If you love art, you’ll love “Almost There.” Almost There documents the story of 83-year-old Peter Anton, an artist living in isolated and crippling conditions whose world changes when two filmmakers discover his work and storied past. The film which world premiered at DOC NYC 2014, will open theatrically on December 4 in NYC and December 11 in LA, via Factory 25.
For many, Peter Anton’s house embodies an end-of-life nightmare: the utility companies long ago shut off the heat and electricity, the floorboards are rotting, and the detritus of a chaotic life is precariously stacked to the ceiling. But for the filmmakers Dan Rybicky and Aaron Wickenden, Anton’s home is a treasure trove, a startling collection of unseen and fascinating paintings, drawings, and notebooks, not to mention Anton himself, a character worthy of his own reality TV show. Though aging, infirm, cranky, and solitary, Anton also is funny and utterly resilient. Rybicky and Wickenden’s remarkable journey follows a gifted artist through startling twists and turns. By its quietly satisfying ending, Almost There has provided enough human drama for a season of soap operas, plus insights into mental illness, aging in America, and the redemptive power of art.