Portrait of an artist

Dan Rybicky and Aaron Wickenden’s awardwinning documentary feature Almost There, which opens the 2016 Southern Circuit series at the Carolina Theatre in Greensboro, offers a vivid portrait of its subject, artist Peter Anton.

Anton (not to be confused with the artist of the same name who specializes in chocolate and candy), is the quintessential eccentric recluse. He still lives in the house he grew up in East Chicago, Ind., a ramshackle structure so messy and moldy that it represents a health hazard. Despite not having many friends, Anton has a unique gift for drawing – which is what drew Rybicky and Wickenden to his story (no pun intended) – and operated on the periphery of show-business as something of a local impresario in his younger days.

Joshua Abrams’ jazzy and quirky score adds just the right notes to the story, which focuses almost as much on its makers as its subject. The filmmakers arrange the first public showing of Anton’s artwork in Chicago, only to see an unsettling revelation from his past come to light on the eve of the exhibition – one that definitely alters the viewer’s perspective on this most unusual personality, and on what has gone before. Almost There, which took eight years from inception to completion, is not an easy film to shake.

Almost There will be screened 7 pm Tuesday, Feb. 16 in The Crown at the Carolina Theatre (310 S. Greene St., Greensboro). Tickets are $7 (general admission) or $6 (students, senior citizens, military). The filmmakers are scheduled to be on hand for a question-and-answer period following the screening. For advance tickets or more information, call 336.333.2605 or visit the official Carolina Theatre website: !