The 2008 Los Angeles Film Festival Review - Confessionsofa Ex-Doofus-ItchyFooted Mutha

At the talkback after the feature presentation of “Confessionsofa Ex-Doofus-ItchyFooted Mutha”, Indie filmmaker Mario Van Peeples asked his father Melvin to explain the bumblebee story. Mr. Van Peeples explain the popular bumblebee theory that the insect’s wingspan is aerodynamically inadequate to allow its body mass to take flight, but it flies anyway. It flies because it just knows how to instinctively, it doesn’t know any better – aerodynamically or otherwise. And that is how the acclaimed director described his filmmaking process. No one taught him how, he just does it anyway. This philosophy does a lot to explain Van Peeples, latest film effort.

On the run to the next misadventure

The film is more of an allegory written in iambic pentameter and laden wall to wall with a sometimes funky, sometimes soulful soundtrack. And in the center of it all is the director, writer, producer, composer himself Melvin Van PeeplesConfessionsofa Ex-Doofus-ItchyFooted Mutha follows our hero, whose narrative breaks the fourth wall in a delight regale of his youth, lost loves and adventures from hooligan to merchant marine.

Son and fellow indie filmmaker Mario Van Peeples (front) makes a cameo appearance

The piece is a collage of iambic pentameter poetry and superimposed images and sound weaved together with a playful, inviting humor.  I have to confess that the age discrepancy took me out of the story more than once. However, we are warned from the beginning when our narrator explains he actually believe the story is mother told him about being deliver to her by a stork from angels on high, that the audience is not in for a conventional story, told in a conventional way. There are moments when the film literally stops for musical numbers, that when you think about it have become part of the “absurd comedy” very much in the vein of Austin Powers or The Mask. So I need to correct myself as I almost write that the film break genre.

Melvin Van Peeples & Stephanie Weeks in "Confessionsofa Ex-Doofus-Itchyfooted-Mutha"

As a self-taught filmmaker myself, I applaud the unqiue voice and style of the “Confessionsofa…” It breaks as many rules as it adheres to and still persists in being entertaining and engaging. And it is a unique, stylized, humorous adventure; and only one that Melvin Van Peeples could take you on.

Confessionsofa Ex-Doofus-ItchyFooted Mutha is part of the summer Preview series at the 2008 Los Angeles Film Festival running now through Jue 29th at the Westwood Village.

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