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Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure (2010)

Ivan Brunetti , Daniel Clowes , Matthew Bate  |  NR |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Ivan Brunetti, Daniel Clowes, Mitch Deprey
  • Directors: Matthew Bate
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Tribeca
  • DVD Release Date: January 24, 2012
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005TZFZHY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #144,029 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Alternately hilarious and discomfiting, and finally rather poignant --Variety

Funny, fascinating, and bittersweet --Movieline

Punk rock Errol Morris --Twitchfilm

Product Description

Product Description

The most important audio recording released in the nineties wasn t a collection of songs by a selftortured alternative star. The most important recording release in the grunge era was entitled SHUT UP LITTLE MAN! It was a covert audio recording of two older drunken men living in a small flat in San Francisco, who spent their available free time yelling, screaming, hitting and generally abusing each other.

The first viral popculture sensation began in 1987 when Eddie and Mitch (two young punks from the Midwest) moved 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 through the paperthin walls their alcoholfuelled rants terrorized Eddie and Mitch. Fearing for their lives, they began to tape record evidence of the insane goingson from next door.

Exploring the blurring boundaries between privacy, art and exploitation, SHUT UP LITTLE MAN! AN AUDIO MISADVENTURE is a darkly hilarious story.


Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
(6)
3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
The documentary "Shut Up Little Man!" tells a fascinating, strangely hilarious, somewhat sad, and slightly disturbing tale about an underground phenomenon that began in the most unlikely of ways. In 1987, two Midwestern transplants moved into a cheap San Francisco apartment to experience the thrills of a big city existence. As misfortune (or luck) would have it, they were next door to embittered, alcoholic and argumentative neighbors whose nightly rants crossed the line into some of the nastiest confrontations imaginable. The dysfunctional duo seemed an oddly matched pair--one a violent bigot, one a scathing nag. As the boys listened to the nightly melees and even tried to address the issue, they were met with indifference and threats. So they started recording the conversations. And as they shared the tapes with friends, more and more interest built up over the squabbling pair. Over the next couple of years, the cassettes were traded across the United States and a genuine pre-Internet viral sensation was underway.

Matthew Bate's film "Shut Up Little Man" (that was one of the hugely popular catchphrases culled from the recordings) can really be divided into a couple of distinct parts. It is told mostly from the vantage point of the guys who made the recordings as they look back on the situation and revisit locations from many years ago. As they recount the sordid tale, it's hard not to be mesmerized by the horrendous arguments. And I found the whole scenario absolutely hysterical. Sad, disturbing and a complete train wreck--but uncomfortably funny nevertheless. As someone who was raised in an abusive and alcoholic household, I'm ashamed to admit that I still found the "Shut Up Little Man" phenomenon eminently entertaining.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Brilliant film. Gets behind the scenes of a cultural phenomenon that couldn't have happened unless it was underground, and thank God for that. There is an element of a feeling of exploitation behind this, but every time you think this, the film shows you just how resounding the impact made from these recordings is. Frankly, the guys behind the recordings probably made a few bucks and still do, but aren't financially wealthy because of it. That's where I draw the line. They weren't initially trying to make money by making these recordings, it was only after the phenomenon took off. All of the art the recordings spawned are awesome and just as vibrant. If they'd (peter and ray) only been smarter and less drunk, they'd probably have a cut. If you don't feel a little sorry for them in listening to their fights, you're not human, but contradictions abound. You get wrapped up in their drama and unintentional hilarity so much so that they're no longer sad to you. Loved the piece about how the seeds sown by this are now in the remix culture behind Christian Bale's immature rant.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The story of Raymond and Peter, mean drunks and awful roommates whose constant shouting matches - committed to tape by frustrated neighbors - made them an unwitting, unsuspecting pair of underground celebrities. Like the thematically-similar Winnebago Man, the quest to learn more about these clueless cult legends is much more rewarding than what's actually at the end of the trail. While the focus hovers on revisiting the tapes, hearing the men who recorded them reminisce about the glory days, and watching dozens of talking heads throw on a headset and burst into genuine fits of laughter, it's a light, cheery smile a minute. Later, when the inherent humor of the material begins to run out, the whole picture begins to look downright pathetic. Hearing about the legal struggles that surrounded the story's film rights, witnessing the self-important ruminations of the guys who held the mic, seeing how confused and flabbergasted Peter was about the phenomenon, captured on film years later... these actually take away from what made the tapes so enjoyable in the first place. As a momentary distraction, an escape from the mundane to voyeuristically laugh at the worst state of the human condition, the tapes are in their element and at their best. This level of over-inspection only rubs away the veneer and many of the laughs.
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