Release Date: March 16th, 2007 (Cinema Village) by Lifesize Entertainment.
The Cast: Gil Ripley, Dave Roberts, Kevin Blatt, Linda Stasi, Lizz Winstead, Myles Yattes, Neil DeGroot, Jon Murray.
Directed by Perry Grebin and Michael Nigro.
BASIC PREMISE: A “documentary” about the struggle of two writers, Gil Ripley and Dave Roberts, to create a successful reality-TV show.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: The first half of the “documentary” follows writers Gil Ripley and Dave Roberts as they try to pitch different ideas for reality TV shows to potential producers. Of course, these producers look for something catchy and surprising, yet none of them end up helping out Gil and Dave. Everything changes when they meet porn mogul Kevin Blatt and pitch him the perverse idea for a show called “Virgin Territory”, which doesn’t work out. So, they pitch another idea for the “Survivor”-esque show “American Cannibal” about a group of people stranded on island who know that somebody among them will soon be eaten. There’s a hilarious, absurd scene when Gil and Dave watch lots of audition tapes for the show. Directors Perry Grebin and Michael Nigro wisely blur the line between truth and fiction so that some scenes feels staged while others feel real. Even the show “American Cannibal” has potentially staged elements. The convincing “performances” by Gil, Dave and everyone else help to confuse you even more about whether to consider this a documentary or a mockumentary—much like The Blair Witch Project. Either way, the result is hilarious, absurd and provocative.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: It’s quite interesting what drags people to reality-TV even though some, most or all of it can be staged. The fact of the matter is that some people can be rather gullible and take for granted all those “reality” shows that they watch on television. Ideally, they should be more fascinated by the reality of their own lives rather than in the lives of others, which suggests the slightly creepy temptation of voyeurism, even if it might be a staged reality.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 0
IN A NUTSHELL: Fascinating, hilarious and provocative whether perceived as a documentary or a mockumentary.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater.
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