Combine David Lynch’s head-scratching wildness and Charlie Kaufman’s hilarious worst-case scenarios, throw in a pinch of Luis Buñuel’s wicked irreverence and a streak of cruel French humor, and you won’t quite have Quentin Dupieux’s Reality, but you’ll be a little closer to understanding how far outside convention this delightfully fearless, mind-bending comedy dwells. In Reality, a French filmmaker in California finds a movie-house that is already screening the film he is in the process of writing, a little girl tries to watch a big blue videotape she found inside a hog’s stomach, and a cooking show host endangers his livelihood by constantly scratching at a full-body rash that no one else can see. By making his characters intersect in the realm of the impossible, Dupieux masterfully collapses the distance between dream and reality and returns to film’s primal role in the collective unconscious. Working in a sui generis genre that can both stand up to psychoanalytic exegesis and provide riotous late-night viewing, Dupieux has established himself as one of the last mad scientists of French cinema. While he is currently seen as little more than a cult outsider, it is only a matter of time before he is recognized as one of the great originals of our age.
Post-screening Discussion to be led by Professor of Media Studies, Kevin Driscoll.
Kevin Driscoll is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Media Studies. His research explores popular culture, political communication, and networked personal computing, with special attention to mythology, folklore, and infrastructure. Some of his previous work explores everyday and emerging uses of social media such as live-tweeting, joking about politics, and, spreading rumors. His dissertation traced the pre-history of social media through the dial-up bulletin board systems of the 1980s and 1990s. Currently, he is writing a technical and cultural history of the French Minitel system in collaboration with Julien Mailland from Indiana University.
Kevin joined the Department in the fall of 2016 after working as a postdoctoral researcher at Microsoft Research. He holds a PhD from the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California and an M.S. from Comparative Media Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Previously, he taught mathematics and computer science for grades 6-12 at Prospect Hill Academy Charter School in Cambridge, MA.