Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure
DIRECTED BY MATTHEW BATE
AUSTRALIA, 2011, 85 MIN
Ten years ago we featured a 3-minute film in the FFF 2001 Midnight Shorts program called Shut Up Lil’ Man, described as “A series of disturbing conversations recorded from real-life alcoholic neighbors and re-enacted by Muppets from hell.” Little did we know that the short was just the tip of the iceberg. The phenomenon actually began in 1987, when two young punks moved from the Midwest to a cheap flat in San Francisco and ended up next door to Peter Haskett, a flamboyant gay man, and Raymond Huffman, a raging homophobe. This ultimate odd couple hated each other with raging abandon, and their alcohol–fueled rants terrorized the boys. Fearing for their lives, they began to tape record the insane goings-on. In recording Pete and Ray’s bizarre dialogues, they accidentally created one of the world’s first “viral” pop-culture sensations, with the tapes inspiring a cult following and stage-plays, CDs, comic art, music, and a Hollywood feeding frenzy. Exploring the blurred boundaries between privacy, art, and exploitation, SHUT UP LITTLE MAN! AN AUDIO MISADVENTURE is a darkly hilarious modern fable and a truly extraordinary doc.