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Before Catfish made it all hip to capture the real side of our digital lives, 24 Hours on Craigslist did just that about the denizens of that magical, mightiest of all home-grown net phenomena. The stories told here, mostly San Francisco-centric, are lovely, swift, fun, and enlightening.
The production's pretty clean, and the characters are where you're gonna find your deepest connection, but it's also documenting a very important moment in time for filmmakers. If this had been done in 1997, it would have either been shot with a 16 Bolex, or maybe a DVCAM or the like. It would have been much more expensive, and it would have required much more targeting of subjects, interviews, and the like. The look is 100% of the digital films that started to flood into film festivals. I was programming for Cinequest by this point, and I saw hundreds of docs that had this very television look and if it were made not less than 5 years later, it would have been exactly the thing that YouTube would feature. Of course, at this point, cameras were still far more intrusive than today, and that leads to a less naturalistic presentation.
The fact that today this would be more polished doesn't diminish the quality of the experience. This was an interesting time in the history of Craigslist, and the 'net. The dark side had been slowly exposing itself, but it hadn't exploded. This documents that time very well.
Klaus at Gunpoint
A Film Journal dedicated to all film.A segment of Office Supply Publishing.