Friday, 13 June 2014

"The Man Whose Mind Exploded" (The Guardian 13/06/14)

The Man Whose Mind Exploded ****
Dir: Toby Amies. With: Drako Zarhazar, Toby Amies. 77 mins. Cert: 15

Toby Amies’ documentary offers a complex, oddly moving portrait of Drako Zarhazar, a wheezing amnesiac who, in his 75 years, danced at the Palladium, dealt drugs to the Stones, and survived two near-fatal accidents with scant memory of it all. Just as extraordinary is Drako’s Brighton home: a hoarder’s paradise festooned with forget-me-nots and wallpapered with gay porn – itself a memento, perhaps, of a youth long supplanted by browning toenails. Amies doesn’t shy from venturing into uncomfortable areas: he finds a niche amid this clutter, and – prompted by the vintage members looming into shot – heads off issues of exploitation, framing Drako honestly as a spiky, singular sort, stubbornly resistant to the change he’s being nudged towards. As in Terry Zwigoff’s Crumb, the laying bare of one man’s fetishes proves pungently compelling – Amies’ up-close-and-personal approach is such one can practically smell Drako’s bedsheets – but so much else about this story, about this life, also lingers. 

The Man Whose Mind Exploded opens in selected cinemas from today.

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