Journalist David Farrier stumbles upon a mysterious tickling competition online. As he delves deeper he comes up against fierce resistance, but that doesn't stop him getting to the bottom of a story stranger than fiction.
The story of how an eccentric French shop-keeper and amateur film-maker attempted to locate and befriend Banksy, only to have the artist turn the camera back on its owner. The film contains... See full summary »
David Farrier, a New Zealand pop cultural reporter whose story subjects often verge into the bizarre, believes he's found his next story when he stumbles across an online video on the world of competitive endurance tickling, a sport where the participants, with hands and feet tied down, are tickled for as long as they can endure. Participants are flown to Los Angeles first class, paid $1,500, and put up for four nights in a luxury hotel. Suitable participants are deemed to be younger, muscular males. The event is held on a monthly basis. In contacting the organizers, US-based Jane O'Brien Media, via their popular Facebook page to arrange for an interview, David receives a return message from one of their representatives, Debbie J. Kuhn, declining the offer, the message a homophobic rant largely against David. In that message, Debbie asserts that the competition is wholly a heterosexual athletic activity, she who does not appreciate what will be David's assumed gay bent on the story as...Written by
A number of subjects from the film attended a screening and Q&A with co-director Dylan Reeve in Los Angeles. The very unusual Q&A was streamed live on Facebook and involved legal threats and warnings of potential criminal charges for the filmmakers by the film's subjects. See more »
I started this journey curious about a bizarre sport called Competitive Endurance Tickling. But I now think this was never even about tickling... This is about power, control and harassment. It's about one person's twistedness, and how far that can go. One person, who has managed to shelter himself with money to keep his obsession going. But now, it's his life exposed. For once, it's him on camera.
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Went in expecting a ho-hum doc about a strange subculture. Instead, this film impressed at every turn with it's sophisticated handling of a strange and complicated story. Yes, as some readers have noted, it does not have a particularly surprising reveal, but that is not the point. The audience is taken on a twisty turn-y roller coaster which, unlike a carnival ride, only gets more dramatic towards the end.
Themes of power, control, exploitation remind the viewer why we have white-collar crime laws on the books. The men shown benefiting in this movie are scarier than any monster I've seen in film.
I guess that is sort of the Splash Mountain ride.
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