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  1. #1
    IMPERSONATED Lola_Rose's Avatar
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    CATFISH (2010): The Hit Sundance Documentary on Facebook Romance

    Lola _Rose's Movie Review




    Facebook romance.

    Yaniv Schulman, or "Nev," a 24-year-old photographer from New York, meets beautiful Megan Faccio on Facebook, and an online romance blossoms-- until everything suddenly feels weird, suspicious and strange.

    Catfish follows the true story of Nev, documented by his brother Ariel and friend Henry Joost, that began when Nev was remotely befriended by Abby, an 8-year-old gifted painter from Michigan, who sends him oil painting versions of his photographs. Nev eventually became close to Abby's family, especially to the model-like sister Megan, through technology. And we follow Nev and Megan's budding online/phone relationship-- until the three friends decide, that from their filmmaking gig in Vail, Colorado, to take a detour and drive to Ishpeming, Michigan to finally meet the family in person. And the shocking truth is revealed to all of us.





    Selected at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, the hit documentary became a controversy, with critics questioning its authenticity. The filmmakers deny the film as a hoax-- and it's no surprise to me, as the tiniest flicker of emotions in the eyes, the voice, and the split-second moments can never be replicated even by the most natural, exceptionally talented actors, nor can it ever be directed by a genius director. And as the cliche goes, truth is indeed stranger than fiction.

    Catfish is an engaging narrative; fast-paced, funny, heartbreaking, and disturbing. It's a sad, haunting story, touching on the dark, sensitive areas of our reality, and the universal effects of social media.

    And after watching the film, you'll definitely find yourself Googling. And searching on Facebook.

    And please, do not search for spoilers before watching the film.

    9/10

    trailer

    Last edited by Lola_Rose; Aug 24, 2011 at 12:48 PM.

  2. #2
    Boy, Interrupted shinjie_is_kren's Avatar
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    When I watched it, the "twist" did not shock me at all [spoiler start] I predicted halfway through the "cover song" chat scene that he is talking to a poser[/spoiler end] but the build up is amazing, that even though you already "knew" it was coming, your jaw will just drop. The twist did not shock me but I found it to be really disturbing [spoiler start] and very, very sad.[/spoiler end]

    This is probably the most entertaining documentary I have seen so far.

  3. #3
    To raise hell janmitsui14's Avatar
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    I am currently watching Catfish (now at the first hour mark), and I can not help but suspect the authenticity of the documentary. Early in the film, the film-makers are seemingly trying to provoke the direction of the film, as if guiding the main character towards a predetermined resolution...

    Now back to the movie.

  4. #4
    IMPERSONATED Lola_Rose's Avatar
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    ^Okay, so how was it?

    I have read some articles that the 3 guys have always been photographing and filmming just about everything, hence the early footage-- the beginning of the long-distance friendship with the Ishpeming family. So when something strange came up with Nev's friendship with the family, that's when they decided to turn it into a movie. I would've, too.

    It's unmistakably authentic if you observe their actions and reactions. What these filmmakers claimed was that they edited the movie for clarity and for narration purposes-- which should be done so we could understand the film, of course. But none of the video footage were performed, I don't believe the dialogue were scripted. They cannot be that good. And besides, this story can really happen.

    BTW, Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman had been tasked to direct Paranormal Activty 3. Here's the trailer.

  5. #5
    IMPERSONATED Lola_Rose's Avatar
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    Ito, similarly themed movie (Trust [2011]), pero heavy drama.

    Napanood mo na ito, shinjie_is_kren?

  6. #6
    To raise hell janmitsui14's Avatar
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    As stated, I find it suspicious that early in the film, the film-makers were seemingly trying to provoke the direction of the film, as if guiding the main character towards a predetermined resolution. Also, I find it suspicious too that [spoiler start] "Angela" agreed to have her filmed. If I were in that position, I could have sulked in embarrassment and refuse their visit.[/spoiler end].

    Nonetheless, it is an excellent film, in part a social commentary on the evolution of social interaction and the change in dynamics of social relationships as mediated by technology. Of course, the "documentary" part is personally contested. I find this film more "too good to be true" than believe that "reality is stranger than fiction." Something really is "fishy."

    You also mentioned and praised the performances of the cast in Catfish. In my most humble and honest opinion, a documentary must not take too much demand on the performers because you just have to be your most natural self. There is a complete preservation of your unique persona, and you just perform your persona in front of a camera. To me, it is overly performed for a documentary. Powerful acting indeed, which makes it all the more suspicious for a documentary. There is also too much coincidence that [spoiler start] the life of "Angela" is troubled with drama.[/spoiler end] I pray it is not true. If it were, it is just sad.

    On a different note, the construction of the film is impressive!

    I shall make a separate short comment on Catfish, too.

    Nice find, Lola_Rose!

