Lenny Schwartz and Nathan Suher wanted to make a movie fast. Because it was about the time of corona, made in the time of corona, it couldn’t be produced using normal methods. So the prolific Schwartz wrote an extended series of one-person scenes that play out over the internet and could be shot by individual actors in their homes.
The result, Far From Perfect: Thoughts on a Global Pandemic, is long – 2 hours and twenty minutes. But it’s online, so you can always pause it to pee or to finish later. It is oddly fascinating and very watchable – like letting YouTube autosurf for you or like a particularly riveting Zoom gathering, in the new order of things. There are around 100 segments, almost all are short, sweet, concise and often intense. Each stars a different actor addressing the camera, and the tales are loosely tied together – each character is somehow tied to the previous and next one, but each tells his or her own story. It’s a series of monologues – some funny, some dark, some touchy. With more than 100 segments, some naturally miss the mark, but they’re so short you’re on to the next one before ADD can set in. Many different viewpoints are represented, and the montage-like presentation is gently captivating. Think of it as “The Corona Monologues,” and you’ve got the right spirit. And rest assured, no matter what you think of our current state of affairs, you will find at least one voice to horrify you, at least one you’re in full agreement with, and any number to amuse you.
Plus many of them are local actors and this is Rhode Island, so you’re likely to see someone you know in here.
The film may have enduring appeal – as an inspired snapshot of the thoughts and concerns from this moment in time, at the very least. But as the first substantive work of filmmaking to address what’s happening in our world, it’s a streaming must-see.
The film premiered April 18 and can be seen here: vimeo.com/409093359. It will be available in the coming weeks on Amazon Prime.