DAILY FILM DOSE: A Daily Film Appreciation and Review Blog: SUNDANCE 2012: Me @ the Zoo

Sunday 22 January 2012

SUNDANCE 2012: Me @ the Zoo

Me @ the Zoo (2012) dir. Chris Moukarbel, Valerie Veatch


By Alan Bacchus

A decent cinematic essay about the YouTube effect, that is the new millennium speaker's corner of sorts, which has become the influential platform for online personal expression.
Few people have expressed themselves more dramatically than Chris Crocker, a celebrity-chasing Britney Spears addict, but also a repressed gay teen living in the bigoted hillbilly world of small town Tennessee. Being an outsider is an understatement for Crocker, who, with the creation of YouTube, found his mechanism for expression. His self-produced video rants have made him a sensation of sorts for the 15-minute famers that YouTube creates - specifically his Britney rant, which went viral in 2007.

Somehow Chris lasted longer than most, but as per Moukarbel and Veatch's thesis, he gets spit out and demolished just like his idol Britney Spears.

Using ample YouTube videos and other footage, Moukarbel and Veatch create a unique character study of Internet celebrity. Crocker comes off as a performer at heart but also deranged and delusional - the perfect personality for this kind of success.

But they also expose the fallacy of Internet stardom and the fact that people just don't want to pay for Crocker's act, which seems to work only in the confines of his own home. His failed attempt at a reality TV shows that his kind of fame comes from the creation of unaltered truth. While Crocker's YouTube success came from a place of honesty and passion, he was simply faking it for television.

Me @ the Zoo succeeds in telling the story of the YouTube phenomenon through the voice of one of its biggest stars in an effective and innovative manner.


Anonymous said...

"His failed attempt at reality tv show that success show that youtube fame comes from the creation of unaltered truth which the site exposes. "

Can you please rewrite this poorly constructed sentence?

Alan Bacchus said...

Thanks anon for exposing my brain malfunction from lack of sleep. I've rewritten that sentence, hopefully it clarifies.

film said...

Alan, At least your commitment is evident in this blog. We will most certainly excuse this oversight.