Postcards From The Future: The Chuck Palahniuk Documentary

Opens Fri Dec 12

Clinton Street

Chuck Palahniuk is a cool guy. He sees the world from a unique perspective, he tells great stories, he's got a sense of humor, and he has a lot of compassion for other human beings. Hearing Chuck speak is engrossing, and although he might not always stay on track, his digressions are enlightening. This is what you can expect to learn from Postcards from the Future: The Chuck Palahniuk Documentary.

The title of the film, however, is a little misleading. When I hear "The Chuck Palahniuk Documentary," I feel like I'm really going to learn something about Chuck's life. Of course it's gossipy and voyeuristic, but I hoped to learn something about his grandparents' murder-suicide or his father's murder or his relationship to violence or his homosexuality or his childhood. I wanted to see Chuck's house, meet his friends, or see him cry. But there's nothing like that; Postcards merely documents three days in Chuck's life at a conference dedicated to him at a small college in Pennsylvania.

People travel far and wide to the conference, and most of them have become Palahniuk fans because of the movie Fight Club! Most of the attendees are also pretty goddamn annoying. One guy is called Dr. Tropical and he's one of those typical D&D guys who wear sunglasses all the time and never shuts the fuck up. Then there's a young, somewhat smart kid named Dallas, who travels from Portland to the conference, and every time he talks he seems to be tripping on acid. There are also interviews with the organizers of the conference and those are a real snore.

The footage of Chuck, however, speaking to rooms full of people, explaining his philosophies on life, telling stories about his mom, and interacting with the students makes the other crap worth it. Plus, Chuck's extreme patience with his fans is amazing in itself, and makes one contemplate Chuck's personal depth anew. Had Chuck not been such a forthcoming and articulate interview/speaker, Postcards would have been a serious flop; writer's conference footage isn't exactly the most exciting centerpiece for a film. But, I'm sure the filmmakers trusted Chuck to shine, and he does.