  7. #7
    IMPERSONATED Lola_Rose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by janmitsui14 View Post
    As stated, I find it suspicious that early in the film, the film-makers were seemingly trying to provoke the direction of the film, as if guiding the main character towards a predetermined resolution. Also, I find it suspicious too that [spoiler start] "Angela" agreed to have her filmed. If I were in that position, I could have sulked in embarrassment and refuse their visit.[/spoiler end].
    [spoiler start] For me, I think Angela was too smitten by Nev to refuse their unannounced visit. And because of Angela's low self-esteem, and the desire to be known for her creative talent as a painter, made her say yes to being exposed in the docu. She now has admirers and followers since Catfish came out.[/spoiler end]

    [spoiler start] And if she's a poser, just part of a scripted story--yet the film is presented to us as a real-life documentary-- she was still willing to have a reputation as a sad and pathetic woman. Whether the docu is authentic or not, she still exposed a pesona of a sad, pathetic liar, diba?[/spoiler end]


    Nonetheless, it is an excellent film, in part a social commentary on the evolution of social interaction and the change in dynamics of social relationships as mediated by technology.
    True.

    Of course, the "documentary" part is personally contested. I find this film more "too good to be true" than believe that "reality is stranger than fiction." Something really is "fishy."
    You also mentioned and praised the performances of the cast in Catfish. In my most humble and honest opinion, a documentary must not take too much demand on the performers because you just have to be your most natural self. There is a complete preservation of your unique persona, and you just perform your persona in front of a camera. To me, it is overly performed for a documentary. Powerful acting indeed, which makes it all the more suspicious for a documentary. There is also too much coincidence that [spoiler start] the life of "Angela" is troubled with drama.[/spoiler end] I pray it is not true. If it were, it is just sad.
    Oh, no...I did not praise their "performances." In my observation, the people in the film were too natural to be performers/actors. "The reactions and actions, the flicker of emotions, the split-second expressons," etc, "can never be performed by the most natural actors."

    Nev knew he was being filmed, of course. He agreed to be in a docu about this mystery, he agreed to be followed around. So I guess it is possible that he can sometimes be a show-off, a little bit theatrical...which we see in people around us in real life, anyways. Sometimes we are actors in real life, with all our masks. But I still doubt the story was scripted. Yes, they had control over the direction of the film: [spoiler start] going to the house, in Ishpeming, gently confronting Angela, asking her to reveal her deception and why, etc.[/spoiler end]. But I believe the story itself is real and that these guys jumped at a chance to produce a movie [spoiler start] when something interesting was starting to unfold[/spoiler end].

    Yes, there might be a little provocation here and there, but that does not mean it's not real. Like Bill Maher did in his docu Religulous, a mockery of religions and religious fundamentalists-- he asked questions to elicit the response he needed in order to make the ministers/pastors/priests/fundamentalists look crazy. Still the docu was real.

    That's my observation. And my gut feel. Hehe...

    On a different note, the construction of the film is impressive!

    I shall make a separate short comment on Catfish, too.

    Nice find, Lola_Rose!
    Glad you enjoyed the docu.

  8. #8
    Gab Scardragon strandedstranger's Avatar
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    I'm about to watch it now, I'll post my own reviews later.

  9. #9
    To raise hell janmitsui14's Avatar
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    Genuine or not, I still like Catfish.

    After reading comments about Catfish in various websites, I now feel that both the main character, Nev Schulman and "Angela" [spoiler start] are victims.[/spoiler end] It is rather obvious that Nev is [spoiler start] the primary victim in Catfish but I can not help but sympathize and associate "Angela" as a secondary victim.[/spoiler end] Assuming that the documentary is indeed genuine, I think that the case of "Angela" has been exploited by the film-makers, especially now that Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman landed the directorship for Paranormal Activity 3. It is rather safe to assume that Nev, Ariel, and Henry [spoiler start] already had an idea that "Angela" is fictitious prior visit[/spoiler end] and seized the opportunity for a documentary. There are also rumors that I wish not to elaborate here.

    The documentary is too one-sided, portraying "Angela" [spoiler start] in a bad light, offering little to slight justification for the motivations of "Angela."[/spoiler end] Are documentaries supposed to be biased? I only watched a few documentaries in the past years - Fahrenheit 9/11, Last Train Home, and Deliver Us From Evil were the most remarkable.

  10. #10
    Boy, Interrupted shinjie_is_kren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lola_Rose View Post
    Ito, similarly themed movie (Trust [2011]), pero heavy drama.

    Napanood mo na ito, shinjie_is_kren?
    Not yet. Pero I might DL it. I Googled the film and I when I found out who the director is (I remember you posting about this film sa kabilang thread).

    The first time I saw Catfish, I also questioned the authenticity. But when I did some research, my reaction towards it really changed. Seen it again last week and it grew on me.

    Speaking of documentaries, anyone here seen Dear Zachary? It's the best I have seen so far.

