By Gregory Crofton
Anytime you get your hands on a Nick Broomfield documentary that you haven’t seen, hold it with care like a robin’s egg.
Keep yourself warm and make sure you’re in the mood to laugh and be astounded by the breadth of human behavior he captures on film by crashing the scene with a camera and boom microphone.
DRIVING ME CRAZY — even though it studies an unruly subject, the Austrian artist André Heller recruiting talent in New York City for his production of a black culture vehicle called “Body and Soul” to be staged in Germany — is surely one of Broomfield’s best.
Shot in 1988, when Broomfield had already directed 10 documentaries, DRIVING ME CRAZY is the first Broomfield film in which he includes himself in the story, a move that’s become his cinematic signature.
“Nick was originally influenced by the observational style of Fred Wiseman, and Robert Leacock and Pennebaker, before moving on largely by accident to the more idiosyncratic style for which he is better known,” states Broomfield’s website. “While making DRIVING ME CRAZY in 1988, a film hopelessly out of control, Nick decided to place himself and the producer of the film in the story, as a way of making sense of the event. This experiment led to a sense of greater freedom, from the confines of observational cinema, and led to a more investigative and experimental type of filmmaking.”
Some of Broomfield’s other documentaries include:
TALES OF THE GRIM SLEEPER (2014)
SARAH PALIN: YOU BETCHA! (2011)
BATTLE FOR HADITHA (2007)
BIGGIE AND TUPAC (2002)
KURT & COURTNEY (1998)
AILEEN: THE SELLING OF A SERIAL KILLER (1992)
LILY TOMLIN (1986)
CHICKEN RANCH (1983)