Silverback Larry’s post from The Villages about The Villages generated a fair amount of chatter in The Jungle. Seems like on person’s vision of paradise is another person’s idea of “where Trumpers go to die.” Here are some trailers and reviews of a recent documentary called Some Kind of Heaven that lets you decide for yourself. Interesting, too, that this year’s Academy Award went to Nomadland, which is in many ways a treatment on the same subject. I recommend that you watch both, then comment on Silverback Digest about what this says about the State of America. SB SM
(from Rotten Tomatoes) With Some Kind of Heaven, first-time feature director Lance Oppenheim cracks the manicured facade of The Villages, America’s largest retirement community — a massive, self-contained utopia located in Central Florida. Behind the gates of this palm tree-lined fantasyland, Some Kind of Heaven invests in the dreams and desires of a small group of Villages residents — and one interloper — who are unable to find happiness within the community’s pre-packaged paradise. With strikingly composed cinematography, this candy-colored documentary offers a tender and surreal look at the never-ending quest for finding meaning and love in life’s final act.
(from The Guardian) “You don’t come here to die, you come here to live!” cheers one of the residents of the Villages, in Florida. The postcard-perfect community of some 120,000 old folks has been called Disneyland for retirees, and is the subject of Lance Oppenheim’s spry, occasionally surreal documentary. The film hones in on four idiosyncratic characters: grumpy widow Barbara, recreational drug enthusiast Reggie and his long-suffering wife Anne, and gold-digger Dennis, who lives in his van and works the Villages’ bars and swimming pools hoping to pick up a moneyed mistress.
A scene in which Oppenheim gathers a room full of smiling women all called Elaine is straight out of a David Lynch movie. It’d be easy to mistake the director’s deadpan observation for mocking, but the space he holds for the darker aspects of his characters’ individual stories helps to puncture any cultivated cutesyness.
There’s a definite flavour of “only in America” to this documentary about life in the Villages, an affluent, homogenised retirement community in Florida, but Lance Oppenheim’s film has nothing too deep to say about its setting. Focused on four residents, it contents itself with telling poignant tales and letting Reggie, an ageing pothead, spring a few surprises. (The Sunday Times)