Year Released: 2010
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 38 minutes
Click to Expand Credits:
Filmmakers Nate Harar, Torre Catalano and Chris Harar co-directed this short documentary on the vaguely mysterious Gary, a homeless man who ekes out a living by creating flower and fruit designs over the “Imagine” mosaic in the Strawberry Fields section of New York’s Central Park. Gary also serves as an unofficial historian on the life and death of John Lennon, and tourists offer loose change in praise of his raconteur skills and unlikely artwork.
Whether Gary can be considered an artist is open to debate – even some of his homeless peers laugh at the notion, including his common-law wife, openly laugh at his claim. But Gary’s bubbly personality and genuine adoration for the slain ex-Beatle more than compensates for his aesthetic shortcomings.
However, the antics of the gabby Gary can barely support this 38-minute production, but that’s hardly his fault. The three filmmakers never provide any depth regarding how Gary came to this unlikely position in life or how he continues to survive in New York based on loose change from tourists. Gary offers only a brief acknowledgement of an unlikely former residence – an Amtrak tunnel a few blocks north of Strawberry Fields – while his companion speaks at length about her own fall from suburban privilege to urban homelessness.
There is a greater story lurking within this subject, though “The Mayor of Strawberry Fields” never seems to realize it is there.
Posted on October 23, 2010 in Reviews by Phil Hall
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