Coming to VOD today, Tuesday, August 13: TV JUNKIE
Michael Cain and Matt Radecki’s harrowing exploration of one man’s self-documented self-destruction made its world premiere at Sundance in 2006, where it was awarded a special jury prize. It went on to screen at SXSW, Locarno, Biografa, Stockholm, Seattle, and Melbourne, among others, and also was broadcast on HBO. Sundance Artist Services now brings the doc to iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, XBOX, Sony Entertainment Network, SundanceNOW, VUDU, and YouTube.
Rick Kirkham began videotaping himself at the age of 14, a precursor to today’s self-obsessed, self-broadcasting, technology-symbiotic YouTube generation, capturing a dizzying amount of footage as he pursued a career in television. Working his way from AMERICAN BANDSTAND to local TV news and eventually the tabloid news series INSIDE EDITION, Kirkham seemed to have achieved his dream, but his private footage reveals the dark side to celebrity. Enabled by Kirkham’s fanatical diaristic impulse, directors Cain and Radecki’s film, culled from more than 3000 hours of footage, as well as 5000 photos, traces the man’s descent into crack addiction, and its impact on his family and career. His raw, almost unmediated, taped confessions are revelatory and contradictory, at once a seeming cry for help and a defiant challenge, except his original audience was solely himself. There’s an immersive quality to the footage, drawing the viewer into Kirkham’s egocentric sphere, and if it’s decidedly not easy to watch, that’s entirely the point.