10 Most Successful Mockumentaries – Hone Your Sense of Irony
Have you ever been in the mood for a comedy and a drama at the same time? Mockumentaries, with their sly eye on the gullibility of their audience, might be the answer. Settle down for a fun night in with one of these 10 great mockumentaries.
10 – “I’m Still Here”
Respected director Casey Affleck and his brother-in-law, quirky actor Joaquin Phoenix, conspire together in this 2010 mockumentary to convince us Phoenix has turned his back on his profession to become a scruffy, hip-hop hobo. The film raises some interesting questions about the nature of celebrity and the actor’s ability to remain in character for a year prior to the film’s release certainly added to its believability!
09 – “Incident at Loch Ness”
This entertaining 2004 mock documentary explores the myth of the Loch Ness Monster. The story follows writer, producer and star Werner Herzog and his crew as they work on the production of a sceptical Nessie doco, while another crew is busy shooting their own film about Werner. This mockumentary artfully attempts to make you believe it’s all real, with some seriously deadpan scenes that will make you wonder who is conning who!
08 – “The Magician”
In this 2005 Aussie mockumentary, Melbourne hitman Ray Shoesmith (played by the film’s writer, director and producer Scott Ryan) is followed around by his neighbour, a budding filmmaker looking to make his mark. This is a grim yet comical murder romp lauded for its acting and superbly written dialogue.
07 – “This Is Spinal Tap”
If you love watching comedy that’s conveyed through music, then this 1984 classic, directed by Rob Reiner (of “When Harry Met Sally” fame) is for you. The film follows a group of aging, histrionic heavy metal rockers who are yet to realise their heyday has passed. Satirizing the pretensions and wild behaviour of rock bands, the film’s brilliance is partly due to the fact that everyone plays it so straight. Fans of this “rockumentary” will love its Blu ray releases, which contain extra features including deleted scenes, interviews with the band members and even TV commercials!
06 – “Death of a President”
This slick 2006 British mockumentary chronicles the fictional assassination of (at the time) U.S. President George W. Bush and the consequent fallout surrounding the killing. This apolitical film looks at the likely social and media reactions to such a high-profile murder and adeptly uses a combination of actors, special effects and archival video footage to present its hypothetical aftermath.
05 – “Forgotten Silver”
“Lord of the Rings” director Peter Jackson is behind this 1995 New Zealand doco that recounts the many achievements of overlooked film director Colin McKenzie — who never actually existed! This film is so realistic-looking (with “footage” of industry heavyweights Sam Neill, Harvey Weinstein and Leonard Maltin) that many viewers didn’t even realise that the whole thing was a set up.
04 – “Best in Show”
The perfect movie choice for canine lovers, “Best in Show” is a popular 2000 independent documentary that follows a colourful array of characters as their pampered pooches compete at a prestigious national dog show. The film’s focus is on the comedic interactions between the over-the-top dog owners as the lid is lifted on the antics seen at competitive dog shows.
03 – “Borat”
An over-the-top 2006 film that became a worldwide success, Borat is a shockingly funny mockumentary that makes brilliant use of its unwitting cast members — the American public. Starring British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, the movie chronicles the cross-country trek of its title character as he attempts to learn more about U.S. culture and customs. This vulgar yet hilarious film received “high-fives” from new and old Cohen fans alike.
02 -“Lake Mungo”
In this 2008 Australian mockumentary, a teenage girl drowns while swimming in a regional dam. Not long after her funeral, her family starts witnessing weird goings-on at their home and subsequently call in a parapsychologist for some help. An underrated Aussie film, this doco has beautifully subtle acting, a clever story with twists and turns, and plenty of hair-raising spooks.
01 – “A Hard Day’s Night”
A 1964 film that created an influential legacy, “A Hard Day’s Night” follows the life of The Beatles during the height of Beatlemania. Considered to be one of the best and most influential musical films of all-time (it’s said to have inspired The Monkees television series) this black-and-white mockumentary parodies the concert movie subgenre.
Image From Flickr’s Creative Commons by ssosay
About the Author: Stacey Blake is a blogger and lifestyle writer with a passion for travel and films. She loves to keep up to date with the latest DVD releases and can regularly be found eating popcorn at the movies.