Tuesday, 8 September 2009

[236] Letter to True (2004) DVD Review

One of the stranger DVDs I've had the pleasure to review.

Do you like dogs? I really don't. Not since I was chased down the road by a rottweiler at age 9, set on me by a boy who didn't appreciate me suggesting that Manchester United were the better of the city's football teams. Professional photographer Bruce Weber, on the other hand, loves dogs. He has a family made up of the little fellas. In fact, A Letter to True, a 2004 sorta-documentary, is a film dedicated and addressed to one of his pups.

A Letter to True is a mixture of reminiscences, anecdotes and bits of footage, hastily and awkwardly sewn together by Weber's cloying narration to True. He interviews fellow canine lovers, who spout drivel about the extra, supernatural senses that dogs exhibit, and ascribe to the little bundles of fur a fanatically-high level of awareness, intelligence and emotion. Weber even speaks of one of his dogs as, 'like all of us', being traumatised by the horror of 9/11, and plots a heavy-handed, sentimental link between dogs and war - something that is never given depth or explanation. Cue tangents about Haiti refugees, the Vietnam War, both World Wars and a London Remembrance Day ceremony, punctuated by clips from Courage of Lassie and Rin Tin Tin, and featuring spirited sound samples from Martin Luther King Jr., and Marvin Gaye singing 'The Star Spangled Banner'.

Read the full article here.

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