YOU SEEN CLEM
2003, USA, 93 min
Is there a hotter hot-button issue around here than homelessness? It takes a certain amount of chutzpah to take on the subject at all, but to make a comedy about it is truly reckless. This seat-of-their-pants docu-dram-edy is an inspired fusion of documentary, comedy, drama and surreptitiously filmed pranks that simply refuses to be predictable.
With a screenplay credit that reads, Written by: Itself, dont expect an entirely seamless plot, but this tall tale concerns young Jaymo, a Portland skateboarding lay-about suddenly kicked out of his girlfriends apartment and living in his car. Hes been working on his epic skate documentary, The Grind Kings of Burnside, for years, but decides to turn his camera on the homeless folks he now lives among. He takes a special interest in one particularly strange homeless guy everyone knows as Clem. Clems got a secret, though, and soon enough Clem and Jaymo are on a cross-country adventure, shooting interviews in homeless encampments all over America, to find out what life is really like living on the streets. Nashville, Austin, New Orleans, Santa Barbara, San Francisco-every towns got folks living on the streets, getting by any way they can, and we meet a bunch of them-like Captain Kidd in Key West, Vampire Mike in San Francisco, and Sage Gentle-Wing in Austin. And some of them play some amazing music-the films truly spectacular soundtrack is all recorded by street musicians. Its a gorgeous, crazy little movie with a big heart that may change your mind about a few things.
In attendance: Director Erich Lyttle, DP/Editor Ethan Shiels, Producer Dan Wilkins, soundman Austin Storms, cast members Chris "Jaymo" Jamieson and Tony" Lozit and a surprise or two.