22 June 2012 2:52 AM, PDT | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

The Life and Times of Paul the Psychic Octopus

Written by Alexandre O. Philippe

Directed by Alexandre O. Philippe

USA, 2012

The director of The People vs. George Lucas returns with a light-hearted documentary about another pop culture phenomenon, one who may have received even more death threats from displeased enthusiasts. With the opening credits trading “a film by” for “a fairy tale by”, writer-director Alexandre O. Philippe’s tongue is firmly in cheek in his profile of the supposedly psychic cephalopod that had a 100% success rate in predicting 2010 World Cup results, leading to a sudden rise to fame. We also get some exploration of the nature of viral communication, and the absurd cultures surrounding animal celebrity.

Philippe interviews people involved with the octopus’ hype machine, famous fans (including members of the victorious Spanish team), various psychics and statisticians, and less enthusiastic contributors like reps from bookmakers. Paul’s most famous enemy, »

- Josh Slater-Williams

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