  11. #11
    To raise hell janmitsui14's Avatar
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    Dear Zachary: A Letter To A Son About His Father? I love that documentary! How can I forget? I saw this in 2009. Maybe it is time to revisit Dear Zachary. Now that is a documentary with a cause and an initiative.


  12. #12
    IMPERSONATED Lola_Rose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by janmitsui14 View Post
    Genuine or not, I still like Catfish.

    After reading comments about Catfish in various websites, I now feel that both the main character, Nev Schulman and "Angela" [spoiler start] are victims.[/spoiler end] It is rather obvious that Nev is [spoiler start] the primary victim in Catfish but I can not help but sympathize and associate "Angela" as a secondary victim.[/spoiler end] Assuming that the documentary is indeed genuine, I think that the case of "Angela" has been exploited by the film-makers, especially now that Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman landed the directorship for Paranormal Activity 3. It is rather safe to assume that Nev, Ariel, and Henry [spoiler start] already had an idea that "Angela" is fictitious prior visit[/spoiler end] and seized the opportunity for a documentary. There are also rumors that I wish not to elaborate here.

    The documentary is too one-sided, portraying "Angela" [spoiler start] in a bad light, offering little to slight justification for the motivations of "Angela."[/spoiler end] Are documentaries supposed to be biased? I only watched a few documentaries in the past years - Fahrenheit 9/11, Last Train Home, and Deliver Us From Evil were the most remarkable.



    Really? Rumors? Tell me! Haha. I agree: authentic or not, Catfish is excellent.

    Re documentaries, Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine and Sicko were unforgettable to me. Loved them.

    I'd love to see Dear Zachary; heard raving reviews about it.
    Last edited by Lola_Rose; Aug 25, 2011 at 08:00 AM.

  13. #13
    Gab Scardragon strandedstranger's Avatar
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    You have said a lot but let me point out a few things:

    (a) I feel that Catfish is a legitimate documentary. The actions are real and unscripted. For me any video piece where scenes that are not premeditated, edited for clarity can qualify as a documentary.

    (b) As per rumors why a group of media-savvy boys didn't perform a web-based background check (Nev just dismissing this issue to the fact that internet connection on their place are not as advanced as theirs, New Yorkers) I guess the other two had the idea all along but Nev was just too smitten at Megan who was damn stunning to even be rational. So the other two guys just played with him, so after gathering introductory materials for the documentary they asked Nev to check if the mp3 sent by Megan and her mom are plagiarized. After learning that it is, the two directors propose the plan to continue filming for documenting purpose.

    About the other stuff, siguro tomorrow na... I'm sick right now.

  14. #14
    IMPERSONATED Lola_Rose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by strandedstranger View Post
    You have said a lot but let me point out a few things:

    (a) I feel that Catfish is a legitimate documentary. The actions are real and unscripted. For me any video piece where scenes that are not premeditated, edited for clarity can qualify as a documentary.

    (b) As per rumors why a group of media-savvy boys didn't perform a web-based background check (Nev just dismissing this issue to the fact that internet connection on their place are not as advanced as theirs, New Yorkers) I guess the other two had the idea all along but Nev was just too smitten at Megan who was damn stunning to even be rational. So the other two guys just played with him, so after gathering introductory materials for the documentary they asked Nev to check if the mp3 sent by Megan and her mom are plagiarized. After learning that it is, the two directors propose the plan to continue filming for documenting purpose.

    About the other stuff, siguro tomorrow na... I'm sick right now.


    In the movie Trust,

  15. #15
    Gab Scardragon strandedstranger's Avatar
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    Since I'm off the to the TV set for UAAP, I just rembered that Megan has only 16 friends and yet she's a party animal. I mean c'mon New Yorkers should know better... parties are supposed to be a good way to expand social network.

    Later na yung iba. Game na namin.

  16. #16
    Gab Scardragon strandedstranger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lola_Rose View Post


    In the movie Trust,
    Correct me if I'm wrong, from what I remember Nev was asked by one of the directors and he just brushed it off by saying they want the instant physical connection (Nev was so love-stricken while explaining this to his brothers, so both (Nev and 'Megan') just didn't bother doing a webcam interconnection. Maybe Nev never bothered asking since it'll be rude since the online relationship just started.

  17. #17
    IMPERSONATED Lola_Rose's Avatar
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  18. #18
    F***y.Askar.Hiddles rictos16's Avatar
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    nakakaloka dapat talaga pag online relationships may camera chat.. mas nakikita mo talaga ang tao. well anyway, i still dont believe its a legit docu..

  19. #19
    This movie is not legit. Anyway, the only thing that strikes me in this film is Angela's husband emotional dialogue in the end about catfishes.

  20. #20
    IMPERSONATED Lola_Rose's Avatar
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    Here, Nev and the guys


    [DO NOT WATCH IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN CATFISH YET!]

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_Io-...ature=youtu.be


    A special feature to commemorate CATFISH'S one-year anniversary.

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