I wish I could tell you the plot of this film, but I just couldn’t find one. However, a quick glance at the press material reveals this: “Himrod Forever is a psychological portrait of B.W. – a life-sized sock puppet (bearing a striking resemblance to Bruce Willis,) retired action hero, occasional agoraphobe and resident of Queens, New York.”
Okay, while that explains why I watched 26 minutes of a giant sock puppet wallow in its own misery of a one-bedroom apartment, it still doesn’t explain the film.
“Himrod Forever” is told as a series of unrelated segments with titles like “A Month of Sundays,” “I Scream” and “The Eagle and the Hawk.” These segments are introduced with courier type on the screen – a style that became old with the wave of post-“Clerks” rip-offs.
The film starts with the giant sock puppet (played by director Karen Leo) that really doesn’t look anything like Bruce Willis jogging through the streets of Queens. The film continues with him holed up in his apartment, making clay figurines and arguing with his cat about food. It ends with the sock puppet jogging again. That’s about it; only it takes 26 minutes to watch.
There are some interesting scenes of stop-motion claymation that break the film up a bit, but doesn’t offer any more sense or story.
Director Karen Leo’s obsession with sock puppets and Bruce Willis has spawned a trilogy of such films. While this appears to be pretty much a one-woman outfit (no pun intended), there is no real point to the film that I could discern. Moreover, the heavy layering of overly introspective musings in the director’s notes (such as “Their story combines creation myth, action-adventure and fictionalized autobiography into a fragmented, episodic narrative.”) leaves me with a deeper understanding of how one person’s artistic vision can be an obsession they must thrust upon an audience.
If you’re a filmmaker that has put his or her blood, sweat and tears into your film and sent it to the Slamdance film festival to have it turned down, avoid “Himrod Forever” at all costs. Knowing that it got into a Park City festival while your masterpiece was rejected will make you weep until you’re dry and tempt you to commit suicide.