based on a ‘true’ story

i’m working on a review of sorts of the movie catfish, which we saw an early screening of a few weeks ago. well, not a review exactly, but some thoughts on how it’s been marketed, and how that effects the film itself. (will update here when it goes up.)

but between catfish coming out, all the buzz around the upcoming facebook movie and its relative veracity, plus the joaquin phoenix is-it-a-hoax-or-not hip hop documentary currently making festival rounds, we’re in a strange time for film. it seems to be that all at once, a bunch of people struggling for ideas on how to make an interesting movie came up with the same answer: playing with the idea of what’s real and what isn’t. but not in a usual suspects way, in which the doubt is all contained and resolved within the film. no, that’s been done already. now we’ve moved on into meta-narrative trickery to be provocative. it’s not enough to wonder what’s real or not within the film, but whether or not our reality as we understand it is really real.

the reasons for this may have something to do with the fact that at the end of the day, we like a good story even more than we like the truth. in a decade where the truth is always relative (political spin, marketing ubiquity, carefully managed internet image vs real self — it’s true, i’m actually a 14 year old girl), we’d rather see something that’s extrapolated and exaggerated into something interesting than something that’s accurate. plus, with this new twist of meta-controversy, we get to be part of the story by debating its “truthiness” after the fact.

would it be fair to say that we live in a post-truth era, where there’s nothing you can totally believe, so all we have left to hope for are tricks that are fun to participate in?

[quick footnote: i was very proud of coining that idea of “post-truth”, then googled and found it’s a book from several years ago. maybe i should read it instead of posing rhetorical questions on a blog.]

Posted: September 15th, 2010
at 11:53pm by briancollapsing

Tagged with , , , , ,

Categories: thoughts

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