The Video Diary of Ricardo Lopez

(USA 2000)

I love Björk. Not like this, though.

The Video Diary of Ricardo Lopez is disturbing to say the least. It’s a real-time documentary — I would say self exploitation film — of one twisted super fan’s mental descent while he executes his plot to get even with Björk by mailing a letter bomb to her. Why? Because of who she chose to date.

This is difficult to watch. Culled from found footage, it’s a possibly well-intentioned but lurid exposé that showcases an ugly truth about fame, fandom, and insanity. Lopez clearly had problems. SPOILER ALERT: I’m glad he killed himself before he hurt her.

This is a film you probably don’t need to see, but if you do then once is enough. It broke my heart.

Production: Sami Saif

104 minutes

Not rated
(YouTube) A

Infinitely Polar Bear

(USA 2015)

Ah, the ups and downs of growing up during the pre-divorce Seventies, not only in a single-parent home but also with a bipolar dad. Directed and written by former The Larry Sanders Show writer Maya Forbes, Infinitely Polar Bear is a warm look back on a less than ideal situation.

Imogene Wolodarsky and Ashley Aufderheide as the lucky daughters create a believable chemistry that works really well with the subject matter. Mark Ruffalo’s performance is outstanding even if it probably isn’t one for which he’ll be remembered—his character’s antics are laugh-out-loud funny at times, and he gives his character (Channing) a loveable dorkish quality. I enjoyed Infinitely Polar Bear: it was funny and touching at once—much like an Afterschool Special.

(Landmark Century) B