Meewella | Critic

According to P

Tag: Chris Smith

QuickView: Jim & Andy – The Great Beyond (2017)

Jim & Andy poster

“At some point when you create yourself to make it, you’re going to have to either let that creation go and take a chance on being loved or hated for who you really are, or you’re going to have to kill who you really are and fall into your grave grasping a character you never were.”

Jim Carrey

Ostensibly a documentary centred around Jim Carrey’s portrayal of Andy Kaufman in Man on the Moon, in drawing parallels between them it actually becomes a superior examination of Kaufman’s work with some interesting musings about the nature of identity. Carrey is reflective about what he discovered that people responded to in his successful comedies, but Man on the Moon was a departure, a role Carrey pushed for because of the kinship he felt with the misunderstood Kaufman. There was something decidedly Kaufmanesque about Carrey’s insistence that was Kaufman during filming, possessed by the deceased comedian. Whilst this caused familiar method acting disruption, it went further as Carrey appears to have developed genuine connections with Kaufman’s family, who treated him affectionately rather than with horror. It is fascinating to see the rare moments when Carrey does break character — after one actor storms out and a crew member is brought to tears remembering her father, he opines, “I’m a terrible person” — and yet, through that fiction, people were connecting with something real; it was precisely what Andy Kaufman sought to achieve.


QuickView: Fyre (2019)

“Instead of thinking about models, you kind of have to think about toilets.”

Keith Siilats (Pilot/Logistics)

Anyone even tangentially involved in a May Ball knows that’s where you start: toilets are basically someone’s entire job. I remember watching the collapse of Fyre Festival via Twitter with fascination and, whilst I have zero sympathy for the wealthy “influencers” taken in by the same smoke and mirrors they peddle, we now see footage of co-founder Billy McFarland stating bluntly “we’re selling a pipe dream to your average loser.” In the same week, Netflix and Hulu are releasing competing documentaries about the disaster. I take serious issue with McFarland reportedly being paid over $100,000 to appear in Hulu’s. Although Jerry Media, which marketed the festival, is involved in the Netflix documentary, they don’t exonerate themselves and have access to high quality footage from the preparatory stages. The documentary’s lesson is hard to find: is it the lack of substance in Millennial culture that values fame and self-promotion over grounded honesty? Yet McFarland was hailed as an “amazing entrepreneur” for past ventures that were a combination of luck and duplicity, breeding hubris and a predatory sense of entitlement. This is perhaps a problem with the very concept of capitalist success, where those who find it are assumed to have earned it, to the point that they believe it themselves. “By solving problems,” consultant Marc Weinstein realises, “we were just enabling them to continue to create this monster.”


"A film is a petrified fountain of thought."

(CC) BY-NC 2003-2023 Priyan Meewella

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