SAN FRANCISCO INDIE FEST 2023 REVIEW! Matthew Bauer’s documentary characteristic, The Different Fellow, spotlights the notorious lives of males worldwide who go by the notorious identify of Bond…James Bond as a result of that’s their actual identify.
The Different Fellow is an odd little documentary. It’s about James Bond however has nothing to do with James Bond. At first, one might imagine that having this moniker can be a badge of honor, however while you’ve lived with that identify, it turns into a tedious sequence of the identical feedback and questions from a random stranger who thinks their being cute—feedback like, “say the road,” and “shaken or stirred.” They’re continually requested if their favourite quantity is 007 or if they’ll see their “license to kill.” The insanity solely ramps up when the following installment of 007 hits the massive display screen or when speculating who the following Bond might be.
The movie opens with Bond creator Ian Fleming’s inspiration for the identify from one among his favourite books, Birds of the West Indies. He was in search of a really plain identify and stole it from famous ornithologist James Bond. This benign inspiration would quickly change the lifetime of the hen scientist. Bond would sooner or later confront Fleming in individual about his flagrant use of id theft.
Then director Bauer strikes on to the lives of on a regular basis individuals legally possessing James Bond’s identify. New York theater director, James Bond, is a homosexual man who is commonly requested about his potential to mattress random ladies…like his namesake. His expertise is a blended bag of enjoyable and frustration. He doesn’t essentially respect the notoriety of his identify however discovered methods to generate income off it from an look on a David Letterman High Ten Listing and some commercials benefiting from his identify. I get it. Don’t give it away free of charge. However, in the event you’re going to make Bond say the phrase…you may as properly pay him for it.
“…spotlights the notorious lives of males world wide who go by the notorious identify of Bond…James Bond…”
In all probability essentially the most notorious story of a real-life James Bond comes from a Black man from South Bend, Indiana, James Bond Jr. In his younger grownup life, Bond Jr. was arrested for obstruction of justice for “playfully” saying his identify “James Bond” to a police officer. James Bond Jr. spent 60 days in jail for suspected phrase intonation. He would later discover himself with an arrest warrant in a homicide investigation. As phrase received out on the information of a manhunt for “James Bond,” the residents of South Bend couldn’t imagine this unimaginable information merchandise. Now including one other wrinkle to the story is in South Bend man named “James Bond” who hears on the information of the manhunt and wonders if that’s him.
There’s one instance of an individual who isn’t named Bond. It’s the story of a lady who entered an abusive relationship with a James Bond. She had a baby, and when she discovered the braveness to go away him to dwell a life in seclusion, she determined to alter her son’s identify to…James Bond, in fact, and the explanation she did it was a stroke of genius (see the doc for the reply).
The Different Fellow is a bizarre documentary a few bizarre topic. It asks the query of what it’s like for individuals who have that notorious identify and the way that identify has affected their lives. The attain of the documentary is broad. Bauer speaks to gents world wide and masterfully picks aside the problem in a complete approach. I’ve already talked about the origin of Bond’s identify, however then to search out the shared experiences of the Bonds world wide after which highlight the extraordinary penalties of getting that identify.
For budding documentarians, The Different Fellow is an instance of a documentary beginning from a easy “I’m wondering…” assertion. By way of analysis and diligence, filmmaker Matthew Bauer managed to string collectively an intriguing and interesting movie.
The Different Fellow screened on the 2023 SF Indie Fest.