In 1977, Sam Klemke started obsessively documenting his entire life on film. Beginning decades before the modern obsession with selfies and status updates, Sam grows from an optimistic teen to a self-important 20-year-old, into an obese, self-loathing thirty-something and onwards into his philosophical fifties. The same year that Sam began his project, NASA launched the Voyager craft into deep space carrying the Golden Record, a portrait of humanity that would try to explain to extra terrestrials who we are. Juxtaposing the story of Klemke with that of the Voyager Golden Record we follow these two unique self-portraits as they travel in parallel – one hurtling through the infinity of space and the other stuck eating nachos in the suburbs of Earth – in a freewheeling look at time, memory and mortality.
Documentary pop-culture excavator Matthew Bate (Shut Up Little Man!) discovered Klemke after seeing his viral YouTube video 35 Years Backwards thru Time with Sam Klemke which showed Sam reverse-aging through his whole life. Klemke began sending the director 50 years worth of obsessively documented warts and all footage, from which Bate has sculpted this gonzo biopic. This unclassifiable feature documentary is a real life Boyhood, an intimate biopic about an ‘extraordinary nobody’ but also about what it means to be human.
Premiering at Sundance’s 2015 New Frontiers, which champions films that ‘expand, experiment with and explode traditional storytelling’, the film has been in selection at HotDocs & Rotterdam and is available worldwide exclusively on Vimeo on Demand from November 30.