Auto Focus [2002]

Director: Paul Schrader
Stars: Greg Kinnear, Willem Dafoe, Maria Bello, Rita Wilson, Ron Leibman
Genre: Biography, Crime, Drama
Rating: R (Restricted)
Runtime: 105 minutes

Auto Focus captures the scandalous private life of Bob Crane, star of the German P.O.W. camp sitcom Hogan's Heroes. Greg Kinnear plays the affable comic actor, who nursed an obsession with sex--pornography, strippers, swinging, domination, and especially the videotaping of his own sexual exploits. His behavior led to the downfall of two marriages and enmeshed Crane in a strangely symbiotic relationship with a video equipment salesman named John Carpenter (Willem Dafoe); Carpenter provided the technology, and Crane (through the power of his fame) provided the girls. Their friendship ultimately wore thin and may have led to Crane's gruesome death. Auto Focus is a lot like an episode of Behind the Music, but with sex in the place of the usual downfall-causing drugs; though elegantly filmed, it doesn't delve too deeply into Crane's joy, and so never gets a genuine feel for his pain either. --Bret Fetzer

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