Documentaries about film production can be very difficult resist. A film in progress — especially one with a low budget or constrained schedule — can be a pressure cooker in which problems pile up and create a living hell for all involved. There’s a lurid appeal to watching people attempt to control forces that threaten to spin wildly out of control, whether the film that results is any good or not.

The production of films like Apocalypse Now, Fitzcarraldo, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, and The Boondock Saints have all been documented in compelling documentary form. (In Hearts of Darkness, Burden of Dreams, Lost in La Mancha, and Overnight, respectively.)

It is unlikely that Jennifer Lynch‘s third film, a strange fairy tale called Hisss, will ever be held in anything close to the regard of any of the movies mentioned above. (Even the divisive Boondock Saints.) Hisss didn’t get much attention upon release, and most of the attention it did get was not positive. Now the documentary Despite the Gods seeks to chronicle the making of the film — a story shot in India, about “a snake that turns into a woman who turns into a snake.” The trailer for the doc is below, and the view it offers on the film’s production is not very pretty. Read More »