Using a blend of character animation, motion design and documentary footage, Pablo tells the story of the life and times of Pablo Ferro.
Let me guess. You have no idea who Pablo Ferro is, do you?
You may not be familiar with Ferro by name, but you're unquestionably familiar with his work if you're even remotely familiar with the movie scene over the past 40 years. Ferro is one of Hollywood's most legendary film title designers, a man who was born a poor Cuban immigrant and who rose to the heights of the Madison Avenue commercial industry before becoming one of the most celebrated designers in cinematic history. Pablo centers on the man's presence in the New York counter culture scene of the 1960's until a mysterious brush with death changes his life forever.
The film is directed by Richard Goldgewicht, whose brilliance is really allowing Pablo to look and feel like the extraordinary designer. The film also features appearances by and interviews with a host of Hollywood greats familiar with Pablo's work including Jon Voight, Anjelica Huston, Andy Garcia, Beau Bridges, Jonathan Demme, Stan Lee, Norman Lear, Leonard Maltin, and Robert Downey Sr. among quite a few others. The film is narrated to extraordinary effect by Oscar winner Jeff Bridges, an actor who could likely sound sincere reading the phone book.
Checking out the list of films that have had title design by Ferro is like taking a journey through Hollywood's greatest films with titles including A Clockwork Orange, Napoleon Dynamite, L.A. Confidential, Stop Making Sense, Beetlejuice, To Live and Die in L.A., Dr. Strangelove, Pump Up the Volume, The Addams Family, To Die For, Midnight Cowboy, That Thing You Do!, Anna Karenina, and on and on and on.
Pablo is a wonderful documentary because it creates an intelligent, informative and entertaining portrait of one of Hollywood's largely untold stories. People like Pablo Ferro are the kind of people that the mainstream American public really love hearing about with that perfect weaving together of fantasy, the idea of living successfully in the Hollywood circle, and reality, a rather down-to-earth kind of guy whose success doesn't seem so much larger than life as it seems like a story of dreams come true.
Those who are particularly fond of Jeff Bridges as The Dude, his iconic character from The Big Lebowski, will likely appreciate his almost meditative narration here that captures the abstract nature of Pablo and his work and his personality. Pablo himself comes off as a rather likable guy with the kind of quirky personality one might expect from a Hollywood artistic type.
Pablo is now available on DVD from Breaking Glass Pictures with a wealth of DVD extras that will have you enthralled watching the screen for quite some time. While the film is not without its modest flaws, at times threatening to become a bit of a downer but never actually crossing the line, for anyone either familiar with Pablo's story or simply wanting to discover an unusual story about a Hollywood gem then Pablo is definitely a film worth catching.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic