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Fast Trip, Long Drop
Time Out says
In 1988, Gregg Bordowitz, a New York video-maker, tested HIV positive, and set about making an autobiographical documentary. It's a freewheeling, funny, irate, provocative look at attitudes - his, ours, the media's - towards AIDS; at how one might 'live' with such an immediate, persistent awareness of imminent mortality. On one level, the film's 'documentary' aspects are conventional: Bordowitz speaks confessionally and straight-to-camera about his sex life and Jewish heritage, discusses his illness and his assumption of gay identity with his mother and stepfather, and mulls over the impossibility of hope with his support group. All this, however, is intercut not only with archive footage of various risky activities (car stunts, a man juggling a baby atop a skyscraper) and with sour satirical sketches featuring Borodowitz's surly Alter Allesman and various broadcasters, doctors and activists played by one Bob Huff. The resulting mélange, faintly reminiscent of early Makavejev, is troubled and troubling, occasionally exhilarating, and admirably honest; more surprisingly, against the odds, Bordowitz finally steers us towards some sort of gentle hope.