Homme Less

(USA, Austria, 2014, 83 mins, DCP)
Director:
PROD Karol Martesko-Fenster, Wolfgang Ramml
CAM Thomas Wirthenson
ED Thomas Wirthenson, Stefan Gritsch, Josh Cramer
MUS Kyle Eastwood, Matt McGuire
PROD CO Filmhaus Films / Schatzi Productions
Awards: Grand Jury Award, DOC NYC 14

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Mark Reay spends his days in the hot spots of New York City, snapping photos of models, doing acting gigs and living the life that people come to the city dreaming of. At night he retires to a rooftop and sleeps hidden away under a tarp. Sound strange? It is indeed. Mark is a bundle of contradictions: classy yet destitute, vain but humble, blessed with many gifts but unlucky in life. He’s 51, and still only a semi-pro in the photography and acting games. But rather than get an unsatisfying job that would make him some rent money, he chooses to live homeless and pursue his dreams to the bitter end.

Director Thomas Wirthensohn followed Mark for two years, documenting everything from his elaborate daily routines to his innermost feelings. What emerges from this is a rich human portrait and one of the best “city films” in years. From the bustle of Times Square to the brick tenements of Brooklyn, New York comes alive before our eyes. Whether schmoozing at fashion shows or shivering on the roof, Mark is always in his element; he can work every angle in life except the most important one. There’s a sadness to this movie, but also the thrill of seduction: we get taken in by a delightful man and a great city.

"The film is an adventure…and an often beautiful portrait of this city’s promise and cruelty."—Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice

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