Deactivate your Facebook and terminate your MySpace, because the internet just got a little creepier. After a successful premiere at this year’s Sundance, filmmakers Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost are gearing up for the nationwide release of Catfish, a documentary that centers around Schulman’s brother, Nev, and a number of his peculiar online relationships. This project redefines the concept of bizarre in a mere 86 minutes.
(Note from the Editor – stop reading now. The less you know the better. And you won’t be disappointed)
Check out the review below…
- Directors: Ariel Schulman, Henry Joost
- Cast: Nev Schulman, Ariel Schulman, Henry Joost
- Producers: Andrew Jarecki, Marc Smerling, Brett Ratner
It’s difficult to give an appropriate synopsis without spoiling the entire picture, so here’s the extent of what I’ll disclose: Nev, a 24 year-old New York photographer is contacted via Facebook by Abby, an 8 year-old from Michigan asking permission to paint one of his photos. After receiving her surprisingly impressive painting of his shot, Nev pursues an online friendship with her and her family – specifically her mom (Angela) and sister (Megan). Nev’s best friend (Henry) and brother (Ariel) are filmmakers, and casually document the correspondence between Nev and Abby as sort of a pet project. Something that started out so innocent ends up taking them into dark, twisted territory.
- Feature Film By Accident: Initially, these filmmakers set out to document both a fascinating love story and an artistic collaboration that evolved through various forms of electronic correspondence. Henry and Ariel were constantly equipped with cameras, poised to capture any and all “moments” of potential interest. By sheer coincidence, the cameras were rolling when Nev made a number of discoveries about Abby’s family, totally reestablishing the scope of their project. These people, quite literally, caught the story as it unfolded. The live footage presents this “immediate cinema” factor creating a pretty stirring, borderline intrusive affect on the audience. It’s an arguably unparalleled cinematic experience.
- Social Commentary: Talk about a story with relevance. The technological frenzy that is the 21st century allows for an array of impersonal forms of communication – specifically by way of the internet. Entire human beings are reduced to Facebook pages where we have the power to design how people perceive us through carefully selected photos, listed interests, status updates, etc. Our society has become so accustomed to these modern forms of networking that Nev not only fell in love with a projection of a human, but never questioned how ridiculous a strictly electronic relationship was.
- Trust The Trailer: More often than not I question trailers that conceal seemingly basic story information. But in the case of Catfish, the ambiguous promotion is justified because disclosing any further info will completely negate the power of the movie experience by 100%.
I’ve got nothing.
You have never seen a movie like this. Ever.
Catfish opens in theaters on September 17th
Will you be seeing Catfish this weekend?