LET'S GET LOST (Bruce Weber) Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNNN
Here's a documentary homage to Chet Baker, the whisper-voiced singer and West Coast trumpet player who, in the 50s, was taken seriously as a musician and a sex symbol. Weber's films (Broken Noses, Chop Suey) are devoted in part to valorizing a certain type of male beauty, and in Baker we have the model for that beauty in the footage of the young man and for its ruin after years of drug abuse.
Let's Get Lost is both love letter and lament, a swirl of different film stocks, of archival and contemporary footage. It's remarkably unkind to the women in Baker's life, as if their devotion were obviously inferior to the filmmaker's. Of course, he never had to live with Baker during his junkie years. For Weber, Baker is a magnificent obsession, which turns the artist (Weber is best known as a fashion photographer) into the most tremulous kind of fan, the only kind who could appreciate Baker's rasping rendition of Elvis Costello's Almost Blue. One of the most nakedly confessional films ever made, Let's Get Lost tells us more about its maker than its subject. (November 20 and 21, Paradise)