This past weekend I watched two different yet equally controversial documentaries. The Aristocrats and Control Room.
The Aristocrats (2005)
From directors Paul Provenza and Penn Jillette, over one hundred comics, famous and unknown, tell the same obscene joke. It sounds boring doesn’t it? Not really. It is a fascinating look at the joke shared by comics since the Vaudeville era. Pretty much the joke begins like this “A man walks into a talent agents office and says that he has an act …” then you add every grotesque thing a human possibly could do and you have “The Aristocrats”.
It is a hysterical comedy. Highlights include Bob Saget, shedding his good guy image; Sarah Silverman, giving a completely different spin on “The Aristocrats”; and Gilbert Gottfried, never funnier, lightening the mood after 9/11 by telling the joke at the Friar’s Club Roast of Hugh Hefner. Other comics include: George Carlin, Phyllis Diller, Drew Carey, Robin Williams, Judy Gold, Chris Rock, Jon Stewart, and many more.
Control Room (2004)
This documentary looks into not only the foundation and principles of Al-Jazeera but also how the network views the United States during the early stages of the war in Iraq. It is a competely different prespective on the war, one that many Americans probably won’t care to see. Despite that, this is an intelligent, well-crafted, and thought-provoking film that should be viewed by anyone and everyone. Yes, there is a pro-Iraqi (not pro-terrorism) bias,but you should watch this insightful movie. You’ll rethink your opinions.