Comic-Con: Episode IV – A Fan’s Hope

I almost passed on Morgan Spurlock’s documentary because I got a little too hungry. And how much I would’ve missed if I picked food over the theater.

I’m confident in saying that not very many filmmakers out there today could’ve depicted Comic Con the way he did. He could’ve immersed himself in the culture like he usually does in his films but instead, he followed ordinary people who were deeply vested in the convention – an aspiring costume designer entering the Masquerade, 2 aspiring comic book artists showing their portfolio to potential employers, a collector spending hours in line for a limited-edition toy, a love struck nerd hoping to propose to his nerd girlfriend…

It’s such a diverse set of story arcs to follow, edited together so perfectly, between depictions of the characters as if in an actual comic book and reflections of the phenomenon by fantasy and comedy geniuses like Joss Whedon and Kevin Smith. I highly recommend seeing it, even if you’re not a comic book fan, Comic Con fan, or a nerd/geek.

The best treat of the night was realizing that Spurlock was there for a post-film Q&A! When I think back on that night, I always think – Man, I almost missed Morgan Spurlock in person! He spoke so eloquently and humbly about his work – I already appreciated the film once it was over but hearing his story behind the film made me appreciate the craft of making a documentary even more.

The subject itself, Comic Con, is, in the grander scheme of things, not a revolutionary subject to write or make a film about, let alone a documentary. But Spurlock utilizes the most basic element to engage the audience – the human element. I may not understand why the toy collector persists with his hobby despite his wife’s frustration, but all Spurlock wants is for me to accept it without judgment. And it works.

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