Few things in DVD watching and book reading are as satisfying as stumbling upon a surprise. The "Gormenghast" trilogy by Mervyn Peake blew my mind a few years ago when I saw it at a Barnes & Noble: "Oh, look. That book the pretentious Salon writer said is worlds better than 'Harry Snotter.'" It was. It is. I still haven't started the third book because I don't want it all to be over.Well, the fake documentary American Alien (buy it here on Amazon) was surprisingly well-done. I hesitate to call it a mockumentary, because it treats even its most ridiculous interviewees with sympathy. It's a post-disappearance tale of a Mr. Baron Dixon, a man convinced for decades that a UFO would take him away. We meet his good-for-nothing friends, cruel coworkers who mock him, a mom and a dog who love him, and an ex-girlfriend who found something wonderful in this big obsessed fortysomething guy.
The performers are almost uniformly flawless in acting as regular weirdos being interviewed. I mean, really, these people are like high-skilled amateurs out of a Christopher Guest film.
I was left wondering and surprised in the end that I cared about almost every person presented and excited to have discovered another gem in my wanderings here on Earth.
Cross-posted to my blog.