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More than an entertaining exploration of a showbiz dad and his hopeful daughter, Everybody Famous is also a critical essay on the medium of television itself as a parasite, says its writer director, Dominique Deruddere, the award winning Belgian filmmaker.

When I was a small boy and I said I wanted to become a film director, most people living in my village laughed at me. In my youth, what people called showbiz was something inaccessible, or worse; it was kind of sinful. Most parents whose son or daughter wanted to act, sing or work for a television company, did their utter best to make their lost children think about something else. It was tolerated to ask people who worked in the business for an autograph, but further contact with these roisterers, divorced from the realities of this world, was strictly forbidden in most families.

'about those kind of people and about the blind ambition they nourish'

Now, in 2000, the situation is inverted. You see parents who are willing to do anything, and I mean anything, to get their children to act or sing. Today, people worship television the medium above all else. Fame and money are everything. Becoming a star! That’s all that counts for many people today.

Everybody Famous is about those kind of people and about the blind ambition they nourish.

It is indeed fascinating to see how one can so much aspire to a life that basically has nothing to do with reality. Because you have to admit: you don’t cure illnesses with a song, a good television show doesn’t unblock the toilets and adverts don’t stop people from going hungry. Everybody wants to immerse oneself in another reality, and everybody dreams of helping create this other reality.

Why do so many people aspire to this life? Why are there so few people who can still be happy with ‘a normal’ existence? Why is television—that was once a source of information in my youth—so desirous to pick on the so-called superficial nature of the ‘ordinary’ man?

'it is my intention to show the cynicism that exists within the media'

When I wrote Everybody Famous, I certainly never sought after giving my answer to these questions. More than anything else I would like to communicate my fascination for this world through the script and (hopefully) the film. On one side, I feel some kind of emotion and sometimes even admiration for the ‘ordinary’ man who makes a complete fool of himself during a singing contest or an ‘emo-talkshow’ and on the other, there’s my hatred for programme makers who let this happen and try and be successful by using other people’s misfortune.

In spite of the fact that the scenario of Everybody Famous tries to tell a story in a humorous way it is my intention to show the cynicism that exists within the media.

Published: October 11, 2001

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Everybody Famousbr> Australian theatrical release:

Sydney: August 16, 2001
Other cities: October 11, 2001



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