Review: Unveiling an international empire in the astounding documentary “Tickled”


Catfish meets Compliance in David Farrier and Dylan Reeve’s jaw-dropping documentary Tickled. David Farrier is a New Zealand journalist who stumbled upon what seemed like just an unusual sport of men’s competitive tickling but instead triggered an incredibly, threatening backlash as he decided to dig deeper for more information on this funny entertainment piece.

After Farrier discovered the world of men’s competitive endurance tickling he felt compelled to interview Jane O’Brien Media who hosted the tickling videos. After reaching out, Farrier and Reeve started receiving defensive responses from the company stating that the videos are of an “exclusively heterosexual athletic endurance activity”. Amazed by some of the responses Farrier felt even more compelled to dig deeper into his research. After the two journalists began receiving legal threats, they knew there was so much more to this story; together they unveiled an empire.

I highly recommend this documentary. Not only is this an oddly enticing film, but on top of it all, it has amazing cinematography. It is just incredible how far these two journalists went to understand the world of Jane O’Brian’s competitive tickling only to discover so much more. It is one of the best films that I have seen all year, and for those of you who get reeled in by the trailer, I am certain that you will enjoy it as well. Check out Tickled on VOD, iTunes and Amazon Video on November 1st, 2016. 

4.5 / 5 Stars 



SIERANEVADAnyff54-sieranevada-mimi-cornel-branescu-valer-dellakeza_courtesy-elle-driverSieranevada takes a peek inside a grieving family and the reality of being stuck in a small space with the people you love and hate. Days after the death of the family patriarch and the recent Charlie Hebdo attacks, we find our cast gathered together to honor their beloved father. While they wait for the priest to arrive, we discover, little by little, the chaos, the meddling, the selfish, emotionally unstable ways that only your own family can throw at you all at once. Director Cristi Puiu, makes us, the audience, a fly on the wall for 3 solid hrs. This might pose a challenge for some viewers. The camera, mostly stationary, pans back and forth in place for extended periods of time, catching whispers, shouts, and much chain smoking predominantly from a hallway position. While the actors try desperately not to step on each other or wake the baby while they wait to eat once the elusive priest finally arrives. The dialogue is a beautiful mix of over the top arguments, manic bereavement, and laughter at internet conspiracy theories. It’s undeniably relatable. Only a big family dynamic can get your blood boiling and creative juices flowing for that long. nyff54-sieranevada-2_courtesy-elle-driver

THE REHEARSALnyff54-the-rehearsal-actors-kieran-charnock-james-rolleston-michelle-ny-alice-englert-and-scotty-cotte-courtesy-of-matthew-klitscherHaving graduated drama school only blocks from the NYFF, I can relate to The Rehearsal on a very personal  level. Based on the novel Eleanor Catton‘s debut novel of the same name. Director/writer Alison Maclean‘s film version is slightly different but the themes remain the same. Teachers taking advantage of their students. It was lovely to see the authenticity of a performing arts school portrayed on the big screen. It’s been a while since both the discipline and seemingly ridiculous have been combined to give the viewer a slice of life in a conservatory style education. No one is nice to you. everyone is competition. The teachers are their to teach you with hard life lessons. But this story is also about the emotional responsibility of not only the teachers, but the students as they grow into mature adults. Our main plot revolves around the lives and work of the kids. More specifically, their final project. The dialogue is evenhanded in humor and drama. The performances are extremely solid.The final scene is cinematic perfection. nyff54-the-rehearsal-actors-michelle-ny-and-kerry-fox-courtesy-of-matthew-klitscher