The Dog (8/10)

This riotously entertaining new doc highlights one of those master outside-the-box thinkers that make an era like the Seventies still so wonderfully alluring: the vivacious John Wojtowicz, the bank robber who was the inspiration for Pacino’s character in the film classic Dog Day Afternoon. Way more than just a rundown of the real-life heist, this is an intimate portrait of Wojtowicz’s intense psychological makeup: coming of age in the ‘60s, “The Dog” took pride in being a pervert, displaying a bisexual libido excessive even by the libertine standards of the era. Amongst the tumult of the early gay liberation movement, one of his lovers needed to finance their sex-reassignment surgery — and Wojtowicz had what he thought was the quick solution. Filmed over the course of a decade, Wojtowicz lets loose with a torrent of incredible, quotable quips (pretty much everything he’s ever said on-camera is pure gold), amongst extraordinary archival footage and interviews capturing the many sides of this larger-than-life persona: lover, husband, soldier, activist, mama’s boy and uniquely American character.
Dirs. Allison Berg & Frank Keraudren, 2013, DCP, 100 min.

Watch the trailer for “The Dog”!