search for something...

search for something you might like...

Outsideleft at SXSW: Angel Applicant - Documentary Review Lake looks at the winning doc in the SXSW Grand Jury Awards

Outsideleft at SXSW: Angel Applicant - Documentary Review

Lake looks at the winning doc in the SXSW Grand Jury Awards

by Lake, Film Editor
first published: March, 2023

approximate reading time: minutes

a blindfolded Meyer attacks a baby pink pinata shaped like a pair of lungs

PosterANGEL APPLICANT (starstarstarstarstar_outline)
directed by Ken August Meyer

Ken August Meyer suffers from the condition scleroderma, an auto-immune disease that originally manifested itself by the tightening of the skin on his hands and face but soon progressed to attacking his internal organs, notably his lungs. This is the same illness that the artist Paul Klee suffered from and in this inspirational and entertaining doc, Meyer traces a personal pilgrimage through Klee’s art.

The documentary opens with the softly spoken Meyer, face to the camera, tightly framed, narrating the beginning of his story as he intercuts sausages and ice pops formed into finger shapes to explain what happened to hands. This immediately reveals the approach Meyer will employ in this, his debut film. There is no room to be maudlin. Meyer is a witty, self-deprecating host with a poet’s eye for image and metaphor. No wonder that Klee’s mystical and cryptic later works had such a pull on him. It’s a simple film, shot on a presumably low-to-no budget and Meyer creates effective, memorable scenes by means of the intimacy of his words and no little visual flair. At one point a blindfolded Meyer attacks a baby pink piñata shaped like a pair of lungs. By the end of the documentary Meyer’s own lungs will have tried to kill him.

The title of the film comes from one of Klee’s works, one of a series of angels, all twisted lines and contorted physiognomy, that the artist drew frequently towards the end of his life. Meyer’s obsession with Klee’s final body of work becomes a personal religion, the angels his own spiritual support group. It’s an incredibly moving film. Sublime in its simplicity. And now that the SXSW Grand Jury has awarded it the best documentary prize it should find the wide audience it deserves.


Essential Information
Angel Applicant premiered at SXSW.
Angel Applicant website here
No trailer available as we posted this.

Lake
Film Editor

Kirk Lake is a writer, musician and filmmaker. His published books include Mickey The Mimic (2015) and The Last Night of the Leamington Licker (2018). His films include the feature films Piercing Brightness (2014) and The World We Knew (2020) and a number of award winning shorts.


about Lake »»

RECENT STORIES

RANDOM READS

All About and Contributors

HELP OUTSIDELEFT

Outsideleft exists on a precarious no budget budget. We are interested in hearing from deep and deeper pocket types willing to underwrite our cultural vulture activity. We're not so interested in plastering your product all over our stories, but something more subtle and dignified for all parties concerned. Contact us and let's talk. [HELP OUTSIDELEFT]

WRITE FOR OUTSIDELEFT

If Outsideleft had arms they would always be wide open and welcoming to new writers and new ideas. If you've got something to say, something a small dank corner of the world needs to know about, a poem to publish, a book review, a short story, if you love music or the arts or anything else, write something about it and send it along. Of course we don't have anything as conformist as a budget here. But we'd love to see what you can do. Write for Outsideleft, do. [SUBMISSIONS FORM HERE]

OUTSIDELEFT UNIVERSE

Ooh Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha May 29th
OUTSIDELEFT Night Out
weekend

outsideleft content is not for everyone