Film

Framing John DeLorean

Of madman and machine

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

An insightful documentary, a film within-a-film and a behind the scenes documentary on the making of that film within-a-film, Framing John DeLorean takes an appropriately robust and atypical approach to the tale of the grandiose, larger-than-life Detroit-bred automobile icon.

Ultimately, the multifaceted style helps paint a complicated picture of the flawed genius, described alternately here as a winner, loser, champion and fool, who started a revolution and wound up going down in the flames of a fire he set himself.

Directors Don Argott and Sheena M. Joyce, the director-producer team behind The Art of the Steal, tell the fascinating story of the rogue maverick, who rose from hotshot engineer at General Motors—he designed the GTO, which brought life back to the Pontiac brand and defined Detroit muscle car culture—to eventually start his own automobile company.

By the time the DeLorean car, with its vertically opening doors that looked like wings atop the vehicle, was immortalized in Back to the Future—as iconic a piece of Hollywood product placement as there ever was—his company had crumbled and DeLorean’s life had shipwrecked.

DeLorean’s story is so movie-ready that it’s odd it has taken this long for it to come to the big screen, although at one time about a dozen projects about him were floating around Hollywood in various stages of development.

In Framing, Argott and Joyce talk to those who worked with DeLorean as well as family members, including his son, Zachary, whose current life is far from luxurious, and who peppers almost every sentence he speaks with at least one F-bomb.

The young DeLorean’s life was torn apart when his father, reeling from bad business deals and deeply in debt to the British government, got caught up in a $24 million sting operation involving 200 pounds of cocaine. Though he was acquitted, further investigations revealed a $17.6 million gap in his accounting, tarnishing his reputation as a businessman and putting an end to the DeLorean mystique. His wife, supermodel Cristina Ferrare, left him soon after.

In addition to the interviews and archival footage assembled here, Alec Baldwin plays DeLorean in recreations of key moments from his life, and cameras capture Baldwin on-set and in makeup tests as he settles into his role and questions DeLorean’s character and motivations. It’s a look not only at DeLorean, but also a peek at how biopics come together. In the re-creations, Morena Baccarin plays Ferrare; the real Ferrare, who now authors cookbooks, is not interviewed in the film.

The DeLorean story encompasses big dreams, huge successes and crushing failures. It’s both inspiring and a cautionary tale, filled with drama, intrigue, hubris, comedy and tragedy. It’s an American story, and a wild one at that. Framing John DeLorean manages to squeeze it all into a box, something DeLorean himself never quite fit inside. A more straightforward telling wouldn’t do its subject justice.

More Film...
Cold Case Hammarskjold
Cracking a conspiracy

If you’ve seen The Red Chapel or The Ambassador, you already know that a common reaction to the documentaries of Danish filmmaker Mads Brugger is, “I’m not really sure what I just watched.”

Brugger is a journalist and a fabulist, a provocateur and a comedian. He makes films that…

more »
Mike Wallace Is Here
The hero we need

At first the title seems too simple, if not a bit stilted, especially for those who had never heard the name: Mike Wallace Is Here.

Yet as the documentary about the hard-hitting TV newsman soon makes clear, those are the four words no crooked politician or conniving businessperson ever…

more »
Good Boys
Out of the mouths of babes

A nearly one-note comedy about a trio of 12 year-old boys who will do anything they must to get to a “kissing party” attended by the girl one of them adores, Gene Stupnitsky’s Good Boys has an endless fascination with hearing preteens curse. Is it funny the first and fourth and…

more »
Events
Today
The Spitfire Grill

7:30pm|Performing Arts Center Mainstage

Boating Center Open

10:00am|Community Boating Center

Bard on the Beach

12:00pm|Vanier Park

Skagit Guided Adventures

12:00pm|Skyline Marina

An Iliad

7:30pm|Maritime Heritage Park

Skagit Tours

10:53pm|Highway 20.

Plover Ferry Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Seaside BBQ

5:30pm|Semiahmoo Resort

Ferndale Street Festival

6:00pm|Downtown Ferndale

The Phantom Tollbooth

7:00pm|BAAY Theater

Sin & Gin Tours

7:00pm|Downtown Bellingham, historic Fairhaven

Dynamic Duos

9:00pm|Upfront Theatre

Skagit Tours

10:53pm|Highway 20.

