Heckler – watch this documentary

Anyone else tired of the level of discourse that passes for film and theatre criticism? I am impressed with anyone who has the balls to put themselves out there as a performer, writer, filmmaker or any other kind of artist. When interviewed in Heckler, George Lucas talks about wanting to be around the doers who create things, not the destroyers. I couldn’t agree more.

Heckler is a thoughtful, insightful look at heckling in all its forms, from the drunken assholes who disrupt live performances to the self-anointed film experts who savage performers personally rather than offering any helpful or constructive criticism. Director Mike Addis and Jamie Kennedy created this documentary about heckling but it is about much more than that. The lack of civility and empathy that is rampant in our culture has been magnified a thousand times over by the anonymity and lack of filtering that the internet allows. Jamie Kennedy does what many would like to do – talk face-to-face with some of the critics, most of whom don’t have the courage to stand behind the vile things they wrote. “I wasn’t talking about you personally.”  Really? Kennedy’s restraint in dealing with a couple of these guys is admirable.

An affirming and engrossing documentary, Heckler has great interviews with other doers and some unnerving footage of heckling incidents. Nice work Mike and Jamie!

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