Urban Cinefile
"The important thing from me is also not to disconnect myself from normal experiences and to go on doing real things and interacting with people just because of who I am "  -Leonardo DiCaprio
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Tuesday September 18, 2018 

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Filmmakers Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost document a story involving Ariel's brother, Nev, a 24-year-old New York-based photographer, and Abby, from rural Michigan who contacts Nev via Facebook, asking for permission to make a painting from one of his photographs. A relationship begins to form, not only with Abby, but her mother and sister.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Catfish would not get cinema or even DVD release if the filmmakers weren't lucky enough to find something while making a pretty ordinary home movie. That something is best revealed in the film itself, but it isn't something these guys set out to document. Opportunistic doco making is legit, although they have to be careful how they present it to the public. Let's just say the cast list is not to be trusted.

Starting like any amateur video of a family member, Catfish is so poorly shot we could be excused for thinking that it was made to look as amateur as possible to enhance its street cred as a 'real find'. That may well feed into the young, internet savvy market embracing the film for its interaction with Facebook, YouTube, mobile phones and online & text chats.

Nev Schulman is tall, dark and handsome; he is a practicing photographer who has yet to make the big time. But his photos are OK and can be seen online. When one of them is copied as a painting and sent to him from provincial Michigan, he is intrigued. The sender is young Abby, all of 8, who seems to have a natural talent for art.

Their exchanges are restricted to text; then Abby's older sister Megan comes online and starts flirting outrageously with Nev. A photo of her shows a pretty and lively young woman. Nev responds ....

The trio of Nev, filmmakers Ariel (his brother) and friend Henry Joost, decide to pay this family a visit, after being made vaguely suspicious about it all when Megan pretends to write & sing a song that isn't really her creation.

What they discover is the reason the film got any attention. The mood changes and the story ends in a sad set of revelations.

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(US, 2010)

CAST: Documentary featuring Yaniv Schulman, Angela Wesselman

PRODUCER: Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman, Andrew Jarecki, Marc Smerling

DIRECTOR: Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman

EDITOR: Zachary Stuart-Pontier

MUSIC: Mark Mothersbaugh

RUNNING TIME: 87 minutes


AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: January 27, 2011

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