"As Smart As They Are: The Author Project" is a straightforward documentary based upon the collaboration between One Ring Zero, the house band for New York's McSweeney's Publishing and a collection of award-winning authors who have contributed lyrics and, at times, voices to the band's works.
The film, currently playing at the Indianapolis International Film Festival, is an easy view with a straightforward approach that is insightful and funny.
As directed by Joe Pacheco, the film offers numerous interviews with those who've supported the band over the years, including authors Myla Goldberg ("Bee Season"), Paul Auster ("Smoke" and "The Center of the World"), Rick Moody ("The Ice Storm") and others including celebrities such as Viggo Mortensen and Peter Dinklage.
Destined to play for a limited crowd, the film played well for the mostly college audience that attended its Indianapolis screening.
Pacheco incorporates just the right amount of music, interviews and interesting visuals to keep the film moving along at a nice pace. "As Smart As They Are" relies heavily on the personalities it portrays, and really has no special effects or other cinematic tricks to pull the viewer in.
Generally, this approach works nicely despite the fairly dry personalities of the two core members of One Ring Zero.
"As Smart As They Are" will be of interest to fans of contemporary literature and those who can appreciate the quirkier side of modern music.
"As Smart As They Are" is a simple, entertaining documentary that is a perfect feature for the film festival circuit. At a mere 63 minutes, its unique storyline will entertain you and even have you singing along with a few of the tunes.