I caught half of the second quarter and the second half of the Alabama-Florida game tonight on CBS. When I turned on the television, the Crimson Tide had 24 points (three touchdowns and a field goal?) and the Gators had 0. I was shocked. I don’t follow SEC football the way an avid fan would, but I’ve seen enough of the two teams play in the past few years to know that it wasn’t the norm for Florida to be down by so much in the second quarter. I watched the rest of the game and was thoroughly entertained. The Gators’ first drive after halftime was so promising…until they got to the end zone and couldn’t put the ball in past the goal line. I’d expect to see repeated attempts and failures in the NFL, but not in college ball. Alabama ended up cleaning house, beating Florida 31 to 6. Get game summary, stats, and play-by-play here.
Detour: Could it be that espresso products taste better in mugs than paper cups? The one I had at my favorite non-Starbux establishment after the movie was tres delicieux.
Retour: The title of this entry is inspired by a film I saw this afternoon called Catfish (2010). Directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman and “starring” Yaniv Schulman, this self-aware and concisely constructed film celebrates and questions the consequences of embracing tools of communications and convenience. Ariel and Henry videotape the nine-month incubation of a friendship between Yaniv and a family on Bookface. Without specifying much more, I’ll remark that an ostensibly inconsequential observation Yaniv makes prompts him, Ariel, and Henry to wonder how much of his interactions with the members of this family is genuine.
What impresses me the most about Catfish is its incorporation of various online and portable communication devices as equipment/props as well as visual design. Gchat, google maps street view, the iPhone, and Bookface itself Show-Not-Tells a story. The marketing behind the film may put a sinister spin to what happens towards the end, but it’s certainly not nightmare-inducing. It has the potential to be unnerving in the style of truth-is-stranger-than-fiction, but nobody’s internal organs get snatched in the middle of the night and wrapped in a flannel shirt. Aside from tossing around the issues of facts vs. fabrications, Catfish makes the astute point that a person who wants to discover the truth will go as far as another person would in keeping a secret. Joost and Schulman’s film is my fourth favorite theatrical experience of this year so far.*
As to naming this entry, “Alabama catfishes Florida,” for anyone who’s seen the film, some people are meant to keep everyone else alert. The Crimson Tide certainly kept the Gators from becoming complacent (with the rest of their season at least…I’d imagine).
PS. If you know my habit of looking up film spoilers (who dies? who’s the devil? is it really just a dream?), then you probably thought I’d have gone fishing for Catfish spoilers from the get-go (after watching previews at AMC theatres in my city). And you’d be right…if I didn’t know one of the filmmakers. He was in my film theory class in college. I didn’t know him too well but he remembers me.
* My favorite scene takes place three-fourths of the way through the film. Yaniv reads the texts that he and one of the family members send to each other. As the content of the texts grow increasingly “adult situation,” he starts to laugh and buries his head underneath a blanket.