SXSW Film Reviews
Mail Order BrideD: Huck Botko, Andrew Gurland; with Andrew Gurland, Eugenia Yuan, Adrian Martinez, Sam Lisenco
Narrative Feature Special Screenings, Regional Premiere
When documentary filmmaker Andrew Gurland (playing himself) decides to make a movie about doorman Adrian Martin (Martinez) ordering a bride from Burma, it comes as little surprise when Martin turns out to be a little off-kilter. But the real fun comes when Lichi (Yuan), Martin's bride, flees her life of toilet-scrubbing, S&M videos, and feeding rats to an albino snake, and finds a different kind of exploitation at the hands of Gurland himself. Hilarious, disturbing, and smart, Mail Order Bride subtly manipulates stereotypes and ultimately implicates the audience in Gurland's guilt. The mockumentary contains some fine comedic performances, especially by Martinez, and perfectly mimics the swooshing, wobbly camerawork of contemporary documentaries. Other than the perfect lighting (and wondering why Gurland keeps the cameras rolling as he gets sicker and sicker), you might be fooled into thinking it's the real thing.
(Alamo, March 20, 3pm)