Keep the River on Your Right

Rated 2.0 Filmmakers David Shapiro and Laurie Shapiro follow New York artist and writer Tobias Schneebaum as he returns, at the age of 78, to the Amazon jungle where he lived among cannibal tribes for years in the 1950s. The Shapiros labor under the delusion that an interesting subject automatically makes an interesting movie; their film is discursive and careless (there is no narration, and they don’t even identify Schneebaum by name until half an hour in, almost as an afterthought). They probably do Schneebaum an injustice, too—he comes off as a querulous, mewling old coot. The film is like watching a stranger’s home movies: fitfully interesting, with long stretches of tedium. Schneebaum’s old friend Norman Mailer tells us more about him in two minutes than the Shapiros do in the other 91.