings, drawings and notebooks, not to mention Anton himself, a character worthy of his own reality television show. Though aging, infirm, cranky and solitary, Anton also is funny and utterly resilient. The film's remarkable journey follows a gifted artist through startling twists and turns. By its quietly satisfying ending, ALMOST THERE has provided enough human drama for a season of soap operas, plus insights into mental illness, aging in America and the redemptive power of art. Produced by Kartemquin Films.

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Member Reviews (8)

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top reviewer

This is a great documentary. What at first feels like a documentary straining to find validation in a lost "find" of Outsider Art and artist soon develops into something much more. Peter Anton may not be a likable person and he may not fit into a shared idea of what formulates a talented artist -- but his story is absolutely fascinating. The filmmakers also present a perspective from their side of the camera that enlightens the audience as to why one of them was so drawn to this man's work in the first place.

Great.

Documentaries about artists can go wrong in a million different ways. Take John Maloof’s recent Finding Vivian Maier, which is more a film about Maloof’s transformation from a ragpicker into the self-appointed keeper of a dead photographer’s legacy rather than a document of said photographer’s work. Or Exit Through the Gift Shop, a barely-veiled hagiography/infomercial for Banksy and his/her genius. That’s not to say that these and other recent films concerned with artists’ lives don’t have their merits and charms. Only that, increasingly, documentaries seem to be more and more openly self-referential. Perhaps this has always been so, but the recent trend seems to be to dispense with any posture of objectivity or critical distance. (The rest of my review here: http://beltmag.com/almost-gets/)

A story of Peter Anton and a story of the film-makers as well. Engaging.

Great story telling, Peter is a redemptive figure whom despite his human flaws is a good person. The filmmakers create an empathic bond with this eccentric often reprehensible character that one somehow roots for no matter how debauched an outsider he's become.Cinematically it offers a palate of sweeping mid-western landscapes. I would like to have seen more of his environs as a youth coming of age. Rust belt towns like East Chicago once thrived in the mid-west. like Peter Anton alluded, "his town was once beautiful. In a sense Peter's degradation with additional period footage could've been framed in conjunction with the town's changing landscape and demographics.Over all a very good documentary. D-Day Media

I really enjoyed the tone of this film.

made me cry made me laugh made me celebrate life all over again..thank you for opening a portal to the sunshine of creative genius

The epitome of a true artist... numb to his suffering, but not his passion to create. Amazing documentary.