This movie is just the thing that fits inside you and never goes away. I first heard of this movie at the Museum of Fine Arts. It was playing there and I missed it, but it looked interesting. So I ordered it on Netflix and then promptly forgot what it was about or why I ever wanted to see it. So I kept sliding it down on the list (trust, mistrust) until, finally, I forgot to manage my list and it came to the house. That can happen, as you know.
John Waters and Andrew Moore put together a film about the artist, Ray Johnson, that leaves you wondering which is better--Ray Johnson--or the movie? The answer is --both. Okay, Ray Johnson was, well, Ray Johnson. The movie is a Ray Johnson motico. On one level it plays as a retrospective of Ray's live and his art. On another level it plays out as a totally noir B detective movie. More like a noir detective documentary. (Remember Dragnet?) It's Dragnet in an exquisitly "Ray" way. Ray Johnson was not an outsider artist. He knew everyone in the arts, and everyone knew him. But in an important sense he was an outsider artist. He was outside of everything. Hilarious interviews with friends who tried to buy some of his art work. The negotiations over the sales became bigger than the art. And the art is stunning. Film footage of Ray at a suburban garden party-episodes on his "foot" period. He drew and collaged feet for a long time. Finally he rented a helicoper and dropped "foot-long" hot dogs over Long Island. I can't tell you what a fabulous movie this is. I am thinking of holding a showing of if. Yes, of course I own it.