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The Target Shoots First (2000)

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An NYU philosophy grad struggles to maintain artistic and personal integrity as a production manager for Columbia House.


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An NYU philosophy grad struggles to maintain artistic and personal integrity as a production manager for Columbia House.

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Release Date:

24 October 2002 (Netherlands)  »

Also Known As:

Amikor a nyúl viszi a puskát  »

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User Reviews

Hilarious and intelligent critique of the business world
25 March 2000 | by (Houston, Texas) – See all my reviews

Edited from more than 200 hours of footage, "The Target Shoots First" is a young production manager's chronicle of his two-year stint at Columbia House. Its technical merits and fabulous sense of humor earned it both the critics prize and the audience prize at the recent South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin. The audience at the Aurora Picture Show in Houston (where I saw it tonight) was equally enthusiastic. The story begins in 1992, when Columbia House hires recent college graduate Christopher Wilcha as a marketing assistant. He brings his Hi8 to work every day to distance himself from the reality of the job, which turns out to be boring and hilariously out of touch with the popular music scene. As his amount of responsibility increases, he helps design a new, more intelligent catalogue for the burgeoning alternative rock subculture. Readers love the new catalogue, and their letters of praise are encouraging for a while, but Chris's subversive attempts fail when the company manipulates them to suit its agenda. One of the pleasant surprises of Chris's approach is that while he's clearly disgusted with the corporate process at Columbia House, he retains a compassionate attitude toward his coworkers. The emergent tone is one of contemplative frustration with how the company siphons the individual creative energy of its employees to further its own, less admirable goals. Interesting note: I used to get the alternative catalogue in the mail, and I never expected to meet the guy responsible for it (six years later, in Houston).

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