Laying feelings bare


Video Fool For Love
Directed by Robert Gibson
Produced by George Miller and Doug Mitchell
Opens March 28 at the Chauvel Cinema, Paddington, Sydney with other states to follow
Reviewed by Margaret Allan
"I still don't know whether he is the bravest man I know or the craziest", says George Miller, producer of Babe, and Video Fool For Love. "What I do know is that he's made me think very deeply about the nature of life, love and the artistic process." Miller is talking about Robert Gibson, who, for a period of 10 years kept a video diary of his life, focusing mainly on his relationships with several women. For these 10 years, he carried a video camera around with him recording all of his interactions with people, and a fair amount of his solitary musings. From the many hours of tape, he has constructed a film that chronicles the highs and lows of his love life, with sometimes appalling honesty. Gibson, an Australian Film Institute award winning editor of Australian films such as Flirting and Reckless Kelly, has produced a film where his lays his feelings bare. This is basically an intimate and sometimes sexually explicit home movie, edited and transferred onto 35mm film. The most unsettling aspect of this film is that every 10 minutes or so, there is the shock realisation that what you are witnessing actually happened. The fact that it is not acting makes it strangely intriguing and appealing. Perhaps the most bizarre thing is that the people featured agreed to be a part of this public exposure of their vulnerability. Why someone would want to be involved with a person who only interacts holding a video at arms length is beyond me, but there were several women who didn't seem to mind. Video Fool for Love is an absorbing film which leaves you with a feeling of melancholy. Gibson made a film which bares his emotional self to the world, or at least the part that he wants us to see, though occasionally I found myself wondering whether I really wanted to witness this exposure. Video Fool for Love is quite amusing at times, but often overwhelmingly sad. As Miller puts it quite well, "For Robert [Gibson], the difference between life and the movies is how you edit it."