SHUT UP LITTLE MAN! (An Audio Misadventure)
(directed by Matthew Bate, 2011)
> Wow. What a find! How did I miss this unique and curious phenomenon?
. It’s one helluva story, really: Two friends move into a flat in San Francisco. It isn’t long before they are so stunned by the endless loud, rude, profane screaming matches of their neighbors, that they begin to record them as sheer entertainment, eventually dubbing copies of their vicious verbal pugilism for the amusement of their friends… who love it, and began to send copies to their friends- who send copies to their friends. These dubbed recordings just kept snowballing in volume and popularity, until the whole thing became a worldwide viral phemom, prompting a stageplay, a comic book, a puppet show, and maybe even- a major motion picture!
. In the greatest of ironies, when these friends seek out their rageaholic neighbor years later, they find a docile lamb who barely even remembers the years of alcohol-fueled arguments. In his revisionist memory, the guy he was always screaming abuse at was his best friend. He remembers nothing but love between them. And what is more- he had no idea that his alcohol-fueled fits of rage had made him a worldwide celebrity!
. It all raises so many issues: the morality of recording the arguments in a frankly voyeuristic way, disseminating these recordings without his consent, bringing public scorn and humiliation to this clearly dysfunctional man, making money off the recordings without ever offering to share royalties. I could write a book about this film! (I’ll bet somebody has.) Instead, just take my word for it:
> SEEK OUT AND SEE THIS AMAZING DOCUMENTARY about wasted alcoholic lives, accidental fame, friendship, voyeurism, intolerance, human exploitation and tricky ethical conundrums.
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