For your viewing pleasure: Documentary Double Feature
For your viewing pleasure this week, I have two outstanding documentaries that I found in the wonderful land of Netflix. Both deal with the seemingly innate joy that we humans derive from other people’s colorful angry outburst (when it’s not presented at us that it). These films, Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure and Winnebago Man, both come highly recommended if you are at all interested in either laughing at angry creative cussing or deviling in to another person’s mind and learning something about all of us in the process.
Shut Up Little Man documents the tale of two 20-something guys, Eddie and Mitch, from San Francesco who lived next to a NC-17 rated version of the Odd Couple. Their neighbors would berate each other using some of the most creative and intense cursing that would make frat boys blush. Eddie and Mitch decided to record these colossal shouting matches both for potential criminal evidence and to give recordings to friends to share in the humor of two drunken old guys insulting together. These tapes got copied and those got copied and eventually these tapes starting getting an underground following. The film documents this minor fame and the journey that Mitch and Eddie undergo to find their old neighbors and inform them of their notoriety. I found this documentary a fascinating tale of how these tapes became underground hits in a pre-internet age and enjoyed how it delved into why these vulgar tapes would bring entertainment to so many and what that says about us.
Winnebago Man centers on the journey of a young college professor who is searching for the star of the infamous Winnebago outtakes video. In case you haven’t seen the outtakes see them here. The filmmaker tracks down the angry man in the video who now lives “peacefully” in northern California and goes to interview him. At first glance to man seems to be a peaceful hermit , yet quickly we find out that the “Winnebago Man” has some offbeat political views and thoughts of society in general and wishes to let the world know. I don’t want to spoil the twist of what this hermit wants to use the filmmaker for, but it becomes apparent that this guy might be a bit off his rocker. I thought this was an enthralling documentary that manages to depict one man’s mind and how perceptions can change that few films do.
Both of these films come with high recommendations for anyone who doesn’t mind some colorful language (seriously both the tapes and hermit in these films swear like sailors) and what to delve into not only our minds and why we sometime take pleasure in others’ frustrations but also delve into the mind of someone through their candidness.