Headline-making deception lies on the coronary heart of Jono McLeod’s close-to-home mixed-media documentary. Informed through interviews with former college students, Daria-style animation and a efficiency from Alan Cumming, who lip-syncs a pre-recorded interview with central determine Brandon Lee, McLeod intricately presents the material of college life within the early ’90s.
My Outdated Faculty initially performs out like a televised Grange Hill reunion, build up the personalities of Bearsden Academy’s alumni and the way the arrival of Lee — who had a secret identification — knocked their small-town lives off their axes. Their detailed accounts of adolescence and their early perceptions of Lee type a textured and accessible canvas for the large twist, creating the sense that this story really may occur to anybody with a comparatively regular high-school expertise who hadn’t seen a lot of the world. As Lee, Cummings in flip leans right into a subdued efficiency — albeit with the occasional, inescapable twinkle — making a nuanced portrait of an elusive vacationer slightly than a villainous one.
The place the documentary falters is in its overuse of easy animation to indicate occasions through flashback. Initially, it companies the movie effectively, injecting color, nostalgia and a wanted jolt of power into an in any other case static sequence of speaking heads. As its presence rolls on, nonetheless, the sunshine, comedian tone that it creates distracts from the story’s distinctive energy, as does the nostalgic remedy of the period. As a storyteller, McLeod chooses to deal with the affect that Lee had on the folks he met slightly than look at the broader implications of his betrayal and the way he managed to sport the native education system. Regardless, this can be a deeply private and thorough research of an enormous occasion that rocked a small group irrevocably.