Actor Martinez

Having been on the sets of a few films, I really enjoy the behind-the-scenes aspects of the filmmaking process. For the same reason, I often enjoy commentaries, “making of” featurettes, and other kinds of DVD special features. I was intrigued by the IMDb description of Actor Martinez and hoped it would be like that.

Instead, I honestly don’t know what it is. If IMDb is to be believed, Arthur Martinez is a Denver actor who hired a couple of filmmakers (Mike Ott and Nathan Silver) to write and direct a movie with Arthur in the lead role. We occasionally see Arthur in his day job as a self-employed computer repairman and tech support guy. And then on nights and weekends, we see him doing movie-related stuff. Some of the time, especially at first, it’s just him by himself. He claims to be a promoter of local films and attends a meetup for local people who are or want to be in the film industry (perhaps one that Arthur organized?). He occasionally helps out with emergency services crews portraying a victim or finding others to play victims, for training exercises. But those are more diversions from the film starring Arthur.

And then they decide that he needs a girlfriend, so they have a casting session. There are a few applicants, some of which seem promising. They cast one, and then try to make Arthur uncomfortable with her so that he’ll want to get rid of her. Then, they say that they can get Lindsay Burdge (perhaps best known as the star of Hannah Fidell’s A Teacher) to play the part, and she agrees to come on board, with no idea what she’s getting herself into.

It’s hard to tell whether any of this movie is real or if it’s all staged. It could be some kind of performance art. Sometimes it feels like Ott and Silver might be playing a practical joke on Arthur, and a lot of the time, it feels like the joke might be on the audience. I assume that at least some of it is real because, while I do think that Burdge has the talent to act as convincingly as she appears, I just can’t buy that Arthur could fake the amount of clumsiness, cluelessness, and drivel we get from him.

But honestly, I don’t think that it matters whether it’s real or not, and what the balance might be between the two. If it’s all real, then it seems like they’re kind of making fun of Arthur’s lack of talent, and it’s awkward to watch. But if it’s staged, then they’re making it intentionally bad, which rarely works, and certainly doesn’t in this case. At any rate, it doesn’t have what I was looking for from the movie, and I didn’t really care for what it does provide.