Filmmakers love making films about filmmaking, and the fact that San Francisco filmmaker J.P. Allen has made a new film called The Filmmaker suggests the inward spiral that 2014’s Love and Demons and 2016’s reVISIONS hinted at has possibly resulted in him finally disappearing inside himself. Thankfully, The Filmmaker confounds that and other expectations, while remaining a love letter to San Francisco. Kevin (Allen) is a still photographer who becomes the victim of identity theft, and soon finds himself embroiled in a revenge plot masterminded by the mysterious Las Vegas camgirl Michelle (Ashley Rain Turner).
The number of fucks Allen gives about feminist film criticism was made clear in reVISIONS — by a character also played by Ashley Rain Turner, no less — so suffice it to say that Allen’s view of gender politics in The Filmmaker is very old-school film noir, and noir is the only thing more sacrosanct than drag in this town, so there’s nothing more to be said about that. Although Allen gets the de rigeur under-the-Bridge Vertigo shot out of the way early on, there’s also a deeper, more welcome cut in the form of an homage to the opening of Coppola’s The Conversation. And at long last, who is the filmmaker in The Filmmaker? The answer may surprise you.
Opens Friday at the Presidio Theatre.