Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Jason goes to Docfest--Wednesday, June 8

Way behind. Two more. Quickie updates

ART OF THE PRANK is the story of Joey Skaggs, performance artist and professional media hoaxer. Sort of a spiritual successor to Alan Abel but with a more politically-minded bent (also a predecessor of The Yes Men, but with a less political bent.) Skaggs has joyfully trolled the media with a Celebrity Sperm Bank (which happened to get robbed just before the press conference) and a Cathouse for Dogs. He set up a mobile confessional booth on the back of his tricycle as a "Portofess."
The movie serves as a good overview of his career and his methods (he's a big fan of revealing the joke when it goes far enough) and features a good mix of archival hits and new interviews, as he is still working diligently to get his message out in the funniest ways he can.
 
THE MILLION DOLLAR DUCK is mostly about a different, and more serious, form of art (although of course my favorite guy in it is a prankster.) You might remember a side plot from FARGO about painting a duck for an art contest. That contest is for the Duck Stamp, needed for hunting licenses and used to raise money for U.S. government conservation efforts. And wildlife artists (and one impressive art prankster) compete every year to create the painting that will be featured on that year's Duck Stamp. And these are incredibly talented artists. To my untrained eye, any one of the entries we see could win. But when it gets down to the judging--three rounds of it--it's absolutely brutal. The film follows several artists, and I'm happy to say the person I was rooting for (other than the prankster) won it all. But in the interest of spoilers, I won't tell you who that is.
 
Total Running Time: 156 minutes
My Total Minutes: 431,409
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