May 6, 2019  (Web Review)

The World Before Your Feet

(2018) 95 min. DVD: $29.95 ($349 w/PPR from DRA. Kino Lorber (avail. from most distributors). Closed captioned.

Reviewer rating: 3.0/4

Matt Green, the subject of Jeremy Workman’s amiable film, is one of those genial eccentrics who documentarians love—a man who feels compelled to walk long distances for the sheer pleasure of it, with no grand money-making scheme as motive. After trekking cross country from New York to Oregon in 2010, he decided to walk every block of New York City’s five boroughs (over 8,000 miles)—an ongoing project since 2011. Much of Workman’s film just shows Green loping through streets in every kind of weather, chatting with passersby or stopping to inspect gardens, shops, and other places of special interest to him (such as synagogues turned into churches, and barber shops with names that include a “z” or two). Green describes his extremely modest lifestyle—he stays with friends or people who have learned about his walk through his blog, and makes a little money cat-sitting (a montage introduces some of the felines). His parents and brother have nothing but good things to say about him, although two ex-girlfriends broke up with Green because they wanted more settled lives. In the second half of the film, Green increasingly assumes the role of tour guide, offering historical nuggets about places he prizes, including cemeteries and a centuries-old tree where he finds notes left by schoolchildren. A film that will certainly inspire viewers to look around and appreciate their surroundings more, extras include deleted scenes, an interview with executive producer Jesse Eisenberg, and an SXSW Q&A. Recommended. Aud: C, P. (F. Swietek)