The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. For more information on films playing in the Cinémathèque, please call 773-281-4114. To order advance tickets online, visit the TicketWeb website by clicking here.
SHUT UP LITTLE MAN! AN AUDIO MISADVENTURE
"Alternately hilarious and discomfiting" -Variety
"Curious but always engaging...funny and poignant" -San Francisco Chronicle
"Matthew Bate's doc does an expert job on tracing the evolution of SULM! from lark to "art," and how a cult formed around two middle-aged lives of loud desperation" -TimeOut New York
"More than just a flophouse Punch and Judy show, the Raymond vs. Peter dustups elevate cruel bickering to a ritual through which we live life's pain" -Village Voice
"[Director Matthew Bate] makes the "Shut Up" phenomenon feel as if it meant something, unlike the here-this-morning, gone-this-afternoon viral sensations of today" -New York Times
Recommended! "Pants-pissingly funny" -NewCity Chicago
In 1987 two dudes from the Midwest, young Eddie Lee Sausage and Mitchell D landed in San Francisco and moved into a cheap apartment, the "Pepto-Bismol palace" in the Lower Haight, so called for its lurid pink color. The walls were also paper-thin and this is how they were informally introduced to their middle-aged alcoholic neighbors: Raymond Huffman, a raging homophobe, and Peter Haskett, a flamboyant gay man. Night after night, the boys were treated to and terrorized by a seemingly endless stream of vodka-fueled altercations between the two unlikely roommates. Eddie and Mitchell did everything to quiet these guys, only to be met with obscenities and threats. They decided to record their noisy neighbors rants (brilliantly described at one point as The Odd Couple meets Waiting for Godot) and the cassettes got passed around through the Zine underground, becoming a pre-Internet, viral phenomenon. They inspired comic books, plays and movies, which led Eddie and Mitch to ditch their DIY, punk, anything-goes approach, copyright the material and start making money off the merchandise. Meanwhile Peter and Raymond had no idea they had become such cult anti-heroes and continued to live in penniless squalor.
Shut Up Little Man! is frequently hilarious but also terribly sad, as filmmaker Matthew Bate skillfully explores the boundaries of art, copyright, voyeurism, morality and exploitation in a way that never settles for easy answers.
Directed by Matthew Bate, Australia, 2011, 85 mins.