Director: Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman
Year Released: 2010
Filmmakers Joost and Ariel Schulman 'document' photographer Nev Schulman's online correspondence with the artistic Pierce family from Michigan and, in particular, Nev's long-distance courtship and fascination with their oldest daughter Megan. This whole 'fake documentary' trend is fascinating in a way - this one follows Casey Affleck's movie about Joaquin Phoenix's fake music career and Banksy's movie about the world of graffiti art, not to mention several others - but it's also a little dangerous because of the incredibly complex ethical considerations (isn't there a 'contract' to be had between filmmakers and their audience? Is the attempt to pass off a sham as the real deal a break in that contract?). The filmmakers try laying a 'bombshell' on you with a speech by the woman's husband at the end - which explains the title and its relevance to the (cough, cough) 'true artifact' you just watched - but it doesn't sting the way they think it does. This probably says more about social networking sites like Facebook than the actual Facebook movie does (Fincher's The Social Network), but that's not much of a compliment. Welles played it right with F for Fake; everyone needs to revisit and study that picture carefully.