diary of a times square thief

…is enthralled by the scuzzy fringes of pre-Giuliani Manhattan but offers a genuinely fresh and compelling approach. Its Dutch director Klaas Bense, whose first film this is, came across an intriguing journal on eBay, a scrapbook-confession of flophouse life in the 80s by a failed would-be writer with a voice somewhere between William S Burroughs and Travis Bickle. Coming to New York, Bense tracks down some of those mentioned in the diary as he tries to find its author. The thoughts and memories he collects are various, touching, insightful and beautifully presented. The overall mood is one of generosity, humility and acceptance ? a tone more in keeping, perhaps with the film’s backers, the Buddhist Film Foundation, than its location. It’s not often you hear a New Yorker say the words spoken by the final interviewee: "If I were to romanticise my story, er ? I won’t."

this wonderful little film by dutch director ‘klaas bense’ recently aired on TV here and is currently doing the rounds at a few small art film festivals, see it if you can

m / 21-07-2009 13:53

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