Shut Up Little Man! (2011)
When two friends tape-recorded the fights of their violently noisy neighbours, they accidentally created one of the world's first 'viral' pop-culture sensations. Exploring the blurred boundaries between privacy, art and exploitation, Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure is a darkly hilarious modern fable. -- (C) Official Site
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Critic Reviews for Shut Up Little Man!
The unsuspecting stars (who died in 1992 and '96, respectively) begin to seem less like nightmare neighbors and more like the victims of rampant exploitation and voyeurism.
Bate chronicles the whole wooly story with admirable clarity and resourcefulness, even when a lack of visual material forces him to resort too often to reenactment and dramatization.
Casts a wide net of inquiry over this sometimes appalling story, which raises timely questions about the differences between creation and exploitation.
It's a strange story, and the stylish and well-edited documentary "Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure" gets it down. But yet it doesn't quite get it.
For the most part, this is a feature-length documentary that begs to be turned into a YouTube clip -- junky and ephemeral.
Goes from funny to not funny in about the length of time it takes for the lawyers to get involved.
What starts as a clever comedy piece about the popularity of the actual recordings becomes something more poignant when director Matthew Bate starts asking questions about privacy and unwanted celebrity.
It's a fascinating, occasionally nauseating tale of wasted human life, energy, and brain cells.
Bate's facile and dispiriting documentary never makes a case for why this particular slice of audio verité required resurrecting from the graveyard of pop culture arcana.
Bate sort of lets everyone off the hook under the art-for-art's-sake clause. But at least he raises the still-relevant question of whether just because you can tape your neighbor makes it art - or makes it right.
As much fun as "Shut Up, Little Man" is at times, you can't shake the feeling that watching the documentary is the next link in a long chain of exploitation that leads back 20 years.
Director Matthew Bate misjudges the hilarity of it all, as it stops being funny -- and is instead depressing -- after 20 or so minutes.
at once wholly melancholic and unexpectedly joyful, adjectives that I have yet to employ while describing any YouTube clip to date.
Despite the film's claim to be an anatomy of a pop culture craze, it's deeply parochial and has an opportunistic feel at its core.
Manages to ask some heavy questions while maintaining a light tone.
Audience Reviews for Shut Up Little Man!
Eddie Sausage and Mitch Deprey turn their loud, hellish neighbors into veritable cash-cows, blurring the line between artistic freedom and invasive exploitation.More
Two arty, smart-ass twentysomethings start recording the wildly abusive arguments of their bitter, drunk neighbors, and the resulting tapes become a perverse, underground sensation. It's a rather silly, trivial story, so this low-budget documentary inevitably doesn't offer much food for thought. Still, it's an entertaining film that is over fast enough to avoid becoming a chore. It could have been even shorter, though -- tangents into other found-audio snickers such as the Tube Bar prank calls and Orson Welles' frozen-peas commercial seem indulgent and unnecessary. But you won't want to miss the landmark moment when the woozy, elderly Peter repeats his signature catchphrase on camera -- for fans of these tapes, it's like hearing a lost recording of the Gettysburg Address.More
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