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By Brad Wilke | November 22, 2008

“Fan Mail” is a short film by Sean Christensen that blurs the line between narrative fiction and documentary and basically says as much, stating: “This film was based on a true story.”

Utilizing a compelling first-person narrator, Christensen manages to show what it is like in the head of an ardent fan as he sits down to write a torturous fan letter to a cinematic hero; in this case, Miranda July. Interestingly enough, the short plays out like a lower-rent version of one of her meandering, navel-gazing short stories, so it is no surprise that the director is a big fan of hers. It’s almost like a film she might shoot on a whim one rainy afternoon…

Since it is barely 5 minutes in length, the short spends most of its time focusing on the narrator as he goes back and forth about what would be the absolute perfect way to get Miranda July to read his letter, and, by extension, recognize him as a kindred spirit. Much shorter and way more self-conscious than the breezy “My Date with Drew,” “Fan Mail” belongs to a small (but growing?) sub-genre of passive-aggressive male stalker docs that are long on set-up, but can’t quite get it up when it comes time to deliver.

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