William Wegman

film 16 of 46

Pocketbook Man

Film Review by Dean Duncan Jul 15, 2015

The best part of this is how Wegman does the whole thing in his underwear. There’s some friendly provocation in that, maybe. Even more, there’s comfortable domesticity. Maybe it was just a hot day. He’s still got his runners and his coloured socks on, mind you.

The ridiculousness of the whole satisfies, mostly because, as simple as it is, the comic assembly is really solid. He says his slightly mysterious line, leaves us hanging for a second, then comes in from the wings to make an explanation, the which explanation is just a bit different from what you had expected. First, he’s got purses draped all over himself. Next we have one of his fun man/dog mysteries. Wegman is doing something to make Man Ray keep retrieving the bags that he keeps throwing away. We know he’s doing something, too. That doesn’t jeopardize the illusion, because this is Brechtian, or at least oral history, or direct address. Or having fun with your buddy, who also happens to be a very clever artist. Further, after all that, the hermaneutic code is still operating. The question remains: how did he do that?