2011 Sundance Docs in Focus: THE GREATEST MOVIE EVER SOLD

Morgan Spurlock is in the inaugural class of Documentary Premieres filmmakers with his latest film, THE GREATEST MOVIE EVER SOLD, a self-reflexive look at product placement, branding, and advertising.

Sundance Program Description:

Acclaimed filmmaker and master provocateur Morgan Spurlock (SUPER SIZE ME) returns to the Sundance Film Festival with tongue-in-cheek perfection as he examines the world of product placement, marketing, and advertising by making a film financed entirely by product placement, marketing, and advertising.

We live in an age where it’s tough even to walk down the street without someone trying to sell you something. It’s at the point where practically the entire American experience is brought to us by some corporation. Utilizing cutting-edge tools of comic exploration and total self-exploitation, Spurlock dissects the world of advertising and marketing by using his personal integrity as currency to sell out to the highest bidder. Scathingly funny, subversive, and deceptively smart, THE GREATEST MOVIE EVER SOLD shines the definitive light on our branded future as Spurlock attempts to create the “IRON MAN of documentaries,” the first ever “docbuster”! He may very well have succeeded.

Some Background:
Spurlock, of course, is one of Sundance’s documentary success stories, translating his Best Documentary Directing Award for 2004’s SUPER SIZE ME to a sustainable career in film and TV. He returned to Park City with 2008’s WHERE IN THE WORLD IS OSAMA BIN LADEN?, and has also directed THE SIMPSONS 20TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL: IN 3-D! ON ICE!, a segment of the omnibus FREAKONOMICS, and is presently finishing COMIC-CON EPISODE FOUR: A FAN’S HOPE.

Why You Should Watch:
Gregarious everyman Spurlock is one of a handful of directors who can pull off featuring himself in his own films. The topic of this film especially lends itself to this kind of treatment, rife with the potential for satiric humor.

Screening Info:
For screening dates and times at Sundance, click the link in the first paragraph above.


Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Recommendations, Sundance

2 responses to “2011 Sundance Docs in Focus: THE GREATEST MOVIE EVER SOLD

  1. i’d love to know who the other directors are that can pull off themselves in their own documentaries – seems the implication is that Moore cannot :) i think Moore does a great job of featuring himself (though i have yet to catch up with CAPITALISM).

    perhaps the next most obvious director is McElwee, who i find quite grating in the (admittedly small sample of) two that i have watched – i much prefer Block (though i have only seen BIRCH).

    Su Frierich is my favorite currently coming to mind.

    • Thanks for your comment. It’s a good question and one that I’ve thought about a lot. From my experience, more people try to be in their own docs than really should, opting to try to emulate a Spurlock or Moore style, usually to diminishing returns. As I’ve written here before, I tend to believe that directors should only be in their films if the film really is about them or would legitimately suffer if they weren’t in it.

      As for people beyond the above who can pull it off, it would be a fairly small list, though there are always some exceptions where it can work. A recent example is Josh Fox in GASLAND, but I don’t know that it would work with him for a different project. Herzog is enough of a sui generis personality that he can make it work pretty much across the board.

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