DOCUMENTARY; 1hr 26min
DIRECTED BY: Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman
Hooked? Nev Schulman
Facebook is a hot movie topic these days, what with The Social Network and now the controversial, fly-on-the-wall-style documentary Catfish — controversial because its authenticity has been questioned. Put simply, Catfish follows New York photographer Yanev (“Nev”) Schulman (brother of co-director Ariel, with whom he and Joost share an office) and his burgeoning Facebook relationship with Michigan looker Megan Faccio.
Megan is the half-sister of eight-year-old Abby, who initiates contact with Nev by asking to paint one of his photos. One charming painting leads to another, which leads to Nev and Abby’s mother, Angela, chit-chatting by phone and he and Megan getting hot and heavy. And then it all comes undone.
Like a giant clearinghouse, the Internet is a paradox of trash and treasure. The dangers of social-networking sites — in which appearances can be exactly that — have been well-documented. Nev’s perplexing, surprisingly poignant experience certainly feels real. And if it is bogus, wouldn’t that be a strangely apt and very sad case of art imitating an imaginary life?