Awesome Fest Presents ‘Shut Up, Little Man!’

This Thursday at 7pm, Awesome Fest will present Shut Up, Little Man! An Audio Misadventure at the Piazza at Schmidt’s.

The profane, alcohol-fueled exchanges between Peter Hackett a gay “bitchy queen,” and Raymond Huffman, an “embittered redneck homophobe,” form the basis for Shut Up Little Man, an amusing documentary about audio verite.

These odd couple roommates in 1987 San Francisco fought regularly. Their irritated neighbors, Eddie and Mitchell, recorded their outrageous rants and circulated the tapes to an obsessed cult of voyeuristic fans. Soon, comic books, plays, and three potential film deals were spawned.

Shut Up Little Man uses some deftly edited videos, photographs, and recordings—as well as animation and some recreated events—to capture the insanity of what transpired between these hate-spewing men. But then, the ugly battles between Peter and Ray eventually turn into ugly battles about who owns the rights of the recordings.

Here director Mattew Bate gets at the greater purpose of his film: Was what Eddie and Mitchell did illegal and/or invasive? And are these recordings art or exploitation? The film doesn’t judge, letting viewers can decide for themselves. Alas, some folks will want Shut Up Little Man to just shut up and let these sad men with their sad lives be left alone with their last shred of dignity.

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Gary Kramer

Gary M. Kramer is a Philadelphia-based film critic who thinks Sandra Bullock mambos. He likes eating ethnic food and watching ethnic movies—though not necessarily both at the same time or from the same country.

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