EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|WHO IS BOZO TEXINO? (director/writer: Bill Daniel; cinematographer: Bill Daniel; editor: Bill Daniel; music: Tom Kerr; cast: Bill Daniel; Runtime: 56; MPAA Rating: NR; Bill Daniel Production; 2005)|
|"One of the most enjoyable films I
have seen in years."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Bill Daniel's experimental documentary is about the search
for the true identity of the world's greatest boxcar artist. It follows
the 100-year tradition of hobo and
railworker graffiti, and has interviews with some of the railroad's
current hobo and
railworker graffiti artists. It also calls to attention some of those
legendary monikers that include: Colossus of Roads, The Rambler, Herby, Bozo Texino, Frisco Jack, Water Bed Lou,
and Coaltrain. It's one of the most enjoyable films I have seen in
years; it captures some of the history of the hobo subculture from its 19th century roots
in America and why it's appealing for these featured misfits and
outsiders to ride the freight train boxcars and not be part of
mainstream society. And, also why there's the need for the hobos to
seek a nickname for themselves in their strange trip through life and
to tag their monikers (or use another's) on trains by mostly using wax crayons.
This lonely independent lifestyle of the
hobo was researched by the freight riding Daniel starting in 1982 for
some twenty years, and digitally
edited from hours of 16mm and super 8 b/w film. Daniel was especially curious about a
person with the
mysterious freight train tag of "Bozo Texino", a character that's drawn
cowboy hat with a pipe who decorated trains for over eighty years. It
concludes that the real Bozo Texino is possibly a railway worker from
Texas, who no longer is around.
This curious look at a
possible fading lifestyle and a colorful part of American folklore
mythology, tells us more about Americans and their need for
independence than most other films because it's genuine and the
filmmaking by the independent-minded filmmaker is spirited about
getting the task at hand right.
REVIEWED ON 1/11/2011 GRADE: A
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