Cult comic-book writer Alan Moore looks like a Monty Python cave-hermit, and given his frequent cantankerous pronouncements about politics, magic, and creators' rights, he seems like a dark, foreboding figure. But as anyone who's had the pleasure of chatting with Moore can attest, he's an agreeable sort, generous with his time and his dry wit. Moore can be prickly to people and institutions who disappoint him, but even the old friends and comic-book companies he won't talk to anymore still speak of Moore in glowing terms, and note how much they miss interacting with a man who makes life more interesting.
Dez Vylenz's documentary The Mindscape Of Alan Moore consists of a 70-minute monologue in which Moore offers a little detail about his working-class upbringing and early career, and reveals what led to books like V For Vendetta, The Watchmen, and From Hell. Vylenz then illustrates Moore's words with images from his comics, along with a few recreations, some abstract animation, close-ups of objects from Moore's house, and shots of industrial Northampton. Mindscape includes no testimonials from famous Moore fans, and no narration to frame what the subject says. The film is dense, deep, and closed-off.
As such, The Mindscape Of Alan Moore will probably appeal mainly to Moore fans, most of whom will already be familiar with the philosophical tangents he explores. Still, it's useful to have a cohesive Moore manifesto so readily available, especially one that ranges from mundane practicality (such as Moore describing the difficulty of balancing the erotic and the intellectual in Lost Girls) to the beguilingly fanciful (such as Moore contending that all artistic creation is a feat of magic). Mindscape's explication of Moore reinforces one of the guiding principles he espouses in the film: "Having deconstructed everything, we should start thinking about putting it all back together."
Key features: Some additional "Why I love Moore" statements from Vylenz in a selected-scene commentary track and interview, plus a second disc containing lengthy interviews with Moore's frequent collaborators.