What a ride! This film is funny and thought provoking at the same time. At its core, Shut Up Little Man! is about two guys that had two very loud neighbors in San Francisco back in 1987. The two loud guys were always yelling, cussing and basically communicating at the top of their lungs, especially after midnight.
With paper thin walls, the two other guys could not help but hear all of this "conversation". Many times they were woken up by the yelling going on at the apartment next door.
What do you do when your neighbors are loudmouths? You stick a microphone next to their window and record their crazy conversations.
After months of recording these yelling matches, the two guys that recorded the conversations began to share the cassette tapes of the conversations with others. What resulted was a viral spread much like what is seen online today.
People made copies of the tapes and kept sharing them with others. What endeared these tapes was the nature of the conversations. Yelling occurred with little thought to sentence structure or even meaning.
With the aid of a lot of vodka, the two loud neighbors seemed to only communicate through a viscous barrage of cussing and degrading comments.
The recordings of the conversations are funny. Funny in the sense of prank phone calls. The subjects did not know they were being recorded so the listeners were listening in to private conversations that were never meant to be heard by others.
This is where Shut Up Little Man actually begins to have heart. A moral and legal dilema is presented as the two guys that recorded the conversations were now making money off the tapes. Hollywood producers began vying for movie rights and playwrights were producing plays. All based off "illegal??" recordings of people's private lives.
What started out as somewhat of a Jackass meets Prank Yankers ends up becoming a question of morality, profit and guilt.
This film is edited very well with lots of great and comedic audio and visual treatments. Even when the morality of their recordings is being discussed, comic overtones find a place.
This is not a film that set out to change the world or to save the Rain Forest. It is a character study X 2. The characters that were constantly yelling are studied and eventually the characters that recorded those conversations are recorded and examined.
Shut Up Little Man is a great film well worth the time it took to watch.
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