Pancake Breakfast

8:00am|American Legion Post #154

Fidalgo Bay Day

9:00am|Fidalgo Bay Resort

Lake Whatcom Park Trail Build

9:00am|Lake Whatcom Park

Twin Sisters Farmers Markets

9:00am|North Fork Library

Anacortes Farmers Market

9:00am|Depot Arts Center

Concrete Saturday Market

9:00am|Concrete Community Center

Mount Vernon Farmers Market2333

9:00am|Riverwalk Park

Bellingham Farmers Market

10:00am|Depot Market Square

The art of arrangement

10:00am

The Flower Festival

10:00am|Depot Market Square

Sumas Writers Group

10:00am|Sumas Library

Lynden Farmers Market

10:00am|Centennial Park

Blaine Gardeners Market

10:00am|H Street Plaza

Lummi Island Saturday Market

10:00am

Airfest

10:30am|Bellingham International Airport

Cemetery Tours

11:00am|Lynden Cemetery

Weavings Pop-Up Sale

11:00am|Vida Nueva Rugs

Plover Ferry Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Modern Quilts Final Weekend

12:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Lightcatcher Building

Sumi Fun for All Ages

1:00pm|Museum of Northwest Art

Summer Jazz Combo

2:00pm|Jansen Art Center

The Poetic Apothecary with Judith Adams

3:00pm|Upper Skagit Library

Nooksack River Walk

3:00pm|Horseshoe Bend Trailhead

Summer Fun in the Park

4:00pm|Blaine's Marine Park

Janie Cribbs and the T.Rust Band

5:30pm|Heart of Anacortes

Seaside BBQ

5:30pm|Semiahmoo Resort

Lummi Island Crabfest Dinner

6:00pm|Lummi Island Grange Hall

Sin & Gin Tours

7:00pm|Downtown Bellingham, historic Fairhaven

Skagit Tours

10:53pm|Highway 20.

Tomorrow
The Spitfire Grill

7:30pm|Performing Arts Center Mainstage

Boating Center Open

10:00am|Community Boating Center

Bard on the Beach

12:00pm|Vanier Park

Skagit Guided Adventures

12:00pm|Skyline Marina

Skagit Tours

10:53pm|Highway 20.

Plover Ferry Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

The Phantom Tollbooth

7:00pm|BAAY Theater

Skagit Tours

10:53pm|Highway 20.

Weavings Pop-Up Sale

11:00am|Vida Nueva Rugs

Plover Ferry Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Modern Quilts Final Weekend

12:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Lightcatcher Building

Seaside BBQ

5:30pm|Semiahmoo Resort

Sin & Gin Tours

7:00pm|Downtown Bellingham, historic Fairhaven

Skagit Tours

10:53pm|Highway 20.

Birchwood Farmers Market

10:00am|Park Manor Shopping Center

Langar in Lynden

11:00am| Guru Nanak Gursikh Gurdwara

Community Free Market

11:00am|Flora Street

Dog Days of Summer

11:00am|Whatcom Humane Society

Bellingham Handmade Market

11:00am|Goods Nursery and Produce

Plover Ferry Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Big Band Bonanza

12:00pm|Fairhaven Village Green

Skagit History Cruise

1:00pm|La Conner Channel Lodge

Summerfest

1:00pm| Josh Vander Yacht Memorial Park

La Conner Live!

1:00pm|Gilkey Square

Skagit History Cruise

1:00pm|La Conner Channel Lodge

Audubon at the Museum

1:30pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

International Concerts on the Border

2:00pm|Radost Folk Ensemble

Monday
Boating Center Open

10:00am|Community Boating Center

Skagit Tours

10:53pm|Highway 20.

Skagit Tours

10:53pm|Highway 20.

Plover Ferry Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Skagit Tours

10:53pm|Highway 20.

Plover Ferry Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Bark Week

12:00pm|Boundary Bay Brewery

Camp Korey Classic Golf Tournament

12:00pm|Eaglemont Golf Course

Poetrynight

7:00pm|Alternative Library

Open Mic Night

7:00pm|Village Books

Guffawingham

9:00pm|Firefly Lounge

see our complete calendar »