The Greatest Movie Ever Sold is the newest documentary from Morgan Spurlock, director of Supersize Me. Spurlock funded his film through product placement and advertising and much of the documentary features the director negotiating terms with different brands. As Spurlock announces in the trailer, this is film about transparency, it’s about showing the viewer just how rife product placement is, in TV and film.
As with his contemporaries, part of the pleasure of watching Morgan Spurlock’s documentaries, aside from their interesting topics, is the Morgan Spurlock persona. Spurlock channels Michael Moore, but delivers a less slobby ‘average Joe’. The reviews thus far have been reasonably warm. This may not be as compelling as the personal journey Morgan went through on Supersize Me, but the film should prove far more intriguing than Where in The World Is Osama Bin Laden?
Next up is the interesting, if also rather bizarre, erotic fairy tale, Sleeping Beauty. Lucy is a student struggling to pay her bills, who’s drawn to a high-class brothel, where she eventually drifts into prostitution. Lucy finds herself a niche as the ultimate subservient ‘partner’, with a gimmick as a ‘sleeping beauty’; a prostitute whose clients can ‘do’ as they wish with her, except have penetrative intercourse and all while she’s unconscious, naturally. Sounds like a risky premise to me! The film looks exquisitely framed and it’s an adaptation of the director’s novel. Julia Leigh’s debut will no doubt be a graphic and troublesome affair, featuring simulations of necrophilia-rape. However, elevating Sleeping Beauty above mere art-porn is the film’s central question, which is, why do women (like Lucy) willingly submit themselves to such humiliations, is it just for the money or is there a deeper problem within ‘them’ (and therefore society)?
There’s another directorial debut this week, from Niall MacCormick, with Albatross. Emilia is a gobby, leather jacket wearing punk, with literary aspirations. When she takes a job at a seaside hotel, she befriends the owner’s daughter Beth, but also starts an affair with her new friend’s father. Emilia’s character looks to be a confident female protagonist, with a certain vigour and whilst the central relationship between Emilia and Jonathan could be seen as self-indulgent male wish-fulfilment, it appears from the trailer that it is Emilia who initiates it – she’s very much in charge of her own destiny. The characters look interesting and the dialogue rather witty.