Documentary – International – UK Premiere
Matthew Bate/Australia/2011/89 min/TBC
The memory of the first flat we stay in after leaving home can stay with us for years, but some experiences can shape the rest of our lives, and Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure shows just what can happen when a first home yields a rather unique opportunity.
Comprised of interviews, audio recordings, images and cartoons, Shut Up Little Man! Charts the fortunes of Eddie Guerriero and Mitch Dempsey, two graduates began to record and document their neighbours’ furious arguments, recordings which then became a lasting underground phenomenon.
At first glance, there’s a lot going for Shut Up Little Man! It’s subject matter is not only unusual, but very funny, and the tone and feel of the documentary is initially very light-hearted. But what could be a simple story about two students in their first flat, and their silent war against their volatile and unsociable neighbours descends into an account of Guerriero and Deprey’s quest to make money from their experience and their recordings. While this is something that they appear to have done, and still seem to be doing thanks to the cult status of not only the tapes, but also their unwitting and long-deceased stars. However, this initially fun and friendly documentary unveils a dark tale of exploitation, betrayal, addiction and abandonment, as Guerriero, Deprey and their co-conspirators’ quest for money and recognition sees them malign and mistreat the very men who helped them become so infamous in the first place. Bate’s film, while an honest, colourful and unusual exploration of the power of audio verite, reveals that there is no greater power in the world than the power of money, and any person can be swayed by the thought of cold, hard cash.