I was lucky enough to meet avant-garde stage director Robert Wilson (Einstein on the Beach, The Black Rider) recently as he escorted a group of journalists around Los Angeles' ACE Gallery to show his remarkable Voom Portraits -- high-definition-video portraits of the famous and the unknown.
What was so memorable about the event was how open and emotional the tall, lean Wilson was -- he fought back tears several times as he recalled the commitment and intensity of his subjects as he filmed them. Quite a bit of that emotion comes through in this new documentary by Katharina Otto-Bernstein, especially as the 66-year-old Wilson recalls growing up in conservative Waco, Tex., as a shy, stuttering gay youngster. His transformation from that into a fearless, visionary, collaborative artist is an inspiring story. David Byrne, Philip Glass and Tom Waits are among those the director interviews for perspective. If anything, the 115-minute film doesn't do his life justice, but the DVD's extra features help. Grade: B+
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