DocLab Shorts 24 Nov at 19:45
A program of short stories that would never have existed without the internet.
Review: DocLab Live 5 / Objective Stories
Live storytelling: the perfect antidote to screen fatigue – and a mighty enjoyable way to re-connect dizzy DocLabbers – after five days of screenings, projects, and talks exploring the future of narrative – with what we’re all trying to do here: share gosh-darned good stories.
Hosted by Dutch funnyman Micha “Crazy Eyes” Wertheim, the evening brought together two of New York’s most alluring storytelling chicks, Ophira Eisenberg and Faye Lane (members of the now legendary Moth collective), with Holland’s own Lady Haha, Paulien Cornelisse, for a night of real, live people! Complete with dramatic stage lighting and a sprinkling of audience and digital interactivity (in keeping with the times and whatnot).
True-life tales spun around the theme of “objects” revealed heartbreaking, hilarious and philosophical personal minutiae which, due to the brilliance, liveness and non-digitalness of it all, compelled the audience to pay good attention.
A night, as Ms Eisenberg pointed out, of documentaries that require zero budget and zero technology to be made and shared.
After an hilarious opening gambit by Mr Wertheim, featuring geriatric aunts and a stapler, stand-up comedian Ophira Eisenberg took to the stage to share her childhood tale of a near-fatal car accident and its hospital-heavy aftermath, in which the only thing that kept her going was the promise of a Barbie Dream House. The tale took a tragic turn, but ultimately reflected on human resilience – and of (sentimentally) valuable objects as reasons to live and to forgive.
A short digital interlude showed highlights from web guru Ze Frank’s Young Me/Now Me project, in which the web public is invited to submit childhood pictures of themselves, re-enacted in adulthood. A live phone-in with featured participant Kevin in Sacramento, brought us delightful insights into the meticulous preparations and care that went into one of the best childhood photo-recreations on the Young Me Now Me website.
Next up was Paulien Cornelisse who related some hilarities from her time as an exchange student in the US, during which her obsession with the English language’s tendency to string words together and form new words (may I just interject here, and say: zandzeepsodamineraalwatersteenstralen), combined with her rudimentary English, led her to believe that her experimental theatre coach mistook her for a “theatrical lesbian” (a.k.a thespian)!
Another screen interlude, this time showing selects from the cringe-inducingly compelling Awkward Family Photos blog, with a live phone-in to the now infamous self-urinating terror toddler, in what must surely be the most awkward family photo of all!
The night ended with an utterly charming performance by the angelic air stewardess / storyteller Faye Lane as she invited us into her fascinating life aboard those intense, often nightmarish and sometimes hilarious artificial microcosms of humanity known as long-haul flights – remarking on the challenges of appreciating individuality in our crazy crowded world – versus the vital warmth of togetherness and shared human experience.
Whoever’s idea it was to end DocLab 2010 on a live storytelling tip: you’re a genius!
For those who missed it or who like the sound of all this, find the wildly popular podcasts from the Moth here – and if you’re in Amsterdam, show some love for the monthly (self-confessed) copycat event Echt Gebeurd at Toomler.
And finally: I had the absolute pleasure of interviewing Faye and Ophira on the art of story, so watch this space for the upload.
Written by TheMinilot.