Black-and-white pix of male models in Calvin Klein knickers - that's photographer Bruce Weber. Or is it? His first feature, an experimental documentary in mono and colour, breaks the mould. It follows boxing lightweight Andy Minsker, a ringer for Chet Baker, round Portland, Oregon: he talks to camera, engages parents and friends in tense, hearty conversation, and hangs out with his adopted gang, the tough kids he trains in his Mt Scott boxing club. Weber's eye is insistent and very subtle, and what emerges from a somewhat mawkish tale is deeply engaging. The unstable foundations of faux machismo gently rock his various encounters, and truth leaks out: his separated parents, for instance, unwittingly delineate a nasty family tableau from his youth when they get enthusiastic about the need for stern but fair discipline. Weber leaves joins showing and takes risks: a colour sequence of Minsker in a rose garden reluctantly reading from Richard II works against all odds. Throughout, the sounds of such as Gerry Mulligan, Julie London, and Chet Baker overlay these curiously tender images.
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