Two conceptual films that take different approaches to working with found footage, exploring the fluid frontiers and dangerous chasms between reality and its fabrication.
Fraud is a radical film poised on the borders of fiction and non-fiction, which provoked scandal in the USA. On the Internet, director Dean Fleischer-Camp discovered the video blog of an average American family whose life consists of insatiable consumption, concentrated mostly in malls, supermarkets, and other zones of rampant consumerism—those anonymous, faceless places that have come to be known as non-places. When the heroes run out of money, they find an absolutely extreme way out of this situation—anything to not fall out of the chain of commodity-money circulation.
Using real home videos, proudly and prolifically made by the head of this family, Fleischer-Camp created a shocking metaphor for the modern “society of the spectacle”, permeated with advertising, the cult of consumption, and of goods as a sacral fetish. External footage is rapidly edited, shaping the perception of the film as a thriller. Fraud not only analyzes the everyday or even banal images of capitalism and its propaganda power, but also uses its ambiguity of form to raises the question of what is now considered a fact and what is fake. And it clearly demonstrates how easy it has now become to manipulate a reality that has merged with the media.
Ronald Reagan, the first US president to have seen an element of acting in his political activities which became an indirect continuation of his career as a Hollywood star. The day to day presidential life of Reagan was regularly captured on camera, resulting in the amassing of a huge archive (over 2,000 hours of film material). From this, Pacho Velez has selected those exceptional moments where Reagan's carefully orchestrated image fails and his staged “life” slips out of control, thus revealing to us the politician in the gap between reality and its imitation.
Directed by Dean Fleischer-Camp. USA, 2016. 55 min.