With his previous doc Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case, director/cinematographer Andreas Johnsen kept his camera rolling and lingering; even when little amounted on screen. The film was in need of direction, but Johnsen ignored this fact.
In Bugs, Andreas Johnsen creates the same type of boring stakeout where movie goers have to sift through a loose structure to observe informative subjects. This time, the documentarian is luckily grouped with Ben Reade and Josh Evans, two dedicated intellectuals who are interested in sampling insects from around the world to test their edibility. They’re hopeful their outside-the-box tour in entomophagy (Kenya, Mexico, the Netherlands, and other locations) will lead to discoveries and expand the culinary world to match a rapidly growing population.
There’s life in Bugs’ culinary enlightenment and hypnotic visuals of buried creepy-crawlies, as well as in Reade and Evans’ charismatic working relationship – it’s what essentially wins a mild recommendation from me. However, Johnsen’s casual filmmaking gives the documentary an aimless presentation and almost ruins the whole film.
A story this committed to changing the world needs a structure – not just general globetrotting. Andreas Johnsen’s fly-on-the-wall techniques paired with minimalist instrumentals are lazy compared to the thankless devotion we see from Ben Reade and Josh Evans.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie