âIâm random and most people are sequential.â This quote from David Pearlman, co-producer and star of Random Lunacy, is the thesis for a film that is unlike anything you have ever seen. Formally Random Lunacy is a documentary, aesthetically it is as sentimental as a home movie, emotionally it is a love story that questions love, thematically it is a philosophical essay, and its genre fights for balance somewhere between drama and comedy. Just like its subject matter, this film has it all.
Random Lunacy: Videos from the Road Less Traveled, is predominately a portrait of a man who goes by the name Poppa Neutrino (David Pearlman). A neutrino is a âsub-atomic particle in constant motionâ and within seconds of the film we realize this name is no coincidence. He is an accomplished, artist, musician, engineer, explorer, entrepreneur, and athlete, all without a single possession, aside from his own imagination. This is what attracts us as an audience to this film, but what is truly captivating comes as a surprise. Along this journey Poppa Neutrino is not alone. With his soul mate Betsy, he has molded and raised a family defying all the conventions of society. Betsy is a strong character in her self. Like, Poppa Neutrino she has chosen this nomadic life only after witnessing what the âreal worldâ has to offer. Together they form what Peter Travers of Rolling Stone Magazine refers to as a âtribeâ that consists of Jessica, Ingrid, Marisa, Esther, and Todd. By including the experiences of all the members of this so-called tribe, the filmmakers capture the essence of life itself.
The Directors of the film Victor Zimet and Stephanie Silber compress a manâs journey through life into a one hour epic adventure. Zimet and Silber have mastered the art of story telling by catching this modern day gypsy in their cinematic net. At the start of the film you find yourself wondering: How could a homeless man travel the world? What does a Dog bite have to do with any of this? Where did he get that hat? How does he know David Letterman? How did he learn to do that? By the end of the film we might not have all the explanations for the lunacy but we receive something greater. We leave the screening with much deeper questions: What is beautiful? What is necessary? What is love? What is normal? What is family? What do I truly need to be happy?
Random Lunacy is severely nostalgic. The film makes us think, where was I in 1998 when Poppa Neutrino was on that raft? As a viewer we encounter a constant struggle of emotions between sympathy and envy. It makes us contradict ourselves; should I reject what I have, or be grateful for it? Seeing this documentary is an experience. Poppa Neutrinoâs greatest message in the film is summarized in his quote: âIâd teach you this if I could, all I can say is you have to walk a road.â