CATFISH opens at the Alamo South Lamar September 17.
Hello everyone, Alamo Drafthouse founder and CEO Tim League here. I saw two incredible films at Sundance this year. Both were documentaries and both were wildly unique. The first, EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP starts out as a simple chronicling of the street art scene. What I thought was going to be just a biography of the infamous Bansky turned out to be so much more. The film is itself an art installation as it gleefully dynamites the foundations of modern art criticism. At this point, EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP is my favorite film we have shown at the Alamo all year.
All that may change on September 17th because the other film that I saw at Sundance was CATFISH. Although the subject matter is very different, CATFISH also starts with a straightforward linear documentary premise before completely derailing, sending the audience on a wildly unexpected journey that delivers far more emotional wallop than one could ever imagine from the simple premise of the film.
In CATFISH, filmmakers Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost document a story involving Ariel's brother, Nev, a 24-year-old New York-based photographer, and Abby, an 8-year-old girl from rural Michigan who contacts Nev via Facebook, asking for permission to make a painting from one of his photographs. Nev is fascinated by this 8-year-old artist and begins to commission and collect her work and get to know her through Facebook. My description ends there. The less you know about the story, the better. Don't read reviews, don't ferret around. Just walk in and see it and let the adventure wash over you.
I VERY rarely pound out a heartfelt recommendation for a film, maybe 3-4 times a year max. I'm doing it now. This is a fascinating little film, you have never seen anything like it and I'm pretty sure it might just blow your mind. Like I say, it is a small film, and a challenging one to market, so after you go and see it, please encourage all of your friends (and Facebook friends) to check it out too. If I were running the Oscars, this would be a sure-fire bet to be in the running for best documentary of the year.
Check out the trailer here, and prepare to be haunted by one of the most fascinated movie experiences you'll ever have.