Remi Milligan - Lost Director
Nov 11, 2023
Reza Diako, Sara Granato, Sebastian Romaniuk, Andrew Forbes
NEW TO UK FILM REVIEW
Critics Chris Olson and Brian Penn host UK Film Club - a new film podcast covering all film types. From blockbusters to old favourites and even indie & shorts.
Celebrating the life as well as the diverse and bizarre works of one Michele Benedetto aka Remi Milligan (a maverick film director who just disappeared one day under mysterious circumstances) through a clever combination of interviews, “behind the scenes footage” and a showcase of impressive fictional short films, Remi Milligan: Lost Director is the brilliant story of one of the greatest low-budget film auteurs that never existed.
It's important to remember while watching Remi Milligan: Lost Director that, despite how one might feel while watching, it is actually all a work of fiction. And that is in no way intended to take away anything from the film, quite the contrary. In fact, it’s a testament to how ridiculously well writer/director Samuel Lodato has crafted such a complete and thought-out legend around this enigmatic character of Remi Milligan that you might in fact come away in the end, like I did, actually a bit sad that it’s not all true.
The film is complete with talking head interviews from Milligan superfans, ex-girlfriends, former crew members, family and even his personal biographer, all of which are brilliantly delivered and utterly convincing. We are also treated to a showcase of some of Milligan’s most notable works: Killer Pencil, a five minute short about a cursed writing implement (that you can and should actually watch online), The Greek Connection, Song and Dance at Guantanamo Bay (featuring original songs with changed lyrics) and finally, the has-to-be-seen-to-be-believed Satsuman, a film about a giant Satsuma seeking out their long-lost father. Each of these films within the film are given as much care and attention as the main feature, and watching them will not only put a smile on your face, but highlights the care, passion and hard-work that Lodato and co. have put in to making this all feel as real as it does, and maybe even leave you wondering if we will ever get that Satsuman movie you didn’t know you wanted.
Lodato definitely hits all the key notes that make a great mockumentary work, the most crucial being believability, which is absolutely nailed on. One would challenge anyone not to at some point get caught out by the “authenticity” of the ever-deepening mythos of Remi Milligan that Lodato invites us into, it’s very likely you may find yourself, again like me, suddenly remembering that in fact, Remi Milligan: Lost Director is merely for fun, but still a shining example on how mockumentaries should work. It could have perhaps had its tongue wedged a bit more into its cheek to establish a bit more of a stable tone throughout, but other than that, the look, feel and delivery can only be greatly admired.
Remi Milligan: Lost Director is a wonderful addition to the mockumentary genre, as well as an homage to the tribulations and ingenuity of the guerilla, low-budget filmmaking process and to all those weird and wonderful creators out there who believe film is their calling.