Saturday, June 30, 2007

Con Man Confidential

Peter managed to sell rich executives tickets for a trip to the moon. Torsten passed himself off as diplomatic ambassador. In four hours Marc sold a holiday home he didn’t own. Reality to these men is what they make it. With such an intangible outlook on reality, it is arguable that these people could be on some levels clinically insane. Documentaries are in one fashion or another used to document reality, and what better way to view the abstract reality these con men live in than a documentary by Alexander Adolph. This genre of film, growing in popularity, is used to open the audience’s eyes to a reality which is either skewed or completely blind to the masses. Michael Moore has probably done the best job of jolting what was considered to be reality and fact by the masses with his infamous documentary “Fahrenheit 9/11” which raked in an amazing $228 million in ticket sales and selling more than 3 million DVDs setting the bar for documentaries. You can slowly see how this type of film is changing the industry of cinema. It is a fascination with real people, real life, and reality. There are only so many variations of the ‘A’ typical Cinderella story. There is only so many ways you can sell a happy ending. Directors began to make films with sad endings like Darren Aronofsky’s “Requiem for a Dream.” Those sad-ending story lines had an even shorter shelf life as far as revenue goes. Make room for documentaries. Documentaries have been around for years, but only as of late, only when directors and producers were in need of finding a new way to hold the attention of audiences did this genre gain popularity. Television has since been completely taken over by this sort of cinema dubbed ‘Reality TV.’ "American Idol", "The Bachelor", "Real World", "The Contender", "The Apprentice", "Fear Factor", "Big Brother", the list goes on and on. Ironically enough these shows have as little to do with reality as soap operas. Its like the story line Peter was feeding to rich execs about the trip to the moon. Now you’re the rich execs being fooled into believing these shows have anything to do with reality. There are no more big stars or real talents in most of these shows. A movie star, like a con man, can be anyone who can look you in the eye. A line taken from a good con man movie “Catch Me if You Can” asks “Why do the Yankees always win?” It’s not because they have Mickey Mantle (in cinema it's the Leonard Decaprios, the James Deans, the Pamela Andersons, and the Carmen Electras). Documentary films and series have very few movie stars. It’s because the people, “they can’t stop staring at the dam pin-stripes.”

Samuel Sandoval.... out.

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