The latest entry in the ever-expanding Harvey Weinstein demonology, this jittery documentary is as raw as the filmmakers’ rattled nerves. Directors Mark Brian Smith and Tony Montana were close to the story from the start: two starstruck pals of their main character, Boston bartender, aspiring filmmaker, and sometime guitarist Troy Duffy. At the peak of the overheated indie-cinema market in 1997, Weinstein ponied up a $15 million budget for Duffy’s script Boondock Saints, sparking a wave of free publicity that minted Duffy as the newest indie icon—a bootstrap, baby Scorsese. He even scored a big-label record deal for his band, which Smith and Montana managed, even as they chronicled Duffy’s rise and fall. As the most irritating egotist this side of, well, Harvey, Duffy screamed at and alienated anyone who ever thought of helping him: shouting at agents by day, schmoozing with B-list celebs by night. The filmmakers capture Duffy’s sadistic circus thoroughly, but they seem lost attempting to explain what happened when the record flopped and Miramax dumped the film. (It eventually got made for a lower budget.) They sketch a conspiracy with Weinstein as villain, but it doesn’t quite wash; more interesting is the film’s insinuation that Duffy was a wannabe Harvey: screaming, but with nothing to say.
By Mark Brian Smith And Tony Montana.
Thinkfilm. November 12.