Saturday, December 11, 2010

Winnebago Man: B

Okay, I didn't actually leave the house to see Winnebago Man last weekend. I lazily watched it On Demand. Like DVDs, it feels like cheating watching movies at home - especially since it was recently at Cinema 21.

I've seen the Winnebago Man YouTube video, but I wouldn't consider it a top viral video. In the Michael-Moore style documentary, the filmmaker, Ben Steinbauer, is frank about his decision to make a documentary about this particular viral video. He acknowledges the problems the subjects of other viral videos have had such as the Star Wars kid. Profiling corporate video spokesman is probably less problematic than exploiting the possible mental issues of those secretly filmed. It was interesting to learn that the Winnebago Man video was viral years before YouTube in bootleg VHS tapes.

When Steinbauer does track down the "Winnebago Man" Jack Rebney, he finds a well-spoken, crotchety old hermit living in a remote cabin. The documentary becomes Steinbauer trying to reach-out and understand the reclusive Rebney. It is entertaining to watch the young-old conflict that isn't exploitive.

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