Hot Docs 2016 Review: Michael Shannon Michael Shannon John
The film of the festival in terms of title, (it’s quite fun to say), and perhaps the one featuring the most interesting soundtrack (by Alaska B), Michael Shannon Michael Shannon John is a lot of things.
However, it almost feels like it’s too many things, as the compelling story from the beginning, (again, wrapped up with that hypnotic score) reveals a mystery that isn’t that fascinating. But perhaps this is the point of the film. For instead of solving why John Hamner sired a Michael and a Shannon in both Hamilton, Ontario and in Thailand, it instead plays an identity movie specifically focusing on Shannon.
The mystery of the title is that it is not representative of the five characters, (especially when one is long past and exists in fragment). But then again, it does not demand equal time given to Thailand and experiences there, it doesn’t have to tell the other Shannon’s story (or that of the Michaels). If the film is mainly about a daughter and the spectre of her father, fine. But maybe this could have been clear from the outset, instead of discovered along the way.