Posted on: October 30, 2016
So shines a good deed in a weary world
So pleased that tonight(!!!!!) is the US premiere of my 2014 longform documentary (and one of my proudest thingz made this 2010’s), So shines a good deed in a weary world. It’s part of an Anthology Film archives series called, “THE MEDIUM IS THE MASSACRE”, and is screening along with Gabriadze’s UNFRIENDED. Says anthology here:
CORY ARCANGEL + UNFRIENDED
A special double feature encompassing the U.S. premiere of recent work by artist Cory Arcangel and one of the most innovative horror films of the last decade. (Arcangel screens first followed by UNFRIENDED, without intermission.)
SO SHINES A GOOD DEED IN A WEARY WORLD (DUNKINDONUTS.COM)
2014, 93 min, digital
Named after a line from WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY – whose star Peter Ostrum turns up on a video on the Dunkin’ Donuts YouTube channel handing out free coupons to DC metro riders – this is a deadpan anthropological exploration of the Dunkin’ Donuts digital marketing apparatus in the form of a feature-length screen capture desktop documentary. Moving with structural precision through Dunkin’ Donuts’s website, YouTube channel, Vine, and Twitter, SO SHINES is a kind of DIY archival project documenting the ephemeral promotional literature that corporations are so quick to expunge, and also a wry and frequently hilarious commentary on how 21st century marketing leverages manifold new platforms, genres, consumers, and pseudo-celebrities to make its pitch. Highlights include an awkward promotional interview with Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and a stomach churning Google Hangout-hosted #DDTOPCHEF cooking contest, in which aspiring chefs compete to make the tastiest (and most bizarre) Dunkin’-inspired recipes like “Desert Nachos” (“Donuts are my favorite food, nachos are my other favorite food… How can you go wrong?”) As Arcangel writes, “SOOOOOOOO DARK!” Terrifying indeed.
2014, 83 min, 35mm
Created entirely from a seemingly unedited desktop capture, UNFRIENDED is an innovative pop horror film about a group of friends connected via Skype, Facebook, and iChat while seemingly harassed by the malevolent digital presence of their deceased friend, formerly the popular but deeply disliked queen bee of her class. Her suicide, captured on Live Leak, followed an anonymous YouTube upload of embarrassing footage. As the five friends are held hostage by the invasive digital presence, questions of culpability and loyalty drive a wedge between them amid sadistic psychological games – and gruesome deaths. UNFRIENDED gets major likes for the authenticity of its digital environment and the keenly observed minutiae of communication (the fits, starts, and deletions, the glitchy buffering, and the anxious anticipation of seeing “Laura is typing…”). Few films so effectively, gleefully, and unpretentiously convey the concerns of so much “post-internet” art – and if things couldn’t get stranger, the director is none other than Georgian Levan Gabriadze, the fiddle player in 1986 Soviet sci-fi cult classic KIN-DZA-DZA!