Psychological Suspense... Documentary?

Yes, folks, that is what the film Catfish is. It's a crazy story of a boy and girl falling for each other--over AIM and Facebook communications.  My jaw dropped (literally) several times whilst watching this film, and my emotions were taken on a wild ride.  It's one of the best directed psychological thrillers I have seen, and the only one that calls itself a documentary.

There is drama and much speculation as to how much the filmmakers knew while documenting the virtual relationship of the lead subjects.  There is such a controlled unfolding of details that it seems to be scripted--or at least anticipated and expected by the filmmakers.  Alas, even the most neutral documentary cannot escape the fact that it stands on some biased vantage point.  I am personally not too concerned with Catfish's manipulation of the story.  In fact, I think it is apropos.  Because of its calculated direction, the audience is swept into the emotions of the story, giving this cautionary tale a sharp hook.  At the end of it, you walk away with this little internet-age ethnography haunting your thoughts.


let's get [site] specific

In excitement for an impending camping trip, I am imagining pitching my tent right by this thing:

Flame (Gate) 
 Light installation, 2009
850 x 530 cm

see more installation images of this work...
See more from artist Yochai Matos...


What's going on in your life?

Wait--don't answer that question. Take a break from your world and go to Docu Weeks (NYC and LA). There is nothing quite like a well-made documentary to remind you that you are not the center of the universe. To be able to see the joys and struggles of people from a faraway place or histories that never made the books is a blessing of living in our time.

Last night, I got to see Louder than a Bomb, which was followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers. In the film, they told the stories of four urban Chicago High School students and their experiences being on school-sponsored slam poetry teams. These kids are incredibly bright and passionate, and in poignant ways, mature. From classroom, to home, to stage, these four lives (and teams) were shared in such a humbling way. It's crazy to think that this doc was made because the filmmakers happened to be driving by the theater hosting Louder Than a Bomb 2005, and wondered what it was that had all those kids standing in line for poetry on a Saturday night...

I hope to go back to the Arclight in Hollywood to see a few more films before Docu Weeks ends on Aug 19. Treat yourself and do the same!