Monday, February 14, 2011

Film Review--Catfish

a documentary

Two New York filmmakers document their friend's online relationship with a woman he has never met.  As the relationship progresses to the real-life stage, the filmmakers accompany their friend to the couple's first face-to-face meeting in rural Michigan...where things become as much or more surreal than a work of fiction.

While I'm certain that the secret of this documentary must have been spoiled in numerous places online, I'd rather not be a party to it.  It hampers my review, but I will do my best to not give anything more away than I already have.
This film works primarily, I believe, because of the editing.  We go from the premise into a situation that has all the tension of a mystery/thriller.  This transitions skillfully into a dark comedy and then ends on a poignant, even mournful note.
You might wonder why I chose to review this film on this site.  Suffice it to say that the central concepts of Catfish apply very much to the question of "just what is 'real?' "   How are online personas created?  How much does each party of an online communication contribute to them?  Is it all just a "consensual illusion?"  These are all questions one is left asking after viewing the film.  And while not paranormal, the entire situation that this man finds himself in is almost weirder than anything I could have realistically come up with.  So give this doc a look.  You may begin to question your online interactions.

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