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Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: Filmmaker Ralph Arlyck first met Sean while living as a graduate student in San Francisco's Haight Ashbury neighborhood at the height of the 1960s. Thirty years, three generations, and a lifetime later, Arlyck has returned to San Francisco in search of who the adult Sean might have become. (Shadow Distribution) Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 13
  2. Negative: 1 out of 13
  1. 80
    What promises to be a standard postmortem on 60s ideology becomes a thoughtful essay on the choices we all make between work, family, and personal freedom.
  2. 75
    Perhaps Following Sean is as much of a cultural oddity as "Sean" itself turned out to be. But it's a decidedly interesting one nonetheless.
  3. At its exhilarating best, Following Sean is reminiscent of the lauded British documentaries that began with "7 Up.''
  4. Reviewed by: Nathan Lee
    70
    What emerges is a liberal meditation on freedom and compromise, and a nostalgia trip graced by eloquent restraint.
  5. Reviewed by: Drew Tillman
    70
    Arlyck's compulsion is to our great fortune. Patient and elegant, his film is a quietly devastating meditation on family, work, and the unrelenting passage of time.
  6. What emerges from Arlyck's musings is a penetrating cinematic essay on how generations in the last century struggled to take hold of history and reconfigure the shape of daily life.
  7. 38
    Arlyck spends more time following himself and his own lefty family than checking up on Sean.

See all 13 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. RaviR.
    May 10, 2006
    10
    I know we tend to rate most highly those movies we've seen most recently, but I cannot recommend _Following Sean_ too highly. Engaging, funny, brilliant, simultaneously comforting and uncomfortable, and observant, the movie asks us to confront our own lives' narratives; received wisdom about the 1960s and even more recent American history; the meaning of adulthood, and a thousand other things. It made me think in a way films rarely can -- the way books more often can -- but couldn't possibly give me a headache. And as for technical elements, the editing and narration are perfect, and the granular texture of the film itself complements that of the families' stories. I actually loved _Following Sean_, and came upon this site while looking for information about whether it will ever be released as a DVD. I rarely buy movies, but I'll buy this one. Expand